175th Anniversary of the Office of Public Works || Art of the State: Inheritance, Development, Legacy

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<ul><li><p>Irish Arts Review</p><p>Art of the State: Inheritance, Development, LegacyAuthor(s): Jacquie MooreSource: Irish Arts Review (2002-), Vol. 23, 175th Anniversary of the Office of Public Works(2006), pp. 6-11Published by: Irish Arts ReviewStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25503510 .Accessed: 12/06/2014 23:46</p><p>Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms &amp; Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p><p> .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.</p><p> .</p><p>Irish Arts Review is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Irish Arts Review(2002-).</p><p>http://www.jstor.org </p><p>This content downloaded from on Thu, 12 Jun 2014 23:46:50 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=iarhttp://www.jstor.org/stable/25503510?origin=JSTOR-pdfhttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsphttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>II ART OF THE STATE - INHERITANCE, DEVELOPMENT, LEGACY </p><p>6 | </p><p>OPW 175TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION </p><p>This content downloaded from on Thu, 12 Jun 2014 23:46:50 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>175 OPW </p><p>The Office of Public Works Oifig na nOibreacha Poibli </p><p>Art of the State </p><p>Inheritance, development, legacy </p><p>JACQUIE MOORE charts the constantly evolving role of the OPW in purchasing and </p><p>commissioning contemporary art works for new State buildings </p><p>In December 2004, the Government launched </p><p>Public Art: Per Cent for Art Scheme, General </p><p>National Guidelines - </p><p>2004.l The OPW was one </p><p>of several government departments who played a </p><p>role in the formation of these national guidelines. </p><p>However, the OPW has long been involved in art proj </p><p>ects, beginning in the 19th century. </p><p>Since its establishment by a British Act of Parliament </p><p>in 1831, the OPW has played a principal role in the </p><p>provision of government buildings in Ireland and </p><p>abroad. With these properties came the responsibility </p><p>for their contents, including furniture and art works. In </p><p>the 19th century, the OPW was responsible for the </p><p>management of Dublin Castle and also the residences </p><p>of the British Government officials in the Phoenix Park; </p><p>the Under Secretary's Lodge (now the site of the </p><p>Phoenix Park Visitors Centre), the residence of the </p><p>Chief Secretary (now home to the American </p><p>Ambassador), and the Viceregal Lodge (now Aras an </p><p>Uachtar?in). These properties and others such as the </p><p>Royal Hospital Kilmainham, yielded the majority of art </p><p>works (Fig 5) inherited by the Irish Government in </p><p>1922 following the departure of the British administra </p><p>tion. The collection contained portraits of British mon </p><p>archs, lords lieutenant, political monuments and sculp </p><p>tures in public parks. The OPW Art Management </p><p>Office continues to monitor these art works and has </p><p>responsibility for their care and conservation. </p><p>In more recent years, the OPW's dual responsibili </p><p>ties as an architectural practice and procurement </p><p>agency for other government departments has ensured </p><p>its central role in art acquisition. In the OPW, the </p><p>management of art works has always been undertaken </p><p>at the most senior level. Over the years, past chairmen, </p><p>commissioners, secretaries and principal architects </p><p>have taken part in the commissioning and purchasing </p><p>of art works on behalf of the state. </p><p>In its formative years, the role of the OPW in </p><p>relation to art acquisition was split into two distinctive </p><p>categories: the active commissioning of art works such </p><p>as portraits and portrait busts of national leaders; and </p><p>the management of procedures leading to the installa </p><p>tion and erection of monuments of national impor </p><p>tance. Since the 1970s, the OPW has been involved in </p><p>the purchasing and commissioning of contemporary art </p><p>works. In 1974, the OPW first acquired contemporary </p><p>art works for new buildings and Irish embassies </p><p>abroad, taking advantage of the Joint Purchase </p><p>Scheme established by the Arts Council in the late </p><p>1960s (Fig 9). In 1978 the OPW requested permis sion from the Department of </p><p>Finance to operate per </p><p>cent for art funding in </p><p>Ireland for the first time and </p><p>stated its case as follows: </p><p>'The provision of </p><p>works of art of various </p><p>kinds has come to be an </p><p>accepted feature of mod </p><p>ern office blocks and similar </p><p>i </p><p>1 Barrie Cooke </p><p>Whitethorn Bush </p><p>1966 oil on canvas </p><p>154 x 128cm </p><p>2 Janet Mullarney </p><p>The Offering 2001 bronze </p><p>23 x 36 x 15cm </p><p>OPW 175TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION | </p><p>7 </p><p>This content downloaded from on Thu, 12 Jun 2014 23:46:50 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>The OPW has remained committed to exploring the </p><p>relationship between art and architecture in hundreds of public buildings throughout Ireland </p><p>3 Michael Boran </p><p>The Projectionist 1997 cibachrome </p><p>photograph 70 x 94cm </p><p>Image courtesy the artist </p><p>4 Andrew Folan </p><p>Revelation 1995 </p><p>etching and </p><p>photography 125 x 94cm </p><p>5 Gaetano Gondolfi </p><p>(1734-1802) Juno </p><p>and the Peacocks </p><p>oil on canvas </p><p>101 x 101cm </p><p>6 Kate Warner </p><p>Clothesline 2005 </p><p>oil on panel 40.5 x 43cm </p><p>buildings. It is the practice for developers to have such </p><p>works incorporated in the design of their buildings and </p><p>the public and the occupants of such premises now </p><p>expect to see them. They add a desirable dimension to </p><p>structures which can be very prosaic and uniform in </p><p>their construction and finishes. They also provide an </p><p>outlet for artistic talent in the country and give much </p><p>needed opportunities for employment... we now </p><p>seek the sanction of the Minister for ^^^^m </p><p>Finance to the expenditure of funds ^^^^^^^^^k on works of art in selected new </p><p>^^^^^^^^^H buildings. We consider 1% of the ^^^^^^^^^^H cost of a building or say ?6,000 ^^^^^^^^^^^B whichever is the lesser would be ^^^^^^^^^^^^B the correct proportion of cost to ^^^^^^^^^^^H spend on such works.'2 ^^^^^^^^^^^H </p><p>Happily the Department of ^^^^^^^^^^^B Finance agreed to the request and ^^^^^^^^^^H the OPW has remained committed ^^^^^^^^^H to exploring the relationship between ^^^^^^^^| art and architecture in hundreds of public ^^^^^B </p><p>building projects throughout Ireland. Today, the LI </p><p>OPW has responsibility for over 7,000 art works locat </p><p>ed in public properties throughout Ireland. </p><p>The OPW Art Management Group was set up in the </p><p>early 1990s to formalise policies and procedures in </p><p>terms of the OPW's acquisition and collection manage </p><p>ment activities as it had become apparent that the OPW </p><p>was responsible for a substantial number of historic and </p><p>contemporary art works. Since its formation, the Group </p><p>has comprised senior personnel in the OPW, including </p><p>the Chairman, Commissioners and the Principal </p><p>Architect. The first Art Adviser to the OPW was Noel </p><p>de Chenu, HRHA, who was then the retired principal </p><p>architect. The current Art Adviser is Patrick J Murphy, </p><p>HRHA. Other business units within the OPW are rep </p><p>resented on the Group, including Architectural </p><p>Services, Board Support, Facilities Management, </p><p>^^^^^ and the Art Management Office. </p><p>^^^^^^^^ One of the best practice principles set </p><p>^^^^^^^^^L down in the recent National </p><p>^^^^^^^^^^L Guidelines is that public engagement </p><p>^^^^^^^^^^A with the art works is an essential </p><p>^^^^^^^^^^^k part of the process. Since 1991, </p><p>^^^^^^^^^^^1 the OPW has toured an </p><p>^^^^^^^^^^^H exhibition, entitled 'Art of the </p><p>^^^^^^^^^^^m State'. Over the years, paintings, </p><p>^^^^^^^^^^m sculpture and original prints have </p><p>^^^^^^^^W been exhibited in venues throughout </p><p>^^^^^^^^ Ireland and abroad. Since 1997, the </p><p>^^^^^ Department of Finance and Personnel of </p><p>Li Northern Ireland has co-operated with the OPW </p><p>in the exhibition, exhibiting a selection of works it has </p><p>purchased for the Northern Ireland Civil Service </p><p>Collection (N1CS). The NICS has been in existence since </p><p>the early 1960s and represents the works of more than </p><p>540 artists, mainly from Ulster. This joint exhibition has </p><p>proved an important joint cultural venture between </p><p>North and South, with ministerial involvement and sup </p><p>port from Irish, Northern Irish and UK Governments. </p><p>8 I </p><p>OPW 175TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION </p><p>This content downloaded from on Thu, 12 Jun 2014 23:46:50 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>ART OF THE STATE - INHERITANCE, DEVELOPMENT, LEGACY </p><p>/ _ r * </p><p>The 2006 touring exhibition is entitled 'Reflections'. </p><p>Most of the works have been purchased very recently </p><p>for new building projects and some of them are by </p><p>recent art college graduates (Fig 6). The Art </p><p>Management Group initiated a policy within the </p><p>OPW to support the work of emerging artists and this </p><p>has proved a very successful venture (Figs 8&amp;l10) dis </p><p>playing innovative art works in non-gallery public </p><p>spaces - in garda stations, local government offices, </p><p>courthouses, and social welfare offices. Both the visit </p><p>ing public and the staff working there have the oppor </p><p>tunity to engage with contemporary art. </p><p>This year sees the publication of the fourth volume </p><p>in the series Art in State Buildings. This summary illus </p><p>trated catalogue lists details of all art works commis </p><p>sioned and purchased by the OPW between 1995 and </p><p>2005. Earlier catalogues have documented the periods </p><p>between 1922 and 1995. This new volume reflects the </p><p>increase in the number of art works due to the govern </p><p>ment's initial adoption of a per cent for art scheme in </p><p>Ireland in 1994 and the increased funding levels deliv </p><p>ered in 1997. An analysis of the art works acquired in </p><p>the period reflects the commitment the OPW has to </p><p>implementing the scheme in all its building projects. </p><p>Other government departments