The Model: Home of the Niland Collection
The Model: Home of the Niland Collection Review
The main attraction at the Model, housed in a school built in 1862, is one of Ireland's largest collections of works by 20th-century artists from home and abroad. And after a €6 million renovation, this gallery can claim to be a leading contemporary art venue. Periodically, the gallery displays works by famed Irish painter Jack B. Yeats, who once said, "I never did a painting without putting a thought of Sligo in it." At the heart of the collection is the work amassed by the woman whose name the gallery now bears, Nora Niland, who was the Sligo librarian from 1945 and who recognized the importance of Yeats's work. Only a small selection of this work is on display at any time but you can view the whole collection of 300 images on the Model's website.
Paintings by John Yeats (father of Jack B. and W. B.), who had a considerable reputation as a portraitist, also hang here on a rotation basis, as do portraits by Sean Keating and Paul Henry. As part of the renovation, new performance and workshop spaces were built, a new gallery was opened to increase and complete the circuit on the first floor, and seven artists' studios were added. Free informal curators' tours are held along with talks by the artist-in-residence. There is also a 180-seat cinema with a program run in conjunction with the Irish Film Institute. A revamped main entrance and the Model Cafe complete the dynamic makeover.