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Royal Hospital Kilmainham
Dublin 8, D08 FW31, Ireland
Phone +353 1 6129900

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AboutHow IMMA was established

IMMA connects audiences and art, providing an extraordinary space where contemporary life and contemporary art connect, challenge and inspire one another. We share, develop and conserve the Irish National Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art for now and for the future.

How IMMA was established

The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) 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 who commented that the refurbishment was:

“Superb….important, original and something which is very well done indeed”

The inaugural Director of IMMA in 1991 was Declan McGonagle, who commented at the time; “We have an enormous public responsibility to speak to as broad a spectrum of the public as possible… to present the highest standard of art to the broadest range of people possible.”

Since its opening in 1991 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 National Collection, for its award-winning engagement and learning programmes and for its visitor-centred ethos and facilities.

Now called simply IMMA (pronounced ih-ma), the museum has proven a valuable and popular addition to the country’s cultural infrastructure. IMMA attracts an average of half a million Irish and overseas visitors each year to the Museum itself, while many thousands more engage with IMMA originated exhibitions, and exhibitions of works from our Collection, throughout Ireland and internationally, and here on our website. Through this site we share the National Collection, and IMMA’s programme, with audiences around the world.

You can find out more about the history of IMMA, and of our home at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, in the section above titled ‘RHK Building and Site’.

Important Notice


We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.