operating the scheme, </p><p>such as the Department of Environment and Local </p><p>Government in relation to the roads and community </p><p>projects; the Department of Health and Children in </p><p>relation to hospitals; and the Department of Education </p><p>and Science in relation to schools and colleges, will </p><p>have undertaken art projects which reflect the nature </p><p>of the work they do and the environment in which </p><p>their per cent for art funding has been generated. </p><p>The OPW Art Management Group has embraced </p><p>the challenge of placing contemporary Irish art in the </p><p>public domain. However, the OPW places art in work </p><p>Patrick J Murphy Patrick Murphy ?s a renowned authority on contemporary Irish art, </p><p>and also a keen collector. He was born in New Ross, Co Wexford, </p><p>in 1939. In the course of a distinguished career in brewing he worked </p><p>for Guinness in Dublin, London, Malaysia and Ghana, returning to </p><p>Dublin in 1973, before joining the Irish malting industry as managing </p><p>director of Irish Malt Exports Limited. </p><p>As a passionate collector of art himself, he has always been </p><p>generous with his business expertise in the cause of art, and has a </p><p>long and honourable association with the burgeoning Irish art scene. </p><p>In 1980 he replaced the founder Michael Scott as Chairman of </p><p>Rose, the pioneering Irish Exhibition of Contemporary Art. Some of </p><p>the main achievements of his chairmanship were obtaining the </p><p>Guinness Hop Store as a venue for art exhibi </p><p>tions and pioneering the Royal Hospital </p><p>Kilmainham as an exhibition space for inter </p><p>national contemporary art. </p><p>He has been a Trustee of the National Self </p><p>Portrait Collection, Limerick since 1990 and </p><p>was a member of the Cultural Relations </p><p>Committee of the Department of Foreign Affairs </p><p>from 1981-1995. In 1990 he was awarded the </p><p>Lord Mayor of Dublin's Millennium Medal. In </p><p>1999 he was elected Honorary Member of the </p><p>RHA and awarded its gold medal. He was </p><p>Chairman of the Contemporary Irish Art Society </p><p>from 1990-2000, and was Chairman of the Arts Council from </p><p>2000-2003. He is a member of the International Council of the </p><p>Museum of Modern Art, New York, and was twice President of the </p><p>Irish Exporter's Association. He is currently Art Adviser to the Office </p><p>of Public Works. In this role, he advises on acquisitions, portrait </p><p>commissions, exhibitions and art policy. He describes his involve </p><p>ment: 'My aim as Art Adviser to the Office of Public Works is to </p><p>secure the best possible works of modern Irish art for display in pub </p><p>lic buildings, under the Government's Per Cent for Art Scheme. In </p><p>pursuit of this objective, many prints, paintings and sculptures by </p><p>recent graduates of the various Irish art colleges are purchased as </p><p>well as key works by more established artists. The hope is that these </p><p>modern works of art will improve the office environments of the many </p><p>people who visit and work in these spaces, and encourage them in </p><p>their enjoyment of art.' </p><p>ing buildings and this brings its own challenges in </p><p>terms of the display, security and care of art works. The </p><p>advantage of housing art in public buildings is that </p><p>99.9% of the art works are permanently on display, </p><p>with only a small number of works in storage awaiting </p><p>conservation or en route to a new location. </p><p>The relationship between the client department and </p><p>the Art Management Office is a crucial part of the </p><p>administration process and is very important when art </p><p>works are placed on permanent public display outside a </p><p>OPW 175TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION | </p><p>9 </p><p>This content downloaded from on Thu, 12 Jun 2014 23:46:50 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>'Public art creates a dialogue with a people, a time and a place. The Per Cent for Art Scheme gives the Irish public the opportunity to experience a vast range </p><p>of contemporary art, borne out of capital construction </p><p>projects, in their everyday life' </p><p>10 I </p><p>This content downloaded from on Thu, 12 Jun 2014 23:46:50 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>ART OF THE STATE - INHERITANCE, DEVELOPMENT, LEGACY II </p><p>9 10 </p><p>gallery environment. Unlike a public gallery, the envi </p><p>ronment is first and foremost concerned with the busi </p><p>ness of the government department operating in the </p><p>building; people are there primarily for a purpose other </p><p>than viewing art. When the department takes owner </p><p>ship of the art works and has pride in their display, the </p><p>art works have found a good home and an interested </p><p>audience. By the nature of its role, the OPW has limi </p><p>tations on the types of art works it acquires - </p><p>video, </p><p>installation and performance-based art projects do not </p><p>fit easily into office environments. Yet when these </p><p>media can be incorporated into a project, the Art </p><p>Management Group is keen to do so. In the OPW's </p><p>head office on St Stephen's Green, a poem by Paula </p><p>Meehan is displayed alongside a sculpture by Marie </p><p>Foley....</p></li></ul>