'Extremely busy but rewarding': Crawford Director marks challenging but successful year 

In a year where international visitors were virtually non-existent, the Crawford "continued to thrive".
'Extremely busy but rewarding': Crawford Director marks challenging but successful year 

Enjoying the festive season at the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork was Laura Milner with her daughters Laura Jane and Eliza. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Cork's Crawford Art Gallery has described 2021 as a challenging but successful year. 

In an annual review, the gallery said that in a year where international visitors were virtually non-existent, the Crawford "continued to thrive".

Despite being closed for the first four months of the year due to Covid-19 restrictions, the gallery welcomed a number of new exhibitions featuring a wide range of national and international works.

The Crawford Art Gallery hosted 11 new exhibitions this year.
The Crawford Art Gallery hosted 11 new exhibitions this year.

The most popular was Rembrandt in Print, which invited visitors to encounter 50 works by the famed Rembrandt van Rijn in Cork City for the first time. The exhibition continues until January 9.

Another stand-out moment was the announcement by Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for Culture Catherine Martin that the contract for the design of the building's redevelopment had been awarded to Grafton Architects.

"A real highlight of 2021 was the expansion of the National Collection through the Covid Acquisition Fund, the gift of paintings from the Port of Cork, and other purchases and notable donations," said gallery director Mary McCarthy.

"2021 has been extremely busy but rewarding as we have the ongoing pleasure of working with Grafton Architects to plan the renewed gallery – it’s a truly collaborative and inspiring process.”

Other collections this year included 'REMAINS' by Brian Maguire, 'I have made a place' by Laura Fitzgerald, and 'Please Gamble Responsibly' by Doug Fishbone.

The National Collection hosted a number of new exhibitions including 'Menagerie: Animals by Artists', 'NEW THREADS: Acquisitions 2021', 'Patrick Scott: Meditations', and 'Edith Somerville: observations'.

In addition, a series of workshops, tours, and talks were hosted both online and in-person as part of the gallery's Learn & Explore programmes.

The gallery also had partnerships with Cork School of Music, Cork Pride, Cork Harbour Festival, Quiet Lights Festival, Cork Midsummer Festival, Cork International Film Festival and SEODA - Culture Ireland’s Global Online Arts Festival. 

“The Gallery remains indebted to the artists we work with on exhibitions and on our Learn & Explore programmes," said Ms McCarthy. 

"They continue to inspire us and create meaningful relevant experiences for our audiences to engage with online and in-person in the gallery."

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