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Situated in the heart of the city center, the Chester Beatty Library is an art museum and library which houses the great collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and some decorative arts assembled by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968). His collection is now housed in Dublin Castle in a restored 18th century building with a modern purpose-built block attached. The Library was named Irish Museum of the Year and was recently awarded the title European Museum of the Year, a coveted international accolade in the museum world. The Library's exhibitions open a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world. The rich collection from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe offers visitors a visual feast. Egyptian papyrus texts, beautifully illuminated copies of the Qur'an, the Bible, European medieval and renaissance manuscripts are among the highlights of the collection. Turkish and Persian miniatures and striking Buddhist paintings are also on display, as are Chinese dragon robes and Japanese woodblock prints. In its diversity, the collection captures much of the richness of human creative expression from about 2700 BC to the present day. Admission is free.
At the National Gallery of Ireland, you will find the largest collection of art in the country. They have a permanent collection containing great works from all over Europe, including works by Caravaggio, Monet, and Picasso. Not only does the gallery cover all the major schools of art but the gallery stocks artworks from the 14th to the 20th century. Besides displaying fine works of art, the gallery also works towards conservation of artworks, conducts research as well as organizes events and programs for children and adults alike. Admission to the permanent collection is free.
Founded in 1908 by art enthusiast Sir Hugh Lane, this elegant gallery houses Sir Hugh's collection of paintings by Dégas, Monet and Courbet; in addition to Rodin sculptures and a fine selection of modern Irish paintings. A magnificent stained glass room includes panels by Evie Hone and Harry Clarke: most notable of late, however, is the Lane's acquisition of Francis Bacon's studio, which is now reproduced in the gallery untouched. Free classical music concerts are held here on winter Sundays, lectures are frequently given: the Hugh Lane is worth a visit all year long. They also have a cafe and a bookshop that are open all the hours of the operation of the museum.