This new, semi-permanent re-installation of our Collection aims to clearly re-position the Niland Collection as a major artistic asset of the institution.
Highlighting and reflecting a need for the contemporisation of permanent collections, Shared Visions: The Model Collects also takes up key artistic, curatorial and museological issues. Each gallery includes specific collectors who have donated artworks to the Collection and traverses a path through Irish art history, highlighting links between some of Ireland’s greatest artists and important art collectors, as well as presenting ideas around exhibition making and public art collections. Focusing on these collector vignettes, the exhibition serves as a point of departure for ongoing dialogue about the paradigm shifts found in collecting and institution building today.
The Niland Collection is significant for its focus on the north-west of Ireland, through either artist or subject matter. Nora Niland campaigned tirelessly on behalf of the collection throughout her tenure as County Librarian and Curator. Through public subscription, bequests, private donations, permanent loans, artist donation and a number of other bodies, works by many significant Irish artists have been acquired for the collection, including works of contemporary Irish artists. The Model, which was a school built in 1862, was renovated in 1999 in order to house the amazing collection accrued and so began our journey to where we are today.