Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec

179 Grande Allée Ouest, Québec, QC G1R 2H1, Canada

This sprawling museum is located in four buildings near Battlefields Park—the most recent of them, the Pierre Lassonde pavilion, opened in 2016 and was designed by starchitect Rem Koolhaas’s OMA. The 25,000 works in its permanent collection cover the history of art in the province, beginning with the French colonial period and including artists who are still active today. The museum also holds one of the world’s most important collections of Inuit art, with some 100 pieces—mostly carvings in stone, whalebone, or ivory—on display at any one time. Temporary exhibitions focus on both local and international artists. If you have time for a sit-down meal, Tempéra Québecor—helmed by Marie-Chantal Lepage, one of Québec’s best-known chefs