05/03/12 39 Art Works a Welcome Boost for Crawford Permanent Collection -Deenihan

Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, today (Monday 5th March, 2012) officially opened the new AIB Art Collection Exhibition in theCrawford Art Gallery, Emmet Place, Cork. .

Following considerable contact between Minister Deenihan, his Department officials and AIB, the Minister welcomed the announcement last week by AIB to enter into partnership with the State in respect of its corporate art collection.

Minister Deenihan decided to nominate Crawford Art Gallery to house this gift of 39 key pieces from the AIB significant art collection. “In times where economic difficulties have meant a cut in acquisitions’ budgets it is indeed a welcome boost to the permanent collection on view here at the Crawford” said the Minister.

Legal ownership has now been transferred of these 39 pieces from its world class art collection to the State. It will also be making available a further 991 works for exhibition by publicly funded galleries through the aegis of the Crawford Art Gallery.

“Indeed, it is worth noting that these 39 works on display here this morning represent the top end of the AIB corporate collection.  I am confident also, that visitor numbers to the Crawford Gallery will increase significantly while these new works are on display as the interest already generated has been immense. As Ireland’s only National Cultural Institution outside Dublin, this work, coupled with the Great Southern Collection really transforms its collection into one truly befitting its national status.”  

  Gallery director Peter Murray said that this donation marks an important step in the development of the Crawford Art Gallery as a National Cultural Institution, and as one of the foremost museums of Irish art. “The works being donated all date from either the late nineteenth century or the twentieth century. Among the thirty-nine works are three paintings by Jack B. Yeats, including his masterpiece The Race on Hy Brazil. There are paintings by Paul Henry, Gerard Dillon, William Leech, John Luke, Maurice MacGonigal Walter Osborne, Sean Keating, Mainie Jellett, Patrick Collins and William Crozier. “The donation fills significant gaps in the Gallery’s permanent collection, particularly in respect of the fine William Scott, and the Roderic O’Conor Red Rocks at Pont Aven, a wonderful Post-Impressionist painting.”

 Crawford chairman John R. Bowen added his congratulations, “Acquired by one of Ireland’s leading financial institutions, the AIB Art Collection, from its beginning, was inspired by a view and a vision of Irish life and culture that extended beyond the investment and financial business. It is a privilege for the Crawford to be entrusted with the custody of this wonderful bequest”

 Art is an intrinsic part of human nature and is “at its most powerful when an entire nation can embrace it, appreciate it and find inspiration in its beauty and meaning” added Minister Deenihan. The exhibition, he hoped, would be the first of many to bring this incredible visual arts legacy to the nation.



Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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