About the Exhibitions Database

The NIVAL Exhibitions Database has been compiled to improve public access to the Library's extensive collection of files documenting art and design exhibitions in Ireland.  The files contain catalogues, press material and ephemera on more than 10,000 solo and group exhibitions from the period 1900 to the present.

The Exhibitions Database is a reference resource providing basic details on Irish exhibitions including title, date, venue, and artists represented.  A visit to the library is recommended to researchers seeking a comprehensive view of the actual files.

  • Title: ROSC 50 - 1967 | 2017.
  • Reference Code:IE/NIVAL EXB/15091
  • Variant Names: 2017 Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; exh: 'ROSC 50 - 1967 | 2017.'
  • Date: 2017-05-05

Scope and Content:

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Rosc exhibition in Ireland. These pivotal, and often controversial, exhibitions were the first major series of large scale international art exhibitions in Ireland, at a time when Ireland did not have a National Museum of Contemporary Art. Rosc took place approximately every four years between 1967 and 1988, with IMMA being founded in 1991. For many visitors, Rosc was the first time they would have been introduced to work by international artists such as Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly, Agnes Martin, Laurie Anderson among others. Indeed, from 1967 the Department of Education enabled all schools to take a day out of school to visit the Rosc exhibitions, a visionary policy which had a significant impact on future generations of artists and arts audiences. There were several landmark moments across the exhibitions including the first performance of Rest Energy by Marina Abramovic and Ulay in Rosc ’80, which involved Ulay holding a steel arrow pointed directly at Abramovic’s heart for four minutes. But there were also many controversies associated with Rosc during its 21 years, such as the movement of ancient monuments for the 1967 Rosc, the exclusion of Irish artists from the first two Rosc exhibitions and the ongoing debate about the representation of Irish art and artists in Rosc, not to mention the under representation of female artists. ROSC 50 is presented in collaboration with NIVAL (the National Irish Visual Art Library) and the opening display at IMMA provides an intriguing, detailed, and contextualised look at these controversial and pivotal Exhibitions. Visitors can engage with the history of Rosc through a rich presentation of archive materials including catalogues, photographs, news footage, and exhibition reviews and reports, alongside first-person accounts. Visitors are encouraged to consider Rosc’s intentions, impact and legacy.