Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
The city’s largest museum, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux Arts) is actually a collection of five different buildings—or pavilions, to use their term—each one with a particular focus. The original 1912 Beaux Arts structure houses the institution’s ancient art collections. Across the street, the modernist Desmarais Pavilion displays contemporary works, both from the museum’s permanent collection and visiting exhibitions. The Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion, located in a former church, is focused on Canadian art. The Liliane and David M. Stewart Pavilion has exhibits on decorative arts and design. Finally, in 2017, the new Pavilion for Peace opened to house a remarkable bequest from two of Montréal's leading collectors, Michal and Renata Hornstein, with 750 works by everyone from Old Masters (Tintoretto, Veronese, Brueghel, and Rembrandt) to contemporary artists. Museum fatigue will almost surely set in if you try to explore all the pavilions in one visit. If time allows, you may want to return more than once during your stay in Montréal. The museum’s Wednesday evening hours make this easier, with all the pavilions open till 9 p.m. and half-price admission after 5 p.m.
By John Newton, AFAR Contributor
The Musée des Beaux-Arts Montréal, or Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in English, is located in four different pavilions along the Golden Mile, the stretch of Sherbrooke Street where the city’s elite once lived. The most recent of the buildings is the Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion, which opened in 2011 and is dedicated to Québecois and Canadian art. It also includes a concert hall that incorporates a rare collection of Tiffany stained glass. Perhaps not surprisingly, a strength of one of Canada’s most important art museums is its collection of Canadian art. The landscapes by the so-called Group of Seven, who attempted to create a distinct Canadian style of art rooted in nature, are especially notable. Admission for The Collection and Discovery Exhibitions is free for everyone 30 and under or 65 and older, and only $12 Canadian dollars for everyone else.
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