Recent Acquisitions

This gallery is a small selection of items and objects that have been acquired by Cork Public Museum in recent years.


The Terence MacSwiney/Albert Power Marble Sculpture and the Republican Silver 'Loving Cup'.

Wooden-Box-and-Marble-Sculpture-containing-the--Death-Mask-of-Terence-MacSwiney-by-Albert-Power.         Republican-Silver-Loving-Cup-2  


(Left) The marble bust of MacSwiney, sculpted by Albert Power, with its original storage box.
(Right) The republican silver, 'Loving Cup'. Made by William Egan, Cork.

A marble bust of former Lord Mayor of Cork Terence MacSwiney was presented to Cork Public Museum by the family of Cork’s first female Lord Mayor, Jane Dowdall.

It is one of two hugely significant artefacts relating to the War of Independence in our collection, the other being ‘The Loving Cup,’ a very rare piece of Republican silver, manufactured by William Egan, Cork.

They were presented to Lord Mayor, Cllr. Mick Finn at City Hall and have joined the permanent collection at Cork Public Museum.



(Above) The marble sculpture being presented by members of the Dowdall family to Lord Mayor Cllr. Mick Finn and Dan Breen, curator CPM.

The Terence MacSwiney bust was sculpted by renowned Irish sculptor Albert Power while MacSwiney lay dying on his 74 day hunger strike at Brixton prison in October 1920.


This object was purchased using funding from Creative Ireland. Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Mick Finn said: "These two artefacts are hugely significant links to the history of Cork and the birth of a nation which will come more and more into focus as the decade of centenaries start to centre on the War of Independence and Civil War period."

The Patrick Sliney Collection


(Above) Members of Patrick Sliney's family presenting his medals to Dan Breen, curator of CPM 2019.

On Friday July 27th 2018, Cork Public Museum received a very important and remarkable collection related to the life and deeds of Patrick ‘Patsy’ Sliney. A native of Ballycotton, Co. Cork, Patsy served in the British Royal Navy Reserve during the First World War and spent 39 years as a member of the RNLI based out of Ballycotton. His most famous and daring undertaking was leading the rescue of 8 men from the Daunt Rock in February 1936, for which he was awarded the RNLI Gold Medal for Gallantry. He was also awarded a silver and a bronze medal for other rescues during his career, making him one of the most decorated lifeboat men in Ireland. Cork Public Museum were presented all of Patsy’s medals by his remaining grandchildren.



The Rosenberg Collection

Rosenberg-01 .      Rosenberg-02

(Left) Photography of David Rosenberg (far left, second row from the back) and his fellow Local Defence Force members.
(Right) David Rosenberg's National Service Medal.

Following the opening of exhibition The Tsars, Rosehills and the Music Shop in 2016, Cork Public Museum has continued to acquire objects and material related to the Cork Hebrew Congregation, and the role they played in the development of Cork during the first half of the twentieth century. This year saw the donation of a fascinating collection of images, documents and objects related to the Rosenberg and Hayman families and their life in Cork between the 1930s and 1960s. 

Included in the Rosenberg Collection is documentation related to the clothes shop known as ‘Fashion Modes’, which was opened and run by Jessie Rosenberg nee Hayman. The shop was based at 4a Washington Street.

(Above) Jessie Rosenberg talking to her neighbour in Ballincurrig Park, Douglas Road 1955. 


The Rutter Album

In November 1918, Cork Public Museum purchased a photo album from a local auction. The album had belonged to a John Hoyton Rutter and is mostly composed of photographs taken during the years 1902/03. John Rutter was 22 years old at the time and photographed several important events that took place in the city at that time. These included the 1902/03 Cork International Exhibition and the 1903 visit to Cork by King Edward VII. Rutter also photographed many of his family and friends and took his camera on a family holiday to Devon/Cornwall in 1903. Rutter’s family were successful producers and distributors of Rutter Cider and had an office on the South Mall.

 The visit of King Edward VII on August 1st 1903 was a moment of real excitement in the city. These photographs show the scenes on the South Mall (left) and on the quays outside the old City Hall that can be seen in the background.

Scenes from the opening day procession of the Cork International Exhibition, 1st May 1902.

A rare image of the Canadian Pavilion that was situated at the International Exhibition, now Fitzgeralds Park 1902-03 .   Rutter-02
(Left) A rare image of the Canadian Pavilion that was situated at the International Exhibition, now Fitzgerald's Park 1902-03.     
(Right) The visit of King Edward VII on August 1st 1903. A moment of real excitement in the city, these photographs show the scenes on the junction of the Grand Parade and Patrick's St.

Self-portrait of John Hoyton Rutter and his camera
(Above) Self portrait by John Hoyton Rutter.


Cork Hebrew Congregation and the Rosehill Collection

The collection was loaned to the museum as part of the creation of the permanent exhibition The Tsar, The Rosehills and the Music Shop. This collection consists of about eighty objects, documents and photographs that cover the history of the Cork Hebrew Congregation from about the 1880s to modern times. This collection has been fully catalogued and is available for research purposes.

Opening of Eric Rosehill Memorial Room by Cork B’nei Akiva Group 1956      

Ernest Rosehill aged about 15 years. In the army of Tsar Alexander III, circa 1890

(Left) Opening of Eric Rosehill Memorial room by Cork B'nei Akiva Group 1956.
(Right) Ernest Rosehill aged approx 15 yrs, in the army of Tsar Alexander III, c.1890.


