TRINITY College Dublin (TCD) have re-introduced their College Gallery Art Hire Scheme after a five year absence. The scheme gives students who live on campus the opportunity to own the university’s most famous artwork for the duration of the academic year.
Students and staff submit applications for their favourite artworks from the display and then the paintings, prints and posters are allocated by a lottery selection, with students given first priority for the paintings before staff members get their choices.
The paintings were put on display for students and staff to see with only their collection number instead of the painters name and titles. This was to ensure that students choose paintings that attracted and appealed to them instead of choosing the most famous painting or a piece with an obviously high price.
The remaining paintings that had not been allocated to either students or staff were put on display at common areas around campus to enable the public appreciation.
The university was only able to hold the exhibition for two days, due to a lack of gallery space, which allowed for a limited time for students to view the paintings. To counteract this problem, the university is hoping to establish a online viewing system next year to give everyone a chance to view each painting.
The scheme has been revived after a lack of volunteers for the College Gallery Student Committee made it impossible to run after 2003. Members of the student committee help with administering the scheme and also assist in choosing new paintings to purchase for the collection.
The committee currently consists of History of Art and Architecture students but it is hoped that students from other subjects and discliplines will become involved in the near future. The Art Hire scheme was started in 1959 by Professor George Dawson who had helped establish the Genetics Department the previous year.
The reason for establishing the scheme was to enable each generation of students in TCD to be aware of the major works by both Irish and international artists in their own time. To do this, they would have a collection of modern and contemporary art displayed in student rooms, staff offices and common areas in the university.
The university has not experinced any problems with allocating any of the artwork to students and so far, there has been no reports of any missing artwork. The scheme was revived as the 50th aniversary of the Trinity College Modern Art Collection will be taking place next year.