Poke your nose around any global city. Art is everywhere from formal galleries to outdoor sculptures to impromptu performances to street art and murals. Here, we've chosen 10 of our favorite places to appreciate art when you study abroad in Dublin with CAPA International Education.
1. CHESTER BEATTY LIBRARY. Pop in to the Chester Beatty Library for everything from manuscripts to miniature paintings, prints and drawings to rare books. They were donated by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty from his personal collection. You'll find some rarities like Egyptian papyrus texts along with religious books - some of these stretching way back to 2700 BC. There's free admission which is always a bonus and Lonely Planet has called it not just the best museum in Ireland but one of the best in Europe. It's the only one in Ireland to win 'European Museum of the Year'.
Photo: Chester Beatty Library by William Murphy
2. IRISH MUSEUM OF MODERN ART. This was Ireland's first national institution to feature a collection of modern and contemporary art. IMMA has been around since 1991 and you'll find that they feature a wide variety of exhibitions that appeal to different audiences so watch their listings to see what's coming up next. While you're there, take a walk around the grounds outdoors and admire the sculptures placed throughout the green space. Note that there is extensive refurbishment happening at the moment and the museum is set to fully reopen by October 2013.
Photo: Irish Museum of Modern Art by William Murphy
3. MONSTER TRUCK GALLERY AND STUDIOS. If the name alone doesn't convince you, know that Monster Truck is one of our favorite small galleries in Dublin, drawing in plenty of creative thinkers to their contemporary art exhibitions. It's an artist-led organization and supports nine artists' studios in Dublin so there's a lot of imagination behind the scenes that's evident when you walk inside. It may not be a very large space but it hosts some big talents and is worth a visit. It makes for a perfect place to tuck in out of the rain if you're passing through Francis Street.
Photo: Monster Truck Gallery by William Murphy
4. DUBLIN CITY GALLERY THE HUGH LANE. Yes, this one has a somewhat cumbersome name (which is often shortened to The Hugh Lane). The story goes that it was the first known public gallery of modern art in the world when it was founded back in 1908. It's been relocated from its original building to Parnell Street where you'll find mostly contemporary Irish art but also has an extensive collection by French artists. Don't miss the impressive reconstruction of Francis Bacon's studio where you can see about 7,000+ items that were transported to Dublin. He said he worked better in chaos!
Photo: Hugh Lane Gallery by psyberartist
5. THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF IRELAND. This is your classic national gallery, a place to spend hours getting lost in the Vermeers, Picassos and Van Goghs. With somewhere around 13,000 works, there's plenty to keep you busy! Exhibitions touch on lots of different media - watercolors, drawings, prints and sculptures. The National Gallery itself has been around since 1854, established by an act of Parliament. Keep an eye on the exhibition listings and when you visit, be sure to swing by the award winning Millennium Wing.
Photo: National Gallery of Ireland by Christopher Duffin
6. NATIONAL LIBRARY OF IRELAND'S NATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVE. If you're a fan of photography, The National Library of Ireland’s National Photographic Archive (NPA) is the place for you. Opened in 1998, it's home to the world’s largest collection of Irish photographs. Some of the photographs are contemporary, but the focus is on historical work. You'll find a wide range of subjects from posed studio portraits to reportage photography covering political events. The building itself is an impressive piece of architecture. It's open every day and has free admission.
Photo: National Photographic Archive by Still Burning's photostream
7. EXCHANGE DUBLIN. Feeling creative or in need of some inspiration? Check out what's happening over at Exchange Dublin. Opened about three years ago as an alcohol-free venue for Dubliners to engage with the arts, Exchange Dublin hosts everything from discussions to gigs to visual and performance art and craft, photography and dance workshops. Pull up a beanbag for one of their milk and cookie open mic storytelling nights. Exchange Dublin is entirely run by volunteers.
Photo: Exchange Dublin by Robin Cafolla
8. LITTLE MUSEUM OF DUBLIN. Soak up a bit of history in the two rooms that make up the Little Museum of Dublin - as small as its name suggests. One of the city's newest museums, it is set in a beautiful Georgian townhouse on St. Stephen's Green. Its few walls are put to good use though, packed with a artistically curated scrapbook of objects that reach back into the 20th Century to compile the stories that have helped shaped the city into what it is like today. Every blank space is put to use so you could spend hours here looking at everything!
Photo: Little Museum of Dublin by IrishFireside
9. COLLINS BARRACKS. Visit Collins Barracks, the second oldest building in Dublin and a branch of the National Museum of Ireland, to find the country's Museum of Decorative Arts and History. It has a large collection to admire featuring everything from silver and ceramics to weaponry and costumes that were a part of the country's folk life. This is a treasure for history buffs as most of the art here is in the form of historical artifacts. Admission is free.
Photo: Pace Makers of Collins Barracks by Swire
10. DUBLIN WRITERS MUSEUM. For a different sort of art - the creativity of writing, the Dublin Writers Museum is your key stop off point. You'll find it in Parnell Square in an original 18th century house. The museum documents the impressive literary history of Dublin covering big names like James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw and William Butler Yeats as well as many of the lesser known writers who made an impact with their work. Next door is the Irish Writer's Centre which provides that crucial link to living writers and the international literary scene.
Photo: Dublin Writers Museum by free range jace
Have you been to Dublin? Leave us a comment and let us know your favorite places to appreciate art in this global city.