New funding to acquire contemporary artworks for the National Collection, in new media and on pressing issues including climate change, diversity and global migration, has been announced by Minister Catherine Martin.
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media today announced an ambitious new fund of €1.5m for the Crawford Art Gallery and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. The purpose of the award is to address significant gaps that remain in the National Collection following years of limited acquisitions. This funding will enable both National Cultural Institutions to acquire works that ensure that the National Collection is more representative of the diverse communities of contemporary Ireland.
The 2022 acquisition fund will support the purchase of works by generations of Irish and international artists formerly missing from the National Collection. The new acquisitions will also include multi-media works and installations that reflect recent developments in contemporary artistic practice. This award builds on the €1 million fund provided to the Crawford Art Gallery and the Irish Museum of Modern Art in 2020, which was designed to support artists based in Ireland throughout the most challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking today Minister Martin said:
“As we emerge from the worst days of the pandemic, we can now shift our focus from supporting artists through a time of national emergency toward more thoughtfully and more strategically re-building the National Collection. This funding will ensure that the collection is more reflective of the multiple identities and varied perspectives in Ireland today.
“I look forward to visiting both the Crawford Art Gallery and the Irish Museum of Modern Art to enjoy the new works that they will acquire for the National Collection. It is critical that our institutions keep pace with new developments in our culture and this fund will enable them to present challenging works in new media that tackle head-on some of the most important issues today, including climate change and representation. Our National Cultural Institutions provide a vital space for open expression and discussion, which I am delighted to support.”
Director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Annie Fletcher, stated:
“Minister Martin’s granting of this acquisition funding is truly momentous for IMMA. We can now begin again to invest in building and expanding IMMA’s collection of modern and contemporary art for the nation. The scale of the grant shows that our Department is as ambitious for Ireland’s National Collection as we are and this is to be welcomed. We are delighted to re-engage with our colleagues in the Crawford in developing world-class collections in Ireland.”
Director of the Crawford Art Gallery, Mary McCarthy, said:
“This major investment by the Minister and the Department recognises the significance of the visual arts and the National Collection within the Department’s priorities. It represents a real opportunity to engage with contemporary artists and create new conversations within the Crawford Collection across the centuries. It is an important commitment to building significant collections for the public to enjoy now and into the future.”
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Notes to Editor:
The fund will provide €850,000 to IMMA and €650,000 to the Crawford Art Gallery for the acquisition of contemporary artwork in 2022. The fund is designed to enable both institutions to address gaps that have persisted in the contemporary art holdings of the National Collection, which numbers thousands of paintings, sculptures and heritage objects held by a variety of National Cultural Institutions.
The Crawford Art Gallery seeks to acquire works that:
- represent a cross-section of contemporary Irish and international artists
- represent the diverse perspectives and identities of contemporary Ireland
- develop its collection of historical works from the 1800s onward
IMMA plans to purchase works:
- From global communities and geographies that have particular resonance for Irish audiences.
- From the 20th century and 21st century that speak to Irish and international contemporary art practice. This may include artists’ archives and digital archives.
- That stand outside market forces, including works that reflect modernist and forgotten histories.
- That address diversity and plurality and tackle the urgent issues of our time such as climate change and global mobility.
- That develop IMMA as a leader in the collection and preservation of performance artworks.
- That further develop the IMMA Collection as an international resource in the development and preservation of new media, born-digital and time-based media art in general, as well as new technologies.