Governors, Guardians, Artists

15/02/2014 - 11/05/2014
Event type:
Millennium Wing

Governors, Guardians, Artists 

15 February - 11 May 2014

The National Gallery of Ireland was founded in 1854 by an Act of Parliament. This Act defined the structure of the Gallery’s Board. It stated that the President of the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA), along with two artists nominated by the Academy, should be among the seventeen members. To this day, the Board oversees the administration of the institution and approves the accession of all artworks. Practising artists have remained integral to the governance of the Gallery, contributing to the development of the institution and its collection.

Artists appointed to the Board traditionally held prominent positions within the RHA. In addition to the President, various Secretaries and school Professors served on the Board. These individuals were notable not only for their artistic output but for the influential roles they played in art administration and education. On a number of occasions, artists who were not recognised by the Academy, such as Sarah Purser and Evie Hone, were appointed to the Board directly by the Irish Government; an acknowledgment of their immense contribution to Irish art.
This aspect of the Gallery’s governance has provided an ongoing link between the world of historic art and the work of living artists. The nature of this connection and its fruitfulness has varied widely over the years and depended upon the particular personality and interests of each artist. This exhibition highlights the work of a selection of the most significant of those artists and emphasises their dual role as both creative practitioners and influential administrators.

Admission free, Millennium Wing, Room 1.

On Tuesday 8 April at 10.30am, curator Donal Maguire will give an introduction to the exhibition. Lecture Theatre, admission free.

Watch an introduction to the exhibition by curator Donal Maguire, filmed in the exhibition space.