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IMMA looks to the future with launch of Celebrating a Decade publication

The Irish Museum of Modern Art is looking determinedly to the future. This was the message from the Museum’s new Chairman, Eoin McGonigal, SC, at the launch by Síle de Valera, TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, of Celebrating a Decade, a new publication to mark the Museum’s tenth anniversary, at IMMA this evening (Thursday 13 December).

Speaking at the launch Mr McGonigal said: “We are all only too painfully aware of the difficulties which have surrounded the Museum in the recent past. However, all of us are now looking determinedly to the future, and to taking the Museum into a second dynamic and successful decade. As we set about the task of seeking a new director, we shall not be inhibited by recent events in seeking out the most dynamic, creative and imaginative candidate for this crucial post in the Irish art world.”

The Acting Director of the Museum, Philomena Byrne, stressed the fact that throughout the past year the business of the Museum has proceeded very much as usual, with no diminution whatsoever in its service to the public. In fact, in several respects it had, she said, been a particularly good year for the Museum at an operational level with:

· the widely-praised tenth anniversary programme and celebrations,
· the Marking the Territory performance event and Shirin Neshat exhibition, which were such critical and popular successes,
· major improvements in visitor facilities, such as the new café and bookshop,
· the continued expansion of the Collection, with such notable donations as Barry Flanagan’s Drummer,
· an increase of almost 70% in primary school projects, despite the foot and mouth crisis and
· an overall programme which had seen visitor numbers rise to their highest level since the Warhol exhibition in 1998.

Celebrating a Decade documents the three principal programming strands of the Museum – Exhibitions, Collection and Education and Community – over the past ten years. It also includes essays from external commentators – Aidan Dunne, art critic, The Irish Times, and the artist, teacher and writer, Siun Hanrahan – with perspectives on each of the Boards of the Museum from their respective Chairmen.

The report is jointly sponsored by the Ireland-America Arts Exchange Foundation and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands. The Department’s involvement is one of a number of initiatives to mark 50 years of Government support for the arts, dating back to the first arts legislation, which allowed for the establishment of the Arts Council and the funding of museums, galleries and other arts institutions.

Celebrating a Decade is available from the Museum bookshop (price €20.95, £16.50).

For further information, and colour and black and white images, please contact Philomena Byrne or Monica Cullinane at Tel : +353 1 612 9900,
Fax : +353 1 612 9999 email [email protected]

13 December 2001