IMMA is the Irish Museum of Modern Art, located in Kilmainham, Dublin. The museum is housed in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, which is often classed as Dublin's finest 17th-century building. Used as a home for retired soldiers for almost 250 years, the building was derelict until the government restored it in 1984, as part of an effort to prevent Dublin's architectural heritage going to ruin. The building was subsequently chosen as a suitable site for a museum of modern art, which was opened in 1991.
The museum is one of Ireland's cultural success stories. Despite its location on the outskirts of the city, it is popular with tourists and locals alike. A number of recent high profile exhibitions, of work by artists such as Andy Warhol and Francis Bacon, have attracted large crowds. It also houses an impressive permanent collection, based on donations by a number of Irish collectors, but lack of space means that only a small fraction of these collections are likely to be on show at any one time.
Although the domestic scale of the building's rooms make it difficult to show larger works, on the whole IMMA is a great place to view modern art. The building and its surrounding gardens are a work of art in themselves, although of a different era. This sets the work on display in an unusual, but oddly apposite, context. Perhaps it provides that essential ingredient of humility: our age's cultural treasures set amongst a treasure from another age.