The Dresser Project is a body of work being conducted by Michael Fortune which explores the stories and peoples connection with the humble kitchen dresser. The project began in 2015 and since then Michael has conducted five strands in Counties Mayo, Carlow, Tipperary and Waterford, visiting over one hundred homes through the support of Arts and Heritage Departments of various local authorities as well as with the support of the Folklore Department of UCC and the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life in Mayo.

The foundation for the artist’s particular interest in the subject stems from his own grandmother’s dresser in Ballygarrett, Co. Wexford, who before she passed away at the age of 103 insisted her dresser to remain intact after she died. 

"These dressers are more than just dry pieces of folk furniture or relics of the past, instead these are an evolving and ever changing display reflecting the experiences, lives and values of their keepers, serving as shrines as well as a practical pieces of furniture”.

During this process, Michael visited overy one hundred peoples homes and collected the stories behind each dresser on film. The photographic series also creates a catalogue of different styles of dressers from each county, an invaluable archive in its own right. 

Featured on this website is a newly commissioned text on dressers by Dr. Clíona O’Carroll of the Béaloideas/Folklore and Ethnology Department of University College Cork. If you would like to find out more please contact him by phone on 087 6470247 or by email at


Click on the images below to see the dressers from each county. 

                  Wexford Dressers                                   Tipperary Dressers                                    Carlow Dressers 

                  Mayo Dressers                                          Waterford Dressers                          Essay by Dr. Clíona O’Carroll              


The Dresser Project has been supported by the Arts Departments of Wexford, Carlow County Council, Mayo County Council, Waterford City & County Council and the Arts and Heritage Offices of Tipperary County Council, in collaboration with the Folklore Department of University College Cork and the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life. Main mage from the home of Norah Seville. All images by Michael Fortune.

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