The Government’s announcement last October of allocations of €400,000 to the Crawford Gallery in Cork and €600,000 to the Irish Museum of Modern Art for the acquisition of artworks is significant and welcome given the enormous toll the pandemic has taken on artists. While the Crawford Gallery’s acquisitions are yet to be announced, director Mary McCarthy revealed that they have acquired contemporary artworks, mainly from the last five years, including significant works by younger artists based in the Munster region who they feel are deserving of support and recognition. McCarthy sees these funds as providing an opportunity to reignite an ambition around collections and to insert significant works into the collection.
the acquisition of my work by the Arts Council not only gives me recognition and a certain validation, but has provided me with necessary income
This was followed in December by the announcement from the Arts Council of the acquisition of eighty-two new artworks by seventy artists, marking the largest number of artworks added to its collection since its establishment in 1962. The range of acquisitions is impressive and includes performance, print, video, installation, sculpture, painting and photography and it brings the total number of artworks in the Council’s collection to over 1,200. These new artworks will be accessible to public audiences throughout the country as part of their ongoing programme of exhibitions, loans and initiatives.
Artists whose work has been purchased include: John Beattie, Neil Carroll, Avril Corroon, Salvatore of Lucan, Samuel Lawrence Cunnane, Ella de Búrca, Kathy Tynan, Paul Hallahan, Atoosa Pour Hosseini, Michele Horrigan and Vivienne Dick.
Artist Kathy Tynan describes how important this support is: ‘For the past year, the reduction in artists’ incomes through gallery closures and exhibition dates being pushed forward have greatly impacted on our ability to exhibit and sell our work – and survive in our chosen profession. For me, the acquisition of my work by the Arts Council not only gives me recognition and a certain validation, but has provided me with necessary income. It couldn’t have come at a better time.’