Montreal Map
Site Index
Contact
Random
Our Travel Books
Advertising / Press

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Since arriving in Montreal, we had been planning to check out the Museum of Fine Arts, but kept finding reasons to postpone our visit. “It’s too sunny out for a museum,” or “it’s Sunday, and will be too crowded,” or “it’s already too late, and we won’t be able to see everything.” But if we’re being honest, the museum simply intimidated us. With over 40,000 pieces in its permanent collection, this the largest and most important museum in Montreal, and one that requires a lot of time to see properly.

Montreal Fine Arts Museum

Finally, on a rainy Thursday morning with nothing else to do, we ran out of excuses. And I’m glad we waited for the right moment… this museum really is a place you’ll want to visit when you don’t have any other plans. It’s spread across four buildings (or “pavilions”), each of which could easily be a museum of its own. You could spend the entire day here, and still not see everything.

The museum is audacious in its scope, attempting to cover the entire gamut of humanity’s dabblings in art, from ancient archaeological finds in Mesopotamia to modern Inuit sculptures from northern Canada, and everything in between. You’ll find rooms dedicated to Contemporary Design, Decorative Arts, Graphic Arts, Medieval Religious Iconography, Napoleonic Art, and much more.

Montreal Fine Arts Museum

Not only is the museum massive, it’s also wonderfully presented. The pieces of art are perfectly illuminated, and each comes with detailed information of its creator and the work itself. And all of the museum’s various sections are quite different from one another, each as compelling as the last. As the day wore on, Jürgen and I would repeatedly say to each other, “Alright, let’s do the next room quickly.” And inevitably, we found ourselves stuck. There’s almost nothing that you’ll want to skip over.

The museum has paintings from European greats, such as Picasso, El Greco, Monet and Rembrandt, as well as contemporary works from artists around the world. There’s a wonderful section in the Stewart Pavilion dedicated to early North American design, featuring everyday items like chairs, lamps, ceramics and vases. And we loved the exhibition on African Art, with its masks, tools and sculptures.

Montreal Fine Arts Museum

And all of this is just from the museum’s permanent collections. There are also first-class temporary exhibits which stay for months at a time. We were able to see one dedicated to the lost city of Pompeii, with artwork and sculptures recovered from the site (including some that were surprisingly erotic), as well as plaster molds made from the bodies covered in ash.

By the time we finished with the museum, we were exhausted. It didn’t seem like it, but our visit had lasted nearly four hours, and still we felt like we had rushed through. If you’re into art, and have a lot of time to kill, you’re going to love this place. Even if you can’t stomach the idea of such a long day, you should still consider a visit. The price is reasonable, so you’ll get your money’s worth even if you see just a fraction of the exhibits.

Location on our Map
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – Website

Our Framed Montreal Photos

Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Montreal Fine Arts Museum
, , , , , , , , ,
June 19, 2016 at 3:23 pm Comments (0)

The Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Founded in 1964, the Musée d’Art Contemporain was the first museum in Canada dedicated entirely to works of contemporary art. In 1991, the MAC moved into its new location on the Place des Arts, where it hosts exhibitions from the world’s most famous contemporary artists.

Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art

The works displayed at the MAC run the gamut from video and sculpture, to media-painting and performance art. Although they do have a permanent collection of over seven thousand works, only a small number of these are shown at any time. The focus of the MAC is on its temporary exhibits, which makes sense for a contemporary art museum… who wants to see old pieces that have been around for years? Give us something new!

Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art

A visit to the MAC is likely to be impressive and irritating in equal measure, and your enjoyment will depend entirely on how you respond to whatever artist they’re currently hosting; in other words, make sure to check the list of exhibitions before purchasing a ticket. We were drawn by the work of Ragnar Kjartansson, an Icelandic performance artist who has achieved a certain level of fame for his imaginative, often music-based projects. (Since we spent 91 days in Iceland, we felt a kinship towards Rangar; it’s not unlikely we even met him at a Reykjavik happy hour, since we met about 25% of the island’s population at some point during our stay.)

One of his installations at the MAC was called “A Lot of Sorrow,” which is nothing but an extended video of the band The National performing their song “Sorrow” for six and a half hours. As soon as the song would finish, they’d segue into the next iteration. Now, we’re big fans of the National, but still. I think the primary “art” involved in this project, was convincing the band to agree to it!

Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art

We preferred another of Rangar’s installations called “The Visitors,” in which he placed a dozen of his musically-inclined friends around an old mansion, gave them headphones to stay synced, and together had them play an hour-long song revolving around the lyrics, “once again I fall into my feminine ways.” In a large room at the MAC, a separate film of each musician is shown, and the effect is amazing — as you walk around the room (or the house), different facets of the music come to the fore: the cello, the accordion, the drums. And the song was lovely, too.

You probably already know if you’re the kind of person who’s going to enjoy the MAC. Contemporary art is easy to despise, but if you are open to avant-garde works, don’t pass it up. With its focus on challenging artists, prominent downtown location, and spacious rooms which allow its wide-ranging projects to be properly experienced, this is one of the best contemporary art museums we’ve ever been to.

Location on our Map
Musée d’Art Contemporain – Website

Framed Montreal Photos

Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art
Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art
Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art
Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art
Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art
Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art
Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art
Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art
Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art
Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art
Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art
, , , , , , , , , ,
May 6, 2016 at 4:00 pm Comments (0)
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Since arriving in Montreal, we had been planning to check out the Museum of Fine Arts, but kept finding reasons to postpone our visit. "It's too sunny out for a museum," or "it's Sunday, and will be too crowded," or "it's already too late, and we won't be able to see everything." But if we're being honest, the museum simply intimidated us. With over 40,000 pieces in its permanent collection, this the largest and most important museum in Montreal, and one that requires a lot of time to see properly.
For 91 Days