An Investigation into Irish State patronage of the visual arts.
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The focus of this research is in ascertaining how and why the Irish state patronises the visual arts. The framework that the state puts in place for the support of the arts influences the creation of art. The initial standpoint from which to evaluate the system is founded on the belief that art is of social good. The second source of belief is in the necessity for an autonomous setting in which it can be created. These two beliefs underpin state patronage of the arts in contemporary society. Therefore they have to be examined carefully in order to see if they hold up. This requires an investigation into the formation of value. This is undertaken by looking into the social development of western society and its influence on the placement of arts value. Establishing how arts value to society is defined provides a means by which to investigate the manner in which the state patronises the visual arts. Two case studies provide the evidence in how the state supports the arts and why it chooses to do so. The Irish Museum of Modem Art is used as an example of the state’s role in the maintenance of the canon of art. The second case study looks at the work being done by Breaking Ground. Breaking Ground is an extensive art project as an element of the regeneration process happening in Ballymun funded by the state. It provides and insight into how the state utilises art in the unification of a social group.
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