IMMA today (20 June) announced that Director Sarah Glennie will leave the organisation at the end of the year to take up a new position as Director of NCAD, (National College of Art and Design) in January 2018.
Glennie has been Director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art since 2012 and during her tenure has grown IMMA’s audiences to the most significant levels in the museum’s history, making IMMA the 2nd most visited free attraction in Ireland in 2016. She has ensured the financial viability of the Museum through one of the most difficult funding periods for the institution and has led a critically acclaimed programme with a particular focus on supporting artists’ practice and introducing new audiences to contemporary art through a dynamic and discursive programme that extends beyond the gallery space. Under her Directorship IMMA has shown the work of a wide range of leading Irish and international artists including Etel Adnan, Stan Douglas, Karla Black, Isabel Nolan, Vivienne Dick, Nan Goldin, Hito Steyerl, Helio Oiticia and Lucian Freud. Recent commissions of note include new works for IMMA by Duncan Campbell, Jaki Irvine and Emily Jacir as well as a number of new works commissioned as part of the two major group shows, What We Call Love and As Above, So Below.
Glennie has developed new fundraising initiatives and partnerships that have enabled the museum to realise its ambitious programme, and in particular purchase work for the National Collection for the first time in a decade, with works by Kevin Atherton, David Beattie, Rhona Byrne, Duncan Campbell, Mark Garry, Jaki Irvine, Maireád McClean, Dennis McNulty, Ciarán Murphy, Isabel Nolan, Yuri Pattison, Sarah Pierce and Grace Weir joining the collection in the last two years. IMMA has also recently announced a series of new residency supports for Irish artists, supported by IMMA 1000.
Commenting on her departure from IMMA Sarah Glennie said: “I have been honoured to have led IMMA as Director since 2012 and I am extremely proud of the programme and institutional change that has been achieved by the team at IMMA over that period, despite the challenging times faced by Irish cultural organisations. While I am very sad to be leaving IMMA I am excited by the great opportunity to contribute further to the development of creativity in Ireland as the Director of such a significant institution as NCAD which is in a unique position to inspire and nurture creative talent in Ireland.
I am confident that IMMA will continue to go from strength to strength under the stewardship of the Board, with the support of the Minister, and with the extraordinary commitment of the team. Over the last year I have been working with the Board and staff at IMMA to build an ambitious new five-year strategy for the museum. IMMA 2017 – 2021 identifies clear strategic objectives which will create a strong and sustainable IMMA for the future and I look forward to launching that with the IMMA team in September.
On a personal note I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with all of the IMMA staff and Boards over the last five years, the artists whose extraordinary work we have brought to an ever growing and enthusiastic audience and the fantastic group of visionary supporters who make IMMA’s ambitions possible and I would like to thank them all for their incredible support.”
The Recruitment process for a new Director of IMMA will commence in the coming weeks.