Raymond Keaveney retired as director of the National Gallery of Ireland on 11 January, ending a prestigious and successful directorship spanning 23 years. He is being replaced by Seán Rainbird, who has been the head of the Staatsgalerie Stuggart since 2006. Rainbird will become the gallery’s 14th director and is scheduled to take up his post on 18 April.
Keaveney joined the National Gallery of Ireland as curator in 1979, before being appointed assistant director in 1981 and director in 1988. During his tenure he oversaw major structural changes to the gallery, most notably the complete refurbishment of the Beit Wing in 1996 and the construction of the Millennium Wing in 2002.
In recent times he has overseen the restoration of the Dargan Wing (1864) and Milltown Wing (1903) as well as a proposed extension which would increase the gallery’s space from 16,000sqm to 23,000sqm.
Keaveney has presided over a significant increase in the collection of the gallery, which is Ireland's most visited cultural attraction; since the 1980s it grew from some 12,500 to over 14,500 pieces.
The Irish Museum of Modern Art also announced the appointment of a new director, to replace Spain’s Enrique Juncosa, who has been director of IMMA since 2003. Sarah Glennie, currently director of the Irish Film Institute based in Dublin’s Temple Bar, previously held the post of curator at IMMA from 1997 to 2001.
Glennie has had high-profile roles in arts organisations for the last 16 years and has curated many notable visual art projects in Ireland and internationally.