Left to right at the back: Harry, Sydney, Ethel and Ernest Rosehill. Front: Fred and Charles (Blair), Cork circa 1954.
(Left to Right) Harry, Sydney, Ethel and Ernest Rosehill. (Front) Fred and Charles (Blair), Cork c.1954.


Our Lady's Hospital Collection

The collection consists of about 2,000 objects predominantly related to Our Lady’s Hospital from the 1890s until its closure in the 2000s. The donated material includes large medical equipment, small utensils, documents, photographs and much more. The material was collected over a number of decades by Michael O’Keeffe and kept in his garage until this year, when he gave everything to the museum. This collection is about two-thirds catalogued and will soon be available for research purposes.


2017.19.1.9-B11.2-ECT-Machine-Electro-Convulsive-Therapy-Our-Ladys-Hospital-Collection-02.       Ladys-3
(Left) Electric shock therapy machine from Our Lady's Hospital (formerly Cork Lunatic Asylum).
 (Right) Ceramic tableware from Our Lady's Hospital (detail).

Cork Asylum Staff Orchestra 1905Map of Our Ladys Hospital (Cork Mental Asylum)

(Left) Cork Lunatic Asylum Staff Orchestra 1905.
(Right) Map of Our Lady's Hospital (Cork Lunatic Asylum).


Cork LGBTQ Collection 

This large collection consists of 104 boxes and an estimated 4,500 documents relating to the social/cultural history in Cork, from the 1960s until the present day. The material was collected by Arthur Leahy over the last fifty years. Orla Egan from the Cork Gay Project has spearheaded the creation of this archive, and she has secured funding from the Heritage Council for the collection to be catalogued. We hope to have this archive available for public research/inquiry by the end of 2020. We also hope to create a permanent LGBTQ exhibition once the collection has been fully catalogued. This extremely important collection now forms the core of our LGBTQ archive that will be added to in the coming years, and which will prove to be an important resource for this and future generations in studying the history and progress of LGBTQ rights in Ireland since the 1960s. 

Gay pride Poster from 1982     National Gay Pride Week 1981     
(Left) Gay Pride poster 1982.
(Right) National Gay Pride Week 1981.

National Gay Conference Cork 1981

(Above) National Gay Conference name tags, Cork 1981.




 Short extract from the forthcoming documentary, 'The House In The Park'. Courtesy of Framework Films 2020.




Cork Jazz Festival Collection

The collection of about 60 items includes posters, t-shirts, silver and a variety of other material related to the Cork Jazz Festival over the last 40 years. This material was donated by Bernard Casey on behalf of Cork Jazz Festival organising committee.

Iconic Straw Hat from the Cork Jazz Collection                Jazz Festival Poster from 1992  
(Left) Iconic straw hat from the Cork Jazz Collection.
 (Right) Jazz Festival Poster from 1992.





The Michael Lenihan Glass Negative Collection

In late 2016, Cork Public Museum was approached by local historian, collector and author Michael Linehan with a view to sell his important and rare collection of 123 glass negative slides. The collection contains both single image slides and glass stereo-views; amongst this latter group are slides dating back to the early 1860s. The slides depict views of and events in Cork City, its harbour and other towns and landmarks throughout the county. Highlights of the collection include images of the building of St Patrick’s Bridge (1861), the near completion of the former Irish Provisional Bank on the South Mall (1865), and a rare image of the ‘Glass House Chimney’ on the site of the Beamish and Crawford Brewery (demolished in 1914). There is also a fascinating collection of unseen images related to the visit of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra to Cork in 1903. This collection was jointly purchased by Cork Public Museum and Cork City Libraries.


View of St Patricks Bridge under construction in 1861         View of the Provincial Bank and Anglesea Bridge (Parnell Bridge) 1865         
(Left) View of Patrick's Bridge under construction, 1861.
(Right) View of the Provincial Bank and Anglesea Bridge (Parnell Bridge), c.1865.

Cork Glasshouse Chimney early 1900s

Cork Glasshouse Chimney (former Beamish & Crawford Brewery), early 1900's.


Cork International Exhibition Collection (Further Additions)

In November 2017, several members of the public contacted the museum to inform us about the sale of numerous glass slides on Ebay relating to the 1902/03 Cork International Exhibition. Acting Curator Daniel Breen contacted the seller in England and agreed upon a very reasonable price to ensure the material would be removed from Ebay and sold directly to the museum. The collection contained 49 glass slides that depict never before seen images of the Exhibition, especially of the various buildings and attractions on the Western Field (a site now occupied by the Mardyke Arena). The seller believed that the collection once belonged to Sir Thomas Matthews, who was a British civil engineer and notable builder of lighthouses whilst working for Trinity House. The slides were found amongst a larger collection of unrelated architecture slides and the construction photos of Beachy Head Lighthouse, East Sussex, England. We are currently undertaking research to see if Sir Thomas Matthews actually visited the exhibition or if he purchased them from some other attendee.

Entrance to the International Exhibition, 1902-03 .     Boats on the River Lee during the International Exhibition, looking towards Sundays Well 1902-03 .      
(Left) Entrance to the International Exhibition, 1902-03.
(Right) Boats on the River Lee during the international exhibition, looking towards Sunday's Well 1902.

View of one of the main exhibitions halls- Painting and Sculpture

(Above) View of one of the main exhibition halls: Painting and Sculpture.