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The Venue

RDS Taylor Art Award

The premier award of the RDS Visual Art Awards is the RDS Taylor Art Prize which is currently valued at €10,000. Previous RDS Taylor Art Award winners (1878 - 2015) include Walter Osborne, Sir William Orpen, Seán Keating, Nora McGuinness and Louis le Brocquy alongside contemporary artists such as Eamon O'Kane, Dorothy Cross and James Hanley.

The Taylor Art Trust was formed in 1878 in response to the will of Captain George Archibald Taylor who died in 1854 leaving £2,000 for the “the promotion of art and industry in Ireland”. The executors of his will asked the RDS to manage the Trust, and the Taylor Art Awards were established in 1860 with the Trust finally formalised 18 years later.

The Taylor Art Award is given annually to a graduate of an Irish art college or an Irish art student graduating from an art college abroad to assist them with the development of their career as a visual artist. The Taylor Trust consists of four trustees who meet formally twice a year. Two are self-appointed as “descendants” of the original executors of the will of Captain Taylor. Two are appointed by the Council of the RDS. Decisions are made by all four trustees. The Trust is managed by the officers of the RDS. The accounts are independently audited annually.


Recent RDS Taylor Art Awards Winners

2018 Mary Sullivan DIT Dublin School of Creative Arts (Sherkin Island)
2017 Kevin O'Kelly National College of Art & Design
2016 Elaine Hoey National College of Art & Design



'At Home, At War' was a video sculpture by which Mary Sullivan linked the repetitive nature of domestic chores to the drill and precision of military discipline.


Kevin O'Kelly's paced the line between solitute and loneliness in his installation 'Something About the Way You Look'.


Elaine Hoey with her work 'The Weight of Water', an immersive animation through which she interrogated the refugee crisis.

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