Montreal Museum of Fine Arts was originally known as the Art Association of Montreal when it was founded in 1860. It began as a selection of works from art collectors in Montreal and has grown to include art from all around the world. Now housing over 41,000 works of art spanning over the ages, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is a must-see for art lovers.

Over time, the museum has had to relocate and expand to accommodate its growing collection. The complex is made of five separate pavilions in Montreal, each with different exhibition themes. Included is a concert hall, auditorium, educational facilities and well as galleries. Montreal Museum of Fine Art is the eighth largest museum in North America, and has had over one million visitors in the past three years. Next read: Best Things to Do in Montreal

1.Permanent Collections

Permanent Collections
© Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Encyclopedic Collection is one of the largest in Canada, and includes genres like Archaeology and World Cultures, Decorative Arts and Design, Early to Modern International Art, Quebec and Canadian Art, International Contemporary Art, Photography and Graphic Arts, and a Sculpture Garden.

Mediterranean archaeology- The museum’s collection of Mediterranean archaeology is the second largest in the country, holding 875 artifacts from the Bronze Age to the classical time.

The World Culture Exhibit includes works from Asia, Africa, The Middle East, and the Americas. There are 750 pieces of international art housed by the museum from all different time periods and in several mediums.

A sculpture garden features 22 works by various artists, and is recognized as a cultural attraction by Montreal’s tourism board. Quebec and Canadian art includes works by Inuit artists, pieces created during the founding of Canada, themes of modernism, and contemporary art.

Decorative Arts and Design Collection includes over 10,000 works, such as furniture, ceramics, textiles, glassware, and silverware. Pieces from the 15th century on are contained in this exhibit, and reflect the many changes in design that have happened over the centuries.

Fun ideas: Getaways in California, East Coast beaches, SC, TX, NC quick trip, Romantic weekend getaways

2.Past and Future Exhibitions

Past and Future Exhibitions
© Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Focus: Perfection by Robert Mapplethorpe-This exhibition contains nearly 300 photographs that span over Mapplethorpe’s entire career. He was one of the most influential photographers of his time, and is known for the way his work focuses on perceptions of gender, race, and sexuality. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is the only Canadian venue to host this exhibit, and this is the first comprehensive collection of Mapplethorpe’s work since the landmark exhibition The Perfect Movement. The Perfect Movement was controversial at the time, as North America was in a culture war.

Kerry James Marshall: Biennale De Montreal 2016, The Grand Balcony-Marshall has become famous for his work that examines the way African-Americans are represented in culture. For this exhibit, he has created a new collection of lightboxes that chronicle his ongoing project Rhythm Mastr. This project features a superhero that fights evil by combining futuristic methods with traditional African culture. Marshall has had an important role in North American art, having served on Committee on the Arts and the Humanities established by President Barack Obama, as well as receiving recognition from the National Endowment for the Arts in the form of a fellowship, and a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, and was the recipient of the Wolfgang Hahn Award.

SHE Photographs-This collection features the work from several different artists. These artists focus on different themes in contemporary photography, including the environment, landscape, nudes, and still life. The photographs use a variety of techniques, including collage, composite images, and pinhole photography.

Design Lab: The Art of Play-This collection features handmade toys from young designers in Quebec. These toys are made from wood, textiles, and recycled materials. These toys are all unique and are examples of superb craftsmanship.

Weekend Getaways: Weekend Getaways from Seattle, NC day trips, FL, From Phoenix, WV, IN, Near Atlanta, AL


© Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

There are many different activities hosted by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, from family workshops to school outings. Cultural activities, educational displays, and courses are offered to promote art appreciation and cultivate skills. Programs like Day Camp give school children to create art during their spring break, and guided tours are offered to classes as an extension of the lesson plan. A virtual exhibition is available online as well to assist in the classroom. Birthday workshops are also offered for a fun, engaging party. There are drop-in workshops available with seasonal themes, and parent-child activities to create collaborative art. Adult Education workshops include tutorials in drawing, watercolor, music creation, and painting technique.

There are also concerts held at Bourgie Hall that feature travelling productions and local symphonies. Holiday concerts are especially popular, and include Christmas symphonies, Cantatas of J.S. Bach, and Charlie Brown Christmas. Next read: Best Things to Do in Montreal

1380 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montreal, QC H3G 1J5, Canada, Phone: 514-285-2000

What should I do in: CO, From San Diego, VA, San Diego, OH, WI, MI, Wedding, IL, WA

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts