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Minister Martin announces the addition of a significant body of artworks to the National Collection

Today, Minister Catherine Martin announces that 422 artworks by 70 artists will be added to the National Collection thanks to the €1m fund provided to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and the Crawford Art Gallery in October 2020.

The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media has been working with the National Cultural Institutions through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to develop meaningful ways to support artists across the country at this challenging time. In October 2020, Minister Martin committed €1m from her department to IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery to fund the purchase of artworks by artists living and/or working in Ireland. The investment enabled the two institutions charged with collecting contemporary art to work collaboratively to support artists by buying existing artworks, bringing much needed financial resources to the sector.

IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery have been working tirelessly to realise this progressive goal for the National Collection and today, the Minister announces the list of works which have been acquired. The body of 422 artworks by 70 artists from across the country has been selected through a rigorous process by both institutions to ensure strategic and thoughtful acquisitions for the nation. Spanning from 1972 to 2021, the works consist of paintings, photographic work, drawings, sculpture, installations, moving image, sound work, film, digital work, embroidery and performance. This is a significant boost to both collections, strengthening and enhancing the breath of style of work, making them truly representative of contemporary Irish practice and available for the public to enjoy for generations to come.

As the cultural repositories for the country, the role of the National Cultural Institutions is to reflect Ireland and her people and tell the story of our country. This is the first time in over a decade that substantial funding has been specifically allocated towards building the National Collection to reflect contemporary culture.

The Minister recognises the immense talent in the arts in Ireland as well as the significance of being represented in the National Collection. At a time when exhibition opportunities are limited, the fund has enabled IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery to promote artists, supporting and enhancing their reputations by acquiring their work for the National Collection to enable them to practice as artists, now and into the future.

The Minister said: “We are all aware of how difficult a time this has been for everybody in the artistic community.  I am delighted to provide funding to IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery so that they can support living artists by the purchase of their work.  I am confident that our National Cultural Institutions will do justice to these artists in how they represent their work.”   

The Minister went on to say: “This has also been a challenging year for all our institutions but it has also offered an opportunity to think about museums and what they mean to people and how we share those precious artworks that form part of our National Collections.  I look forward to see how IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery will share these new additions nationally and internationally where they can be widely viewed by the public and act as a reservoir for future enjoyment, inspiration and research.”

Artist, Sandra Johnston, whose work has been acquired by IMMA, said: “It is a real honour for me to have artworks included in the IMMA collection, especially because of the ephemeral, fleeting nature of public performance actions. So, I am gratified by the curiosity the curators have shown in exploring with me the total picture of how such an artwork is conceived, executed and disseminated beyond the live moment, which is a crucial framework for understanding the surviving artefacts.” 

Artist, Tom Climent, whose work has been purchased by the Crawford Art Gallery, said: “The acquisition of my work by the Crawford Art Gallery for the National Collection has been a great boost for me. Even more so now with galleries closed and opportunities to exhibit reduced. It is not just the monetary income but the recognition and affirmation in my work that is hugely encouraging. Having a painting on public display means it lives on and hopefully reaches so many more people. Thanks to all the team in the Crawford Gallery and the help of The Sternview Gallery for making this happen.”


Press and Information Office
An Roinn Turasóireachta, Cultúir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus Meán
Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media
Tel: 087 6737338 / 087 7374427
Email: [email protected]

Notes for Editors

No of works acquired: 197 works (89 paintings, 32 prints, 26 drawings, 12 publications, 11 performance works, 10 sculptures, 10 moving image works, 5 installations, 1 photographic work, 1 audio work). Dates works were made: 1972, 1977, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021.

Crawford Art Gallery
No of works acquired:  225 works (100 paintings, 58 photographs, 14 prints, 28 drawings, 8 sculptures, 4 installations, 1 soundwork, 5 digital films, 1 art quilt, 6 embroideries.

No of Artists represented: 

31 (21 female, 8 male, 2 non-binary)

Crawford Art Gallery
39 artists (24 female, 12 male, 3 LBGTQ+)

Breadth of style of work: High quality work purchased from existing work of living artists in Ireland and not commissions. Installation, sculpture, painting, video, film, print, drawing, textile, publication, performance, digital artwork, audio, collaborative work, including discursive, performative and event-based creative expression and outputs by artists, individually and in collectives.

Geographic spread of Artists: All Ireland, (32 counties) artists living in Ireland or living/working between Ireland and elsewhere.

Process Adopted by IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery
Drawing on extensive research and internal expertise, both institutions worked in consultation with external advisors to adopt a rigorous selection process. This ensured that the works purchased were in line with their respective acquisition policies, filled identified gaps in representation and contributed to strengthening the collections for the nation.

Full List of Artists

Crawford Art Gallery
Aideen Barry
Sara Baume
Stephen Brandes
Angela Burchill
Declan Byrne
Elaine Byrne
Tom Climent
Yvonne Condon
Elizabeth Cope
Gary Coyle
Stephen Doyle
Rita Duffy
Amanda Dunsmore
Kevin Gaffney
Debbie Godsell
Michael Hanna
Marie Holohan
Katie Holten
Brianna Hurley
Andrew Kearney
John Keating
Fiona Kelly
Anne Kiely & Mary Palmer
Roseanne Lynch
Brian Maguire
Evgeniya Martirosyan
Danny McCarthy
Roseleen Moore
Peter Nash
Ailbhe Ní Bhriain
Íde Ní Shúleabháin
Nuala O’Donovan
Sarah O’Flaherty
Tom O’Sullivan
Michael Quane
Jennifer Trouton
Charles Tyrrell
Daphne Wright

Bassam Al-Sabah
Marie Brett
Sarah Browne & Jesse Jones
Anishta Chooramun
Amanda Coogan
Vivienne Dick
Edy Fung
Emma Wolf Haugh
Patricia Hurl
Sandra Johnston
Eithne Jordan
John Lalor
Breda Lynch
Alice Maher
Leanne McDonagh
Eoin McHugh
Alastair MacLennan
Sibyl Montague
Maïa Nunes
Brian O’Doherty
Alanna O’Kelly
Sarah Pierce
Atoosa Pour Hosseini
Alice Rekab
Nigel Rolfe
Dermot Seymour
Rajinder Singh
Anne Tallentire
Cléa van der Grijn
Eimear Walshe