Our History

Established by artists and administrators in 1983, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios was one of the first DIY artist-led initiatives in Ireland.

In the early 1983, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios was founded after Jenny Haughton rented a disused shirt factory from CIE and invited artists to take over the space.  The early 20th-century industrial building, which extended through a block from Temple Bar to the Liffey quays, provided the framework of spaces for artists to work in, although the conditions were problematic and at times hazardous.  The activities of the artists - studios, exhibition space, cafe, sculptor’s annex - influenced the atmosphere of Temple Bar in the 1980's, establishing the area’s reputation as a cultural hub and contributing to its regeneration as Dublin’s Cultural Quarter.

The establishment of Temple Bar Properties in August 1991 spurred the rejuvenation of the area.   Group 91, a consortium won the competition for the architectural framework plan. Temple Bar Gallery + Studios was recognised as a flagship project and it was one of the first cultural organisations rehoused by the Temple Bar Cultural Quarter regeneration. 

The shirt factory building was extensively refurbished and custom-designed by leading Irish architects McCullough Mulvin.  Thirty artists’ studios in a range of sizes (21m2 to 70m2) over four floors were provided and the gallery at ground floor level was enlarged to twice the previous size.   Essential consideration was given to maximising the daylight in the studios with floor to ceiling windows in most studios.  Temple Bar Gallery + Studios took occupation of the building on 1st November 1994 with a “Cultural Use Agreement” and a fair rent clause in place with Temple Bar Properties. 

In 2013, TBG+S produced a publication entited 'Generation: 30 years of Creativity at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios'. This book gives a detailed history of TBG+S's over 30 years through images, interviews, essays and archival material and is available to purchase in the gallery for €20, and in selected bookshops around the country.