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Kildare County Council Arts Service


Kildare County Council’s Municipal Art Collection

Kildare County Council’s municipal art collection is an eclectic assemblage of paintings, prints and sculptures.  Many of the works date from the 1970s, when Kildare County Council, under the Arts Council Joint Purchase Scheme*, purchased a series of contemporary works.  The collection boasts work from some of Irelands most acclaimed visual artists including Evie Hone, Patrick Pye, Patrick Collins, Charlie Brady, Sean Mc Sweeney, Robert Ballagh, Norah Mc Guinness, and many more. 

The Council continue to purchase work to further develop the collection.  Recent acquisitions include work by Laurence Riddell, Paul McKinley and Fergus Feehily

In 2005, Kildare County Council embarked on a cleaning, restoration and cataloguing programme of the collection. 

Arising from this work, ‘A Collection Uncovered’, selected works from the collection were exhibited in Riverbank Arts Centre in 2005.  The exhibition was launched by Martin Gale, RHA (the Municipal Collection features two early Martin Gale paintings).

Following on the success of this exhibition, a further 2006 exhibition entitled ‘A Collection Becoming’, featured new acquisitions in the collection, complementing the existing collection.  Acclaimed flautist Brian Dunning was guest speaker at the launch.  Artist Paul Mc Kinley curated both exhibitions.

Planning for the Lantern Municipal Gallery, a permanent home for the municipal collection within the Aras Chill Dara campus, Naas, is currently underway.

The Arts Council Joint Purchase Scheme in Visual Art has been in existence for 40 years and is intended to assist public bodies and organisations to buy works of contemporary art jointly with the Arts Council.  The works of art must be displayed by the partner organisation in a place frequented by the public. 

Aims of the Award

  • To increase the audience for the Visual Arts
  • To promote contemporary Irish Art and Artists
  • To increase the sales of contemporary Irish Art
  • To encourage opportunities for contemporary Irish galleries
  • To encourage organisations to instigate or enlarge their visual art collections.