Michael Quane, ‘Strange Beast’ in Menagerie: Animals by Artists by Jed
Crawford Art Gallery is to receive a substantial acquisition fund of €650,000 from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Art, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media to acquire contemporary artworks for the National collection.
IMMA will also receive a significant fund of €850,000. In providing these funds to Crawford Art Gallery and IMMA, the Department is significantly increasing the capacity of the two National Cultural Institutions to pursue their remit to support artists and to collect works reflecting the times in which we live.
This award builds on the €1 million fund provided to Crawford Art Gallery and the Irish Museum of Modern Art in 2020, which was designed to support artists throughout the most challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020 Crawford Art Gallery purchased 225 artworks by 39 contemporary artists including many leading artist’s work such as Jennifer Trouton, Katie Holten, Michael Quane and Brian Maguire. The acquisitions ranged from paintings, photographs, prints, and drawings, to sculptures, installations, digital film and sound works, textile and embroideries .
Minister Catherine Martin today announced this ambitious new fund of €1.5m for Crawford Art Gallery and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. The fund is aimed to address significant gaps that remain in the National Collection following years of limited acquisitions. This funding will enable both Institutions to acquire works that ensure that the National Collection is more representative of the diverse communities of contemporary Ireland and reflects the issues occupying artists including climate change and global.
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 de-colonisation and climate change. Our National Cultural Institutions provide a vital space for open expression and discussion, which I am delighted to support.”
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.”
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.”
Crawford Art Gallery is currently working with Grafton Architects on a capital developments programme for the Gallery which will ensure its buildings are conserved, enhanced and expanded. Designs will be submitted for planning permission for the redevelopment in the Autumn of 2022 with work expected to commence in Autumn 2023.