Irish Museum of Modern Art
Review of Dublin Gallery of Contemporary Art: Collection, Exhibitions, Artists Shown, Opening Hours.

Irish Art Exhibitions

For reviews of the best museums
of arts in Ireland, see:
- National Gallery of Ireland
- National Museum of Ireland
- Hugh Lane Gallery Dublin
- Chester Beatty Library
- National Self-Portrait Collection
- The Hunt Museum (Limerick)
- Ulster Museum.

See: Art Museums in Europe.

For a list of the most valuable
modern art to be sold at auction
by Sotheby's and Christie's, see:
Top 10 Most Expensive Paintings
For a list of the Top 10 works
by artists from Ireland, see:
Most Expensive Irish Paintings.

Irish Museum of Modern Art

Established by the Government of Ireland in 1990, as the successor to the Dublin Metropolitan Gallery of Modern Art (itself founded upon the efforts of the art philanthropist Sir Hugh Lane [1875-1915]) the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) is Ireland's foremost national art museum for contemporary and abstract art. (See the distinction between contemporary art and modern art). Its mission is to foster the practice and appreciation of contemporary visual arts in society and its dynamic exhibition program promotes a wide variety of modern arts including works from its own permanent collection. The museum naturally presents modern art, a focus reflected in its acceptance of donations of artworks produced since 1940, and endeavours to highlight cutting edge art trends from around the world. Ireland's taste for modern art has come a long way since Evie Hone and Mainie Jellett held their controversial joint exhibition at the Dublin Painters Gallery in 1924! Paradoxically, the Irish Museum of Modern Art is based in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, West Dublin - the most outstanding example of seventeenth century architecture in Ireland. The building was restored by the Government in 1984 and IMMA was opened to the public in 1991.


The Permanent Collection

Comprising nearly 1,700 artworks, the permanent collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art exemplifies some of the most fascinating trends in avant-garde art in Ireland and abroad.

The collection includes photographic and lens-based art by Paul Seawright, Gilbert and George, Willie Doherty and Marina Abramovic; installation art by llya and Emilia Kabakov, Rebecca Horn; sculpture by Damien Hirst, Barry Flanagan, Juan Munoz, Dorothy Cross, Kathy Prendergast and Stephan Balkenhol; painting by Sean Scully, Tony O’Malley, Francesco Clemente, Peter Doig, and Peter Halley.


The Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection (On Loan)

As an adjunct to Irish Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection of contemporary paintings and sculptures, the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection encompasses over 600 works. Outsider artists (outside the creative mainstream inhabited by the majority of artists) typically belong to no art movements and are rarely influenced by the history of art. They include artists who suffer from emotional or psychiatric disturbances, as well as hypermodern avant-garde artists. This type of iconoclastic creativity was first collected by the French artist Jean Dubuffet whose collection of Outsider Art (Collection of Art Brut) hangs in Lausanne, Switzerland. The Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection features such challenging luminaries as Aloise, Carlo, Henry Darger, Madge Gill, Hauser, J.B. Murry, Sekulic, Oswald Tschirtner, Van Genk, Scottie Wilson, Wölfli, Zemankova as well as numerous lesser-known modern artists.


The Madden Arnholz Collection

This comprises almost 1,200 Old Master prints which were donated to the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in 1988 by Clare Madden. It features works by Durer, Goya, William Hogarth, Rembrandt and many other innovative European printmakers, dating from the Italian Renaissance and later. This collection was enlarged in 1998 by the acquisition of a large number of books of prints by the English printmaker Thomas Bewick.


IMMA also promotes greater and more widespread access to art and artists via its popular Studio and National programs. It offers access to a range of artists' studios in the hospital's converted stable block - and runs an artist-in-residence program. The Museum also runs community and education programs, plus a national out-reach program enabling it to exhibit modern artworks from its collection in other galleries, museums and similar venues. It has become the most exciting venue for contemporary visual arts in Ireland.


The new Director of IMMA is Sarah Glennie, previously employed as the Director of the Irish Film Institute. Prior to this she was Artistic Director at the Model Arts and Niland Gallery in Sligo where she initiated and curated many notable visual art exhibitions.

IMMA Opening Hours

Tuesday - Saturday: 10.00am-5.30pm
Wednesday: 10.30am - 5.30pm
Sunday and Bank Holidays: 12 noon-5.30pm

For more information about IMMA's collection of contemporary paintings, Irish sculpture, Irish painting, prints and other artworks, or for details of upcoming exhibitions of modern arts, contact:

Irish Museum of Modern Art
Royal Hospital
Dublin 8
Phone: 01 612 9900

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For details, see: Best Art Museums.

• For details of other Leinster fine art exhibitions and collections, see: Irish Art Galleries and Museums.
• For details of the world's best contemporary museums, see: Homepage.
• For more about contemporary arts venues in Ireland, see: Irish Art Guide.

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