Chairs (Surprise) at the National Museum of Ireland

Chairs (Surprise) at the National Museum of Ireland

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Today began with a jolt. After a long morning at the Cliffs of Moher, Lucy and I hopped in our rental car to head to Dublin. But first we had to face Corkscrew Hill.

Just as I finished the last of the hill’s switchbacks, an oncoming lorry (semi) ran us off the road and into a berm. Price: One front tyre. I changed the tyre in the spitting rain, and we limped to a repair shop to get the car sorted and inspected.

This resulted in the best “bon mot” of the trip. We ended up in a Polish tyre shop in a small village. They replaced the tyre in 15 minutes (amazing) and charged us only 65 Euros. As I paid the bill I was shivering and sopping wet – my pants and shoes caked in mud.

“You are on holiday?” the owner asked, looking out at the rain coming down. I nodded. “You are in the wrong country.”

After arriving in Dubin, we each ate a quick sandwich, and I had my first pint of Guinness in Dublin – right across the street from the brewery. Not bad. Then we trekked to the National Museum of Ireland and stormed the furniture on display, including the Irish Country Furniture Exhibit.

When I entered the room, it was like having an eye exam. The lighting was intense and marked by dark slashes, and it bewildered me. After a few seconds, the main display came into focus: 10 chairs in little backlit stalls. The good news: You could get within a few inches of all of the chairs. The bad news, the backlighting was so intense that it was difficult to see (or photograph) the objects.

All of the photos below have been heavily Photoshopped so you can see some details.

I have tons of notes on each of the chairs, but those would bore most of you. So we’ll just look at the photos for now.

After that exhibit, the museum had a good number of other vernacular chairs on display with fairly standard lighting. Those are shown below.

Chairs -Surprise- at the National Museum of Ireland sharing by miifplus art and craft and designChairs -Surprise- at the National Museum of Ireland sharing by miifplus art and craft and design_2

Tomorrow, Lucy and I head to Slane in County Meath to meet with Mark Jenkinson, who runs The Cider Mill and is a long-time chair collector. This should be the highlight of the geeky chair segment of our vacation.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. For those of you who think I am abusing Lucy, we are doing lots of non-woodworking stuff. Don’t believe me? I have three words for you: National Leprechaun Museum. And yes, we’re doing the “after dark” adults-only tour. Pray for me.

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