Visitor numbers at the Irish Museum of Modern Art have shown a further increase this year and are set to top the 290,000 mark by year end, the highest attendance figure for IMMA since the record-breaking Andy Warhol exhibition of 1997-98. In addition to those visiting the Museum itself, an estimated 35,000 people experience IMMA’s work at 24 locations throughout the country via the Museum’s National Programme.
Highlights for 2002 include:
· critically-acclaimed exhibitions by the American installation and video artist Ann Hamilton, the German photographer Thomas Ruff and the Derry-based photographic and video artist Willie Doherty,
· major acquisitions to the Collection, including the Táin Tapestries by Louis le Brocquy, paintings by Damien Hirst and Peter Halley and installations by Ann Hamilton and Anish Kapoor,
· an increase of almost 70% in primary school visits and a 60% growth in the number of secondary school students attending the Museum,
· a 75% increase in those becoming Friends of IMMA, following a recruitment drive in August, and
· the completion of refurbishing work on the lecture theatre by the OPW with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and a separate air-handling unit.
Visitor numbers during the summer months were also boosted by a lively and amusing advertising campaign based on the exhibition of Parkett artists’ editions and the tagline “Need to get out more?”
Commenting on the figures, Acting Director, Philomena Byrne, said that they were a testament to the commitment and hard work of each and every member of IMMA’s staff. “We are now looking forward to building on this success as we enter a new and exciting phase in the Museum’s development, with the arrival of our recently appointed Director, Enrique Juncosa, in February 2003”, she said.
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