Listen to a wonderful interview on WLRfm with Ben Mulligan from the Arts Councils
About the Collection:
The Arts Council began collecting works of art in 1962. The aim from the beginning was to purchase work from living artists at a critical stage in their career. The collection has continued to grow through regular acquisitions and there are now approx. 1,100 works in the collection.
The mission statement for the collection is ‘The Arts Council’s collection supports artists’ and public engagement with the arts. It does this by purchasing excellent contemporary work to be enjoyed and valued through display and programmes delivered directly and with partners. Through the collection, the Arts Council also acts as a custodian and carer of great art on behalf of the people of Ireland.’
Operating as a ‘museum without walls’ it is primarily a lending collection. Works can be seen in schools, hospitals, public sector buildings, as well as galleries, museums and other arts organisations in Ireland.
The collection contains works by many important modern and contemporary Irish artists, including all the artists who have represented Ireland at Venice with solo exhibitions, members of Aosdána (past and present), and artists who been nominated for or received international awards such as Prix Pictet and the Turner Prize.
The Arts Council Collection is part of the national collection and plays a role in development and support of contemporary art alongside organisations such as The Office of Public Works, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and Crawford Art Gallery as well local authority collections across Ireland.