From left Colette Byrne, CEO Kilkenny County Council with Anna O'Sullivan and Ailis Feehan of the Butler Gallery and Michael Parsons, Chairman of The Heritage Council
The status of the world famous Butler Gallery at Kilkenny Castle was confirmed as a fully accredited member of the Museum Standards for Ireland Programme at an awards ceremony at the castle last week.
Representative of the new dynamism and activity of the museum sector in 2018, the Butler Gallery is one of 64 museums and galleries to benefit from participation in the MSPI to date. While recognising
the achievement of standards through accreditation, the MSPI is also about supporting the museum community as a whole. Its participants engage in a range of processes, which help to secure Ireland’s collections for future generations and to engage its visitors with what those collections have to
Representatives from the Butler Gallery joined museum workers – professional and voluntary – from across Ireland at the MSPI awards ceremony in the castle. It was one of nine Irish museums
recognised for excellence and professionalism, and one of eight to be awarded the top standard of Full Accreditation. The rigorous assessment process requires museums to meet each of 34 internationally recognised MSPI standards ensuring the highest standards in visitor services, collections
care and governance.
The MSPI assessor commented favourably on the Butler Gallery’s ‘high standards and strong commitment from staff and Board members and its policy of collaborating with other institutions in Ireland and abroad.’ The gallery’s successful collaboration with Cartoon Saloon, for example, in the
Making the Song of the Sea Exhibition saw the Butler Gallery receive the Allianz Business to Arts Award for Best Midsize Sponsorship in 2016. The Breadwinner Exhibition, currently on show in the gallery was also made in collaboration with Cartoon Saloon.
The most significant ongoing objective of the Butler Gallery is developing a new venue for the Gallery at Evan’s Home in partnership with Kilkenny County Council and supported by Failte Ireland. Work has started earlier in June on this exciting new space and Butler Gallery hopes to be open to the
public there by early 2020.
Established by the Heritage Council in 2006 to benchmark and promote professional standards in the care of collections, the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI) has attracted involvement across the cultural spectrum, from national institutions to small, volunteer-led organisations.
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