The opening of Farmleigh Gallery in September 2005 marked a significant stage in the development of the Estate´s facilities and contribution to the cultural life of Dublin and Ireland. The existence of the Gallery supplements the substantial art collection in Farmleigh House itself, which is drawn from the OPW Government Art Collection, Guinness family artworks, and loans from other art institutions including the National Gallery of Ireland.
Originally functioning as the Estate´s cow sheds, the Gallery building has been stunningly transformed by Gerry Cahill Architects and the OPW so that it now meets international curatorial and conservation standards in the form of an exhibition space. As a result, its programme has been opened up to attracting significant exhibitions for the future.
Farmleigh´s role in providing a residence for visiting Heads of State together with this new gallery space creates an opportunity for involving a public dimension to these visits. During the visit of the Bulgarian President in December 2005, a photographic exhibition showing the Treasures of Medieval Bulgaria was mounted for public viewing following the departure of the President and his delegation. It is planned to continue this international cultural engagement.