IMMA’s mission is to connect audiences and art, providing an extraordinary space in Ireland where contemporary life and contemporary art connect, challenge and inspire on another. IMMA shares, develops and conserves the Irish National Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art for now for the future.
IMMA is Ireland’s National Cultural Institution for Contemporary Art. Its programme comprises exhibitions and projects by leading Irish and international artists, as well as a rich engagement and learning programme providing audiences of all ages the opportunity to explore contemporary art and unlock their creativity. IMMA is home to the National Collection of Irish and International Modern and Contemporary Art, now numbering over 3,000 artworks, and we make this national resource available through engagement and learning programmes,digital resources and exhibitions at IMMA and nationally.
IMMA has a large and engaged audience. Physical visitors have grown by 90% since 2014 and 584,000 people visited IMMA in 2016 making it the second most visited free attraction in Ireland. Our audience is young and digitally connected, with over 60% of our visitors aged under 44 and a large amount of engagement taking place through our social and online channels.
IMMA’s programme reimagines ‘the Museum’ as an open and participatory space that connects people to contemporary life through art. Our audience come to IMMA to experience something new and to share knowledge and new thinking. Recent developments in the programme have expanded beyond the gallery space into the full site of IMMA’s home at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. A programme of live performance, making, music, food and gardening invites the audience into a direct interaction with creativity, and provides a space for debate, inspiration and participation.
IMMA is enterprising and entrepreneurial and our ambitious programme is funded through our development income raised through our corporate and philanthropic partnerships and commercial income raised on the site from venue hire, retail and catering.
Building and grounds
The Irish Museum of Modern Art is housed in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, the finest 17th-century building in Ireland. The Royal Hospital was founded in 1684 by James Butler, Duke of Ormonde and Viceroy to Charles II, as a home for retired soldiers and continued in that use for almost 250 years. The style is based on Les Invalides in Paris with a formal facade and a large elegant courtyard. The Royal Hospital in Chelsea was completed two years later and also contains many similarities in style. The Royal Hospital Kilmainham was restored by the Government in 1984 and opened as the Irish Museum of Modern Art in May 1991. For further information on the heritage of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham please follow the link to the Heritage Programme
How IMMA was established
The Irish Museum of Modern Art was established by the Government of Ireland in 1990 as Ireland’s first national institution for the presentation and collection of modern and contemporary art. The Museum was officially opened on 25 May 1991 by the, then Taoiseach Charles J Haughey. Since its opening the Museum has rapidly established itself as a significant and dynamic presence in the Irish and international arts arena. It is widely admired by its peers throughout the world for the range and relevance of its exhibitions, for its innovative use of its growing Collection, for its award-winning education and community programme and for its visitor-centred ethos and facilities.
IMMA has proved to be a valuable and popular addition to the country’s cultural infrastructure, attracting more than 400,000 Irish and overseas visitors from diverse social backgrounds each year, both to the Museum itself and to events organised throughout Ireland by our National Programme.
The Museum is a company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital. The company is funded by grant-in-aid through the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and by sponsorship, franchise and own resource income.
Profile of Director (Interim)
Dr. Moling Ryan
A career public servant until his retirement in 2014, Dr. Ryan is a former Chief Executive of the Legal Aid Board, a position he held for 10 years. He was previously Director of Human Resources and Strategy in the early years of the Courts Service. Prior to that, he was head of Heritage Policy in the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands. He also spent 6 years on management training and strategy initiatives with the Civil Service Training Centre. Since his retirement, Moling has been engaged with a significant project on the reform of the Public Service in Cyprus and on a justice reform project in Vietnam. He has also undertaken a number of projects in different areas of the public service. He is currently a member of the Policing Authority.He served as Chairperson of the Association of Chief Executives of State Agencies and is the co-author of the Guide for Chief Executives. Moling was called to the Bar in 1979 and has primary and Masters’ degrees in management. He also has a Doctorate in Governance from Queen’s University, Belfast.
Dr Ryan will remain in post until the Board has recruited a new Director.
The Board consists of fourteen members and a Chairperson appointed by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for a period of not more than five years. At the discretion of the Minister, individual members may be asked to serve a second or subsequent term.
The members of the Board and the Chairperson are artists and other people with an active interest and/or expertise in modern and contemporary art. They are appointed in their capacity as individuals.
The following is a list of IMMA’s current board members:
David Harvey – Chairman
Jane Dillon Byrne
Sheila O Regan
Only the Chairperson is eligible to receive a fee, set at €8,978, which is unclaimed to year-end 2015. Expenses are paid to Board members in accordance with the guidelines and rules set down by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Only vouched expenses are paid.