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Irish Museum of Modern Art

Irish Museum of Modern Art logo Building and grounds
How IMMA was established
Legal Status/Funding
Profile of Director, Sarah Glennie
Board Members

The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) aims in all its activities to create for the public an enjoyable and engaging experience of contemporary art. It achieves this through a dynamic and changing programme of exhibitions and education programmes based in its home at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham and working with partners nationally and internationally.  As the national institution for contemporary art IMMA is committed to supporting artists’ work, and works with artists and partners to support the development, understanding and enjoyment of contemporary art in Ireland.

IMMA is the home of the national collection of modern and contemporary art and takes responsibility for the care and maintenance of this national resource. We ensure that it is accessible to visitors to IMMA and beyond through exhibitions, collaborations, loans, touring partnerships and digital programmes.

Building and grounds

Formal Gardens, Irish Museum of Modern ArtThe Irish Museum of Modern Art is housed in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, the finest 17th-century building in Ireland. The Royal Hospital was founded in 1684 by James Butler, Duke of Ormonde and Viceroy to Charles II, as a home for retired soldiers and continued in that use for almost 250 years. The style is based on Les Invalides in Paris with a formal facade and a large elegant courtyard. The Royal Hospital in Chelsea was completed two years later and also contains many similarities in style. The Royal Hospital Kilmainham was restored by the Government in 1984 and opened as the Irish Museum of Modern Art in May 1991. For further information on the heritage of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham please follow the link to the > arrow linkHeritage Programme

How IMMA was established

First Floor, East Wing Galleries, Irish Museum of Modern ArtThe 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-centred ethos and facilities.

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.

Legal Status/Funding

The Museum is a company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital. The company is funded by grant-in-aid through the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and by sponsorship, franchise and own resource income.

Profile of Director, Sarah Glennie

Sarah Glennie, Director, IMMASarah Glennie has been working professionally in the cultural realm for eighteen years and has extensive experience of directing and working in a number of public cultural institutions in Ireland and Britain. Prior to her appointment as Director of IMMA in 2012 she was Director of the Irish Film Institute (IFI) (2008-2012), where she oversaw a major redevelopment programme, and Artistic Director of the Model Arts and Niland Gallery in Sligo (2005-2008), where she initiated a nationally and internationally significant programme, including The Eternal Now: Warhol and the Factory and an exhibition and unique performance by Patti Smith. Sarah was commissioner of Ireland's participation in the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005 and has curated many other notable visual art projects, both in Ireland and internationally.

Click > arrow linkhere for more information

Board Members

Matt Mullican, Untitled, 1989, Lightboxes and transparencies, 91.5 x 122 x 16.5 cm (each), Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 1991The Board consists of fourteen members and a Chairperson appointed by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for a period of not more than five years. At the discretion of the Minister, individual members may be asked to serve a second or subsequent term.

The members of the Board and the Chairperson are artists and other people with an active interest and/or expertise in modern and contemporary art. They are appointed in their capacity as individuals.

The following is a list of IMMA’s current board members:

  • David Harvey – Chairman
  • Mary Apied
  • Gerard Byrne
  • Jane Dillon Byrne
  • Dermod Dwyer
  • Emma Goltz
  • Denis Hickie
  • Penelope Kenny
  • Mary McCarthy
  • Sheila O Regan
  • Tim Scanlon

Only the Chairperson is eligible to receive a fee, set at €8,978, which is unclaimed to year-end 2015. Expenses are paid to Board members in accordance with the guidelines and rules set down by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Only vouched expenses are paid.


Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, D08 FW31, Ireland
Tel: +353-1-6129900, Email:


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