While I haven't mentioned it much on this blog, over the summer I backpacked around Ireland–which as you can imagine was a most fantastic experience. One of the amazing highlights that I hadn't considered previous to arriving was the amount of galleries and museums that are free to the public, not to mention the sheer volume of arts related events and festivals that inundated half the cities I visited. It was truly wonderful.
The Hugh Lane Gallery was a fantastic highlight in my visit to Dublin city. From their impressive collection of well known artists (Monet! Manet! Renoir! Morrisot! ..umm, I was very excited to see my art history text book come to life) to the perfectly preserved studio of Francis Bacon (yes, in the gallery!) to the wonderful stained glass windows by Harry Clarke illustrating Keats' poem "The Eve of St Agnes" this gallery is lovely.
I was also impressed with the range of Irish artist that was showcased from the historical to the contemporary. There was quite a wide range that allowed for a brief historical overview of major movements in Ireland and hi-lighting many historical events as artists reacted to the times.