Numbers visiting Limerick’s Hunt Museum up 20% in January

THE HUNT Museum has witnessed a “significant” increase in visitors, with a 20% rise in numbers last month alone.

THE HUNT Museum has witnessed a “significant” increase in visitors, with a 20% rise in numbers last month alone.

Director of the museum, Dr Hugh Maguire, said they had nearly 5,500 visitors in January - a year on year increase of 20%.

“This is a wonderful achievement by the team at the museum and considering it is the quietest month of the year, the challenging trading conditions and the ongoing dilapidation of the adjoining streets, it provides a wonderful spur to match the record high numbers of 2012,” said Dr Maguire.

He noted that many people have been attracted by their upgraded riverside café, in addition to the museum’s programme of events, lectures, talks, and workshops.

Overall, more than 95,600 people visited the riverside museum last year, which he said was a “big increase” on 2011 figures, especially considering that the cafe and restaurant was closed for three months of the year for renovations.

“We thought that would have a big affect on footfall, but thankfully it was not as much as we thought. The Ranks exhibitions last year, and the photographic exhibition of Gerry Andrews’ work provided a huge boost in visitors,” he said.

Architecture students at the University of Limerick recently exhibited a new model of how the city could look in the museum, while he said the exhibition of Sybil Connolly’s fashion collection has been “a surprise hit, with many fashion enthusiasts marvelling at the high-end fabrics and materials from the 1950s and 1960s”. The exhibition will run until March 3.

An antiques roadshow valuation day will be held in the museum on Sunday, February 17, from 12 to 4.30pm. Experts from the Irish Antique Dealers Association along with others will be on hand to identify and value items. There will be a charge of €10 for 5 items and monies raised will be used for education and outreach at the Hunt Museum.

A photographic exhibition entitled General Practice, examining the relationships between doctors and patients in rural areas, as a result of a medical project from Trinity College Dublin will be on display next month.

Other listings for the museum include a talk by Tony Browne, deputy president of the Thomond Archaeological and Historical Society on Tuesday, February 19, from 1-2pm.