This fall, while visiting Ireland, I made it a point to check out the Irish Museum of Modern Art. It wasn't an easy place to find and I had no expectations of the museum itself, but once we stumbled upon it I was pleasantly surprised. While in the US we are used to most modern art museums being fairly new in construction and sleek in appearance, this museum was built sometime in the 17th century and was home to retired soldiers. When you approach the museum it doesn't seem to be that impressive but once the front gates are opened you begin to realize how fantastic the building and grounds around it really are. The building is shaped in a large square with a gorgeous courtyard in the center. If you walk straight through the courtyard it will bring you to the grounds and gardens around the building, which are breathtaking and mysterious.
To be honest, I can't say that I am a huge fan of really obscure modern art, so it wasn't until I visited the garden that I was really moved. The contrast between the 17th century classical architecture/sculptures and the modern sculptures somehow made me feel a powerful connection to humanity. It may sound strange but I thought of all the soldiers that lived there before and all the people that will visit the museum in the future. What will the "modern" artwork to come look like? How will the forthcoming visitors perceive the art that I was viewing? All I knew was at that moment I was a part of history.