One of the best modern art collections of the 20th century awaits you in this old hospitall
Modern art in an ancient building
At first glance, the ancient Royal Hospital Kilmainham seems to be exactly what it once was: a sombre 17th-century construction where retired war veterans were lodged. It stands on the ruins of the former monastery of the Knights of St John, which was used as a hospital. Inside, however, you’ll find the avant-garde installations of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), which despite its youth – it first opened in 1991 – is now firmly established on the international map for contemporary art. With more than 4,500 works of art from the mid-20th century onwards, the Museum possesses an exquisite selection of pieces, purchased from the best art galleries in the world. Its ever-growing collection consists of photographs, sculpture, paintings and audiovisual material, and goes out on a limb with some of its more ground-breaking and unconventional exhibitions, like Langlands and Bell’s ‘The House of Osama Bin Laden’ which was so successful in 2003.