Tunnel Vision: Going Underground at the Casino Marino
From 13th April 2017 to 5th November – Thursdays to Sundays inclusive only as part of the tour admission price.
The Casino Marino has just added another secret to its already full repertoire of secret plans and clever tricks. Over the years there has been much speculation about the uses and extent of the various vaults and tunnels that lead off from the basement of this remarkable building. The truth is even more fascinating as recent research has revealed that the long tunnel at the Casino was used around May of 1921 to practice firing the first two Thompson machine guns that arrived into Ireland from fund raising efforts by Harry Boland in America. The long tunnel is a complex series of connected chambers leading off from the basement of the building. The chambers beneath are lit by grills or vents above ground which cast light and air down into the long tunnel and illuminate the wells or bathing pools beneath. While there are still puzzles as to why the long tunnel was designed as it is, it may well be that the Charlemont was indulging in the ritual of ‘taking the plunge’ – bathing in cold water underground baths was a health craze in the 18th century!
This new exhibition at the Casino Marino tells the intriguing story of the vaults and tunnels in the outside basement of the building. From 13th April, Thursday to Sundays inclusive, visitors can explore the long tunnel as part of the regular fee paying guided tour, and see how the Thompson machine guns were fired there in 1921. Entry restrictions can apply due to weather/operational conditions.
Conversations at the Casino: an Exhibition from the State Art Collection
4th July to 31st October 2016
This exhibition includes forty-nine artworks from the State Art Collection, which is managed by the Office of Public Works. It spans five centuries, from 1631 to 2016, and represents thirty artists. The exhibition explores the genre of portraiture across different artistic media and styles and from the past to the present. Eight commemorative prints by David Rooney are included. Download a full description of the exhibition at this link.
Admission is free to the exhibition but charges apply for guided tours of the house.
Meditation on Plates
OPW, the Office of Public Works in Ireland, and the Casino Marino present the exhibition ‘Meditation on Plates, Inspired by Lord Charlemont’s Casino’ in July 2014 in one of Ireland’s most highly regarded historic buildings, the Casino at Marino, Dublin. This miniature building is regarded as both unique and one of the finest representations of eighteenth-century neoclassical European architecture. Thirty-eight esteemed Irish, Italian, and international artists, designers, and architects were invited to respond to the Casino Marino building in a personal drawing. The drawings were then transferred onto porcelain plates and reproduced in a limited edition of sixteen plates per artist. The resulting collection is astonishing for the variety of interpretations and the beauty of the work. ‘Meditation on Plates, Inspired by Lord Charlemont’s Casino’ pays homage to Lord Charlemont, to his love of art, and to his passion for Italy.
1st May – 31st October 2014
The Casino is all that remains of the eighteenth-century garden demesne at Marino. Described by Charles T. Bowden in his Travel Guide of 1791 as a ‘terrestrial paradise’, the design of the landscape was inspired by Lord Charlemont’s extensive Grand Tour.
The exhibition, Paradise Lost: Lord Charlemont’s Garden at Marino, gathers together an eclectic collection of evidence and remnants of the exotic planting, fascinating architecture, and classical sculpture which inhabited the garden. Accounts of contemporaries who visited and sampled the delights of Marino, such as Mrs Mary Delany, the well known eighteenth-century social commentator, bring the past to life.
View the full online exhibition of maps, letters, paintings, and artefacts that were displayed in each room of the Casino. Find out also about the accompanying book and conference, see photographs of the launch, and download the exhibition audioguide.
The Battle of Clontarf by Hugh Frazer
15th March – 24th April 2014
As part of the Battle of Clontarf millennial commemorations, Hugh Frazer’s iconic 1826 depiction of the landmark battle returned to the area to go on display. The huge 3×2 metre artwork was free to view at the Casino at Marino from Saturday 15 March to the 24 April. The painting was brought halfway round the world for the exhibition. It had been on display at an arts centre in Hawaii – prior to that it was in the private collection of American philanthropist George Isaac, who purchased it from an Irish collection 35 years ago. The painting was made available to the Clontarf 2014 committee by the Kildare Partners, who had recently acquired it from the Hawaiian centre.
The Absent Architect
Paris-based Irish artists (and trained architects) Cleary & Connolly created three new interactive artworks for the building, which were exhibited at the Casino Marino from March 2013. ‘The Absent Architect’ sent you back in time to visit the studio of architect Sir William Chambers (played by Pat Shortt), as he discusses details of the building with his client James Caulfeild, the 1st Earl of Charlemont. The title of the exhibition reveals the historical reality behind the imagined scenes depicted – despite creating important buildings here, William Chambers never actually visited Ireland, and designed his buildings by correspondence from his studio in London.
‘Absent Architect’ integrated cutting-edge contemporary art and innovative new media into one of our finest national heritage sites. It was funded through the Engaging With Architecture Scheme — a joint initiative from The Arts Council and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the Government Policy on Architecture 2009-2015.
The Temporal-Symmetroscope superimposes two symmetrical lines of time – our own, and that of Sir William – allowing you to see yourself set into a stream of events from the past.
The Iso-Symmetroscope is an optical device, reminiscent of eighteenth-century constructions with prisms and mirrors. It allows you to examine and complete the stunning symmetries of the entrance hallway, where the coffered, semi-circular apse so strongly resembles the dome of the Pantheon of Rome.
The Stereo-Symmetroscope uses a modern version of the nineteenth-century Wheatstone Stereoscope to play with outside views of the superbly symmetrical Casino. It confounds your stereovision, while animating scenes sketched by the 2nd Lady Charlemont of life on the estate. The original drawings that inspired the scenes are currently archived in the National Library of Ireland.
Casino Community: A Day in the Life Photographic Exhibition
21st July – 31st August 2013
The Casino at Marino and St Benedict’s Men’s Photographic Group presented a photographic exhibition of the people and places of Donnycarney, Marino, and Fairview. The aim of the exhibition was to document the local communities engaging in daily life and activities, supported by local groups and services that make the areas of Donnycarney, Marino, and Fairview unique. The photographic process of one community documenting a neighbouring community has resulted in shared memories, connections, and old friendships renewed.
St Benedicts Men’s Photographic Club was formed in 1995 following a FÁS photographic course for unemployed men in the area. On completion of the course, the men advertised in the local supermarkets, post offices, and libraries, for retired men to join. St Benedicts is the only men’s group in the North-East Dublin. The group currently has full membership of thirty men, unemployed or retired, and ranging in age from 55 to 85. They have exhibited over the years in Raheny, Coolock, Donaghmede, and Baldoyle libraries, at Dublin City Council in Wood Quay, and on St Stephen’s Green. St Benedict’s Men’s Photographic Group is affiliated to the Irish Photographic Federation.