Museum Ireland – Irish Museum of Modern Art

The Museum’s mission is to foster within society an awareness, understanding and involvement in the visual arts through policies and programmes which are excellent, innovative and inclusive. One of the leading museums in Ireland, IMMA presents a wide variety of art in a dynamic programme of exhibitions, which regularly includes bodies of work from its own collection and its award-winning Education and Community Department. It also creates more widespread access to art and artists through its Studio and National programmes. The current director is Enrique Juncosa, who was previously Deputy Director of the Reina Sofia National Museum Arts Centre (MNCARS) in Madrid.
Museum Ireland: How was the Irish Museum of Modern Art established?
The Irish Museum of Modern Art was established by the Government of Ireland in 1990 as Ireland’s first national institution for the presentation and collection of modern and contemporary art. The Museum was officially opened on 25 May 1991 by the, then Taoiseach Charles J Haughey. Since its opening the Museum has rapidly established itself as a significant and dynamic presence in the Irish and international arts arena. It is widely admired by its peers throughout the world for the range and relevance of its exhibitions, for its innovative use of its growing Collection, for its award-winning education and community programme and for its visitor-centered ethos and facilities.
The Irish Museum of Modern Art Today
IMMA has proved to be a valuable and popular addition to the country’s cultural infrastructure, attracting more than 400,000 Irish and overseas visitors from diverse social backgrounds each year, both to the Museum itself and to events organised throughout Ireland by our National Programme.
Irish Museum of Modern Art’s Exhibitions
The Museum’s temporary exhibition programme regularly juxtaposes the work of leading, well-established figures with that of younger-generation artists to create a debate about the nature and function of art and its connection with the future. Exhibitions presented at IMMA include – Francis Al??s, Alexander Calder, James Coleman, Dorothy Cross, Lucian Freud, Ann Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Juan Mir?�, Hughie O’Donoghue and Elizabeth Peyton. IMMA originates many of its exhibitions but also works closely with a network of international galleries and museums.
The Collection
The Collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, which comprises some 4,500 works, has been developed since 1990 through purchase, donations and long-term loans, as well as by the commissioning of new works. The Museum purchases contemporary art but accepts donations and loans of more historical art objects with a particular emphasis on work from the 1940s onwards.
The permanent collection reflects some of the most exciting trends in Irish and international art with lens-based work by Gilbert and George, Marina Abramovic, Willie Doherty and Paul Seawright, installations by llya and Ameila Kabakov, Rebecca Horn and sculpture by Dorothy Cross, Kathy Prendergast, Damien Hirst and Stephan Balkenhol; also paintings by Francesco Clemente, Tony O’Malley, Peter Doig, and Peter Halley. Major donations include a wide variety of modern and contemporary art, including a number of 1930s works by Picasso, paintings by Sean Scully, a large sculpture by Barry Flanagan and a film by Neil Jordan.
Education and Community Programmes
An extensive range of programmes has been developed at the Museum with the intention of creating and increasing access to the visual arts, as well as engagement in their meaning and practice. The programme operates on many levels – with research projects, with community-based programmes within the local catchment area and with the general public in a gallery-based initiative through the provision of Explorer.
A number of programmes have been developed for groups who wish to have contact with specific exhibitions or artists, including gallery discussions and practical studio work. The ongoing primary school programme creates access for individual teachers, staff groups and children.
The Museum’s Artists Work Programme, a studio/residency programme, is open to artists in all disciplines and of all nationalities. Artists participating in the Programme make themselves as available as possible to meet with visitors to the Museum, providing access to the process of making art and giving the public an additional layer of experience to that available in the Museum’s galleries. A series of slide talks, studio visits, panel discussions and open days are organized around the residencies, all of which are free and open to the public.
The National Programme is designed to make the Museum’s assets, skills and resources available to centers outside Dublin. Through the lending of exhibitions and individual works, and the development of collaborative projects with other organizations, the National Programme establishes the Museum as inclusive, accessible and national.
The presentation of such a wide range of activities offers a richly diverse experience to both general visitors and to those interacting with the Museum on a more long-term basis.
Museum Ireland: The home of the Irish Museum of Modern Art
As one of the leading museums in Ireland IMMA’s activities are greatly enhanced by its magnificent building and grounds. The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, the finest 17th-century building in Ireland, was built in 1684 as a home for retired soldiers and continued in that use for almost 250 years. Its style is based on Les Invalides in Paris with a formal facade and large elegant courtyard. The Museum site also includes a formal garden, meadow and medieval burial grounds. In addition to its striking setting, the Museum also has an excellent cafe and bookshop.