Our History

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

Temple Bar Gallery + Studios was founded by Jenny Haughton (Founding Director) and a group of artists, who occupied and rented a disused shirt factory from Córas Iompair Éireann (CIE). The early 20th-century industrial building extended from Temple Bar to the Liffey Quays. Although the conditions were problematic and at times hazardous, this provided the springboard to establish studio spaces for artists. As well as studios the building housed an exhibition space, cafe, sculptor’s annex and a print studio - influencing the atmosphere of Temple Bar in the 1980's and establishing the area’s reputation as a cultural hub. It contributed to the regeneration of Temple Bar as Dublin’s Cultural Quarter.

The establishment of Temple Bar Properties in August 1991 spurred the rejuvenation of the area. Group 91, a consortium of young visionary architects, won the competition for the Temple Bar 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 its previous size. Essential consideration was given to maximising the daylight in the studios with floor to ceiling windows. Temple Bar Gallery + Studios reopened its refurbished building on 1st November 1994 with a Cultural Use Agreement and a fair rent clause in place with Temple Bar Properties.

Today, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios is a thriving artists’ community in the centre of Dublin. Many of Ireland’s leading artists have worked in the studios and have exhibited in the gallery. Over its life-span, more than five hundred Irish and international artists have contributed to making the organisation a beacon in the story of visual arts into 21st century Ireland.

Through different perspectives, insights and previously unseen material our 2013 publication, Generation: 30 Years of Creativity at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, tells the compelling story of a creative place unfolding over time - 30 years of dreaming, making and doing.

This book is available to purchase at TBG+S, or by emailing info@templebargallery.com.