Keating was part of an artist lead initiative to form a municipal art gallery in Limerick similar to those already in Dublin and Cork. In 1948, an extension to the rear of Limerick Free Library and Museum became the home to the City Collection as the Limerick Free Art Gallery.
Sean Keating (1889–1977, Ireland), who was born in Limerick, moved to Dublin in 1911 to study at the Metropolitan School of Art under William Orpen. Keating felt his mission was to define Irish nationhood through his painting. Although abstract art thrived during his lifetime, he was a realist painter and remained a staunchly traditional one. In 1924 Keating received the gold medal at the Dublin Exhibition of Irish Art for his painting Homage to Hugh Lane, and in 1926 he was commissioned by the state to portray the development of modern Ireland through a series of murals, which was powerful record of the workers and of industrialisation, painted in a heroic-realist style. In 1934 he was appointed as a professor of the National College of Art in Dublin and was president of the RHA from 1948 until 1962.