I'm a seasoned traveller & I've visited galleries all over the world.
The Hugh Lane Gallery is magical - To begin with, its free - like most galleries in Dublin. My initial impression was the building itself - very calm and flooded with a mellow light.
From an art perspective - the Hugh Lane houses the foremost collection of Irish and International modern and contemporary art in Ireland. Artists like - Rodin, Walter Osborne, Orpen, Jack B.Yeats, Mary Swanzy, Norah McGuinness, Niki de Saint Phalle, Agnes Martin,William Scott, Patrick Scott, (one of my favourites !) Joseph Beuys, Louis le Brocquy, Francis Bacon, Philip Guston, Elizabeth Magill, Sean Shanahan; Sean Scully, Brian Maguire, Dorothy Cross, Paul Seawright and Ellsworth Kelly.
For me the highlight was the Eve of St Agnes celebrated by Irish stained-glass artist Harry Clarke. Its really incredible and unique.
In terms of internaltional work, La Musique aux Tuileries by Edouard Manet, Bains de Mer (petite fille peignée par sa bonne) by Edgar Degas, Lavacourt under Snow by Claude Monet and The Mantlepiece by Edouard Vuillard.
A real feature is The Francis Bacon studio at the centre of the gallery - it will live long in the memory. An Incredible talent, his less than tidy studio, I'm left thinking real creativity doesn't live in a filing cabinet.
Oh - there's more - I mentioned Sean Scully, born in Dublin, the gallery shows seven of his paintings. I really enjoyed his contemporary & abstract expression.
At the finish - head to the cafe in the basement, a wonderful space, a retreat to reflect on what must be one of the best galleries anywhere.
Donations are welcome, I'd certainly encourage anyone who can afford to contribute something.