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Portrait Head of Dorothy Walker

Portrait of Dorothy Walker by Oisin Kelly, 1954

Dorothy Walker was a key figure in  the Irish art world of her generation, as an art critic, curator and cultural ambassador.  A founding member of the  ROSC exhibitions, she promoted international modern and contemporary art in Ireland and Irish art on an international stage. She re-activated the Irish National Section of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) and was a  founding member of the Board of Directors of IMMA having worked unstintingly for its establishment.  

She was a supporter and friend of many leading Irish artists including  Louis le Brocquy, Patrick Scott, Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland,  Michael Craig Martin, Sean Scully and James Coleman, Nigel Rolfe, Dorothy Cross, Alice Maher, Alannah O’Kelly, Eilis O’Connell, Vivienne Roche and others. She formed a friendship with German artist Joseph Beuys whom she met in the 1970s and introduced to the Royal Hospital Kilmainham (IMMA) as a potential symbolic site for Beuys’s Free International University for Creativity and Interdisciplinary Research.

To mark Dorothy Walker's contribution to Irish art in general and IMMA in particular, Portrait Head of Dorothy Walker 1954, by Oisin Kelly and donated by the Walker Family in 2011, will be installed in the grounds of IMMA imminently.  It will be located in the vicinity of the oak tree planted by Caroline Tisdall and Declan McGonagle on the occassion of the exhibition Joseph Beuys at IMMA in 1994.


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