370: IMMA twice in the news: new website, and major Coleman acquisitions (Monday 15 November 2004)

compiled by Elaine Cronin
A new website has been launched today by the Irish Museum of Modern Art, incorporating a complete redesign of the old site, modernart.ie, along with various new features and increased accessibility. The site has improved on its levels of general information across the board, with an increased number of visuals, and is now fully WAI, level A, compliant. It is seen as a significant step toward increased public access to all Museum activities.
Some of the new features at imma.ie include a daily online calendar of events, exhibition guides and essays - which are available to download - booking forms, free postcards of works from the Museum's Collection and a new section for the Education and Community Programme, which lists all associated programmes and activities. Each featured exhibition on the website will be accompanied by a selection of images, downloadable text from any essays or exhibition guides and links to other relevant sites.
There is also an extensive online database of some 1650 works that exist within the museum's permanent collection which can be searched for within the website by a particular artist, artwork, collection or donation. The permanent collection is continually evolving, having recently been given the go-ahead by Minister for Arts John O'Donoghue, for the approved use of the Heritage Fund to acquire three important film artworks, produced in the 1990s, by the internationally celebrated Irish artist James Coleman.

James Coleman - Lapsus Exposure 1993. Image held here .

The artist is widely known for his videos, films, theatre projects and large-scale slide projections, yet was until now underrepresented in Irish galleries. Director Enrique Juncosa of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, has said that he is

thrilled that IMMA has been able to acquire such an important group of works by James Coleman, thanks to the generosity of the Government and with the support of the Council of National Cultural Institutions... We hope that it will help his work to be better known in Ireland and also are happy to be able to add to our collection such important seminal works.

The three works, which are comprised as a trilogy, Background (1991-94), Lapsus Exposure (1992-94), and INITIALS (1993-4), have been widely exhibited in leading museums in France, USA, Britain, Germany, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. There is only one complete trilogy in existence and IMMA is now the only museum in possession of the artist's most widely known slide-projected works, to date.

The Heritage Fund Act was established in 2001 with an overall limit of 12.697m euro over a five-year period, allowing for the acquisition of heritage objects that are considered "outstanding examples and pre-eminent in their class, so that Irish people may enjoy, appreciate and value such magnificent artefacts." There are five bodies which are eligible for the fund: the National Archives, the National Gallery of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland, the National Museum of Ireland and the Irish Museum of Modern Art.