DUBLIN, IRELAND.- The year just ending has been the most successful to date for the Irish Museum of Modern Art, both in terms of the quality and variety of its programme and in the important area of public engagement with its work. Visitor numbers for the year are set to exceed 485,000 the highest in the Museums history, and an extensive survey carried out during 2007 showed an exceptional level of satisfaction with what IMMA has to offer both domestic and overseas visitors.
Highlight for the year include:
A outstanding series of exhibitions by such celebrated artists as Lucian Freud, Georgia OKeeffe, Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Alex Katz and Anne Madden; as well as the first solo exhibition in Europe by the highly-regarded Indian artist Nalini Malani and the first Irish exhibition by the much-sought-after German artist Thomas Demand.
Innovative exhibitions from the Museums own Collection, including an exhibition of recent acquisitions, a finely crafted display of Hogarth prints, which drew a large number of visitors specifically for that show, and an installation by the internationally-acclaimed Irish artist James Coleman.
Important acquisitions, including the permanent loan of 39 works by Hughie ODonoghue in addition to works by Sean Scully, Patrick Scott, Barry Flanagan, Patrick Ireland, Willie Doherty and Cecily Brennan.
A number of new developments under the Education and Community Programme to increase the Museums reach across a wide cross section of publics. These included Drawing Day, a national initiative in museums and galleries throughout Ireland ; a day-long programme for older people based on the Georgia OKeeffe exhibition, in association with the Bealtaine Arts Festival; and a well attended series of public conversations with artists on IMMAs residency programme.
A lecture by the renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando, a joint project with the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland and the Kerlin Gallery, which drew an attendance of 3,000 to the RDS.
The staging of a spectacular performance piece by the Irish-born artist Michael Timpson, as part of IMMAs ever-more-popular Summer Party.
The Museum undertook an extensive visitor survey earlier this year, as part of its commitments under Towards 2016. A leading market research company, Behaviour & Attitudes, was commissioned to carry out interviews with more than 730 visitors over a four week period in May and June (equally divided between a busy and a less busy time) on all aspects of their experience at IMMA. The results were overwhelmingly positive, with 71% of visitors rating the exhibitions excellent or very good and 83% stating that they would definitely or probably visit again. In addition, 73% said that they would definitely recommend a visit to others, while 19% said they would probably do so. The survey showed that a relatively high 41% of visitors were from abroad.
Commenting on the year, Museums Director Enrique Juncosa said: All of us at IMMA are delighted at the publics very warm response to our 2007 programme, in which we presented the most ambitious series of exhibitions and events in the Museums history.
It is most encouraging to see both the growing public appetite for our frequently quite challenging work and the enjoyment which so many people take in their visits to the Museum.