Your art, our expertise!
At Kennedy Art Supplies we pride ourselves on the wide range of high quality art supplies available in our store. Housed in a beautiful Georgian building, you will find an extensive range of products, from value brands to artist quality and professional ranges, across all mediums. Some of these ranges are exclusive to Kennedy Art Supplies.
As a family business that’s been trading for over 130 years, we place great importance on the personal touch. We don’t just provide the materials to paint and create, we also provide help and support to go along with it. Working alongside the 3 generations of the family currently working in the shop, is a wonderful team of friendly and approachable staff, all of whom are artists themselves. Every member on the Kennedy Art Supplies team has a wealth of knowledge that they enjoy sharing with any customer that has a query.
Location: 12 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2
Eircode: D02 E520
Phone: +353 1 4751749
Monday to Saturday: 10am-5:30pm
In 1887, at 87 South William Street, Michael Kennedy started what would become Kennedy Art Supplies as a brush manufacturer under the name Kennedy Brushes, making everything from paint brushes to ladies’ hairbrushes. With a ever expanding business and becoming a household name for brushes, in 1918 Michael moved the business to where it’s located now, 12 Harcourt Street.
The transition from brush maker to art supply store was a gentle shift, beginning in the 1940s. At this stage the shop had passed to the 3rd generation of the family, James Kenneth Kennedy. Having studied under Sean Keating and a wonderful artist in his own right, James decided to start stocking artist brushes made by the well known brand Winsor & Newton. From there the range of art supplies was gradually built up to compliment the brush making business.
With changing work practices and advances in machine manufactured goods, apprentices that would go on to become skilled brush makers was becoming a thing of the past. It took seven years to train an apprentice in brush making. It only took two weeks to train them to operate the machines. As a result, in the late 1950s, James Kenneth Kennedy made the decision to end the brush manufacturing and focus solely on the supply or art materials.
Also in the 1950s, James’ eldest son, Ultan Kennedy, joined the business. He was soon followed by the youngest son Conor Kennedy in the 1960s. They worked very closely with their father to grow the business within the art world. Both the customer base and the range of products that was carried grew greatly. As the business grew so the the premises. Over the years the family bought more and more of the building and extended the interior so that it is much longer today than when they first moved in. The factory out the back that was used for brush manufacturing was repurposed for making high quality, bespoke canvases. Something the business still does to this day.
In the 1970s, Ultan and Conor were joined by Ultan’s eldest son, Fionnbarr who has helped grow the business both in terms of the physical shop but also expanding it into the world of online shopping, an important aspect of the retail world. Conor and Fionnbarr were joined in 2017 by Fionnbarr’s eldest daughter Ciara, which marked the 6th generation of the family joining the business.