National Gallery curator gets top Chester Beatty Library post


THE HEAD curator at the National Gallery has been appointed as the new director of the Chester Beatty Library.

Fionnuala Croke will take up her role in the library at Dublin Castle on March 1st, succeeding Dr Michael Ryan.

The art museum and library houses the collections of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty which includes manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints and rare books from Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. It is a public charitable trust.

Ms Croke has held the post of keeper and head of collections at the National Gallery of Ireland since 2008. She had responsibility for managing the gallery’s permanent collection and exhibitions.

She joined the gallery in 1987 as a research fellow. In the 1990s, she was responsible for administering exhibitions and in 2000 was appointed head of exhibitions in anticipation of the opening of the gallery’s Millennium wing.

From Churchtown in Dublin, her master’s thesis at UCD was a study of the 18th century decoration of San Clemente Basilica in Rome. She also holds a masters in business administration from the UCD Smurfit school of business.

Library chairman Dr TP Hardiman welcomed the appointment of an “eminently qualified and experienced museum professional” as the library plans “for the next stage of our development in a challenging environment”.

Ms Croke said her appointment was a great opportunity to build on the tremendous work of the outgoing director. “With its magnificent collections, the library is truly a jewel in the heart of Dublin.” Raymond Keaveney, director of the National Gallery said she would be “sorely missed”.