Neil Jordan, Irish film maker and writer opened a new and exciting exhibition at the Hunt Museum, Limerick last week.  ‘Best Costume Goes to…’ is an exhibition which explores the relationship between actors, costumes and the growth of the Irish film industry.

In all, 33 costumes representing 19 films and TV series will be on display, some of which have been Oscar nominated. This exhibition gives the opportunity to view costumes from films and TV such as The Favourite, The Quiet Man, Braveheart, Vikings, and more. [See full list below]

A joint curation with the Irish Costume Archive Project,the exhibition will look at how costume co-creates the character.  The dialogue between the costume designer and the actor involves endless rounds of why am I wearing this? Where am I situated in the story? Where am I going? What or who do I become? Will the audience believe that I embody this character? Wearing this costume, do I tell a story?

In creating the storyline for the exhibition, Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh, costume designer and co-founder of the Irish Costume Archive Project, commented, “A character does not exist without a script, and a character does not take physical form without a costume. The finest costume design is grounded in detailed research and the collaborative process between designer, director and actor.”

According to Jill Cousins, Director of the Hunt Museum, “We are always looking to attract new audiences and this innovative new exhibition, which is a great collaboration with The Irish Costume Archive Project, should do just that.  It also has wonderful education opportunities linked to the textiles in our Sybil Connolly Collection and connects us more strongly with other Limerick culture organisations such as the Belltable and Troy Studios.”

All costumes on display are from Irish films or major television productions filmed in Ireland or abroad but with Irish talent involved. Curated by Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh and Veerle Dehaene, Irish Costume Archive Project and Naomi O’Nolan, Head of Exhibitions and Collections, The Hunt Museum, the costumes will be mounted on mannequins and the exhibition will be backed up by sketches, film stills and film clips and additional ephemera.

Visitors will experience the narrative of costumes, understanding not just the history but the social history of a time, be that contemporary or in the past, and how people lived, not only how they dressed.

A full programme of events will coincide with the exhibition and includes a lecture by costume designer Joan Bergin, a Film Quiz for movie buffs, educational workshops and the screening of Love and Friendship and Breakfast on Pluto at the Belltable.

Exhibition details:

Mon – Sat: 10am – 5pm: Sun 2- 5pm

February 7 – April 14, 2020 

Admission: €7.50 per adult, €12.50 combo ticket (with museum), Kids FREE


Supported by Leader funding in addition to the Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht and Limerick City & County Council.  Sponsors are: Troy Studios, TG4, Design & Crafts Council Ireland, Crescent Shopping Centre, Connolly Man, Arthurs Quay, Andrew Bermingham, David Gower, Michael Malone, Clancy Tax Consultants, Wild Atlantic Pictures, LSAD and the Belltable.



The Hunt Museum

The Hunt Museum exhibits one of Ireland’s greatest private collections of Art and Antiquities, dating from the Neolithic Period to the 20th century. Generously donated by John and Gertrude Hunt to the people of Ireland, this diverse collection is now housed in Limerick’s 18th Century Palladian style building, formerly The Custom House.

About Irish Costume Archive Project

The Irish Costume Archive Project was founded by Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh and Veerle Dehaene. The Irish Costume Archive Project was initiated to collect, preserve and exhibit Ireland’s film and television design heritage and promote the collections by highlighting their importance as part of our national film culture.

The Costumes:

  1. Olivia Coleman ‘The Favourite’
  2. Emma Watson ‘The Favourite’
  3. Rachel Weisz ‘The Favourite’
  4. Helen Mirren ‘The Queen’
  5. Liam Neeson ‘Michael Collins’
  6. Jonathan Rhys Meyers ‘The Tudors’
  7. Annabelle Wallis ‘The Tudors’
  8. Blake Lively ‘Rhythm Section’
  9. Jude Law ‘Rhythm Section’
  10. Daniel Day Lewis ‘In The Name of theFather’
  11. Cillian Murphy ‘Breakfast on Pluto’
  12. Brendan Gleeson ‘Calvary’
  13. Kelly Reilly ‘Calvary’
  14. Ben Robson‘Vikings’
  15. Katheryn Winnick ‘Vikings’
  16. Katheryn Winnick ‘Vikings
  17. Brie Larson‘Room’
  18. Jason Trimblay ‘Room’
  19. Chloe Sevigny ‘Love and Friendship’
  20. Kate Beckinsale ‘Love and Friendship’
  21. Charlene McKenna ‘Ripper Street’
  22. Blue cardigan ‘Nightflyers’
  23. Beige dress ‘Nightflyers’
  24. Cream jumper ’Nightflyers’
  25. Isabelle Huppert ‘Greta’
  26. Brenda Fricker ‘My Left Foot’
  27. Ruth Mc Cabe ‘My Left Foot’
  28. Fiona Shaw ‘My Left Foot’
  29. Colin Farrell ‘In Bruges’
  30. Bronagh Gallagher ‘The Commitments’
  31. Bronagh Gallagher ‘The Commitments’
  32. John Wayne ‘The Quiet Man’
  33. Mel Gibson ‘Braveheart’