Sidney Nolan Paintings
Sir, - I refer to the letter from Derek Bell (September 11th) about Sidney Nolan's paintings. I would like to point out that although a proposal was made in 1986 that Sidney Nolan would donate work from each year of his working life as an artist, no such donation was actually made to the State or to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, although it is clear that this was the artist's intention.
In 1990, Sidney Nolan generously donated six works made in 1989 from a planned series called the Wild Geese. These works were included in the museum's opening exhibition, which Sidney Nolan attended, and have been included in collection exhibitions in the museum to date and latterly in different parts of the country as part of the museum's national programme.
From September 29th, these six paintings will be exhibited in the new Galway Arts Centre and again in the museum in 1999.
Sidney Nolan's death in 1992 meant that the Wild Geese series was never completed and subsequently unresolved issues between the estate and UK tax authorities also meant that the original proposal could not be completed.
It is the policy of the Irish Museum of Modern Art to display works from its collection regularly in rotation in Kilmainham or elsewhere in the country. I can therefore assure Mr Bell and anyone else interested in this issue that there are no works by Sidney Nolan or by any other artist hidden in store in the museum. - Yours, etc., Decan McGonagle, Director,
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Kilmainham, Dublin 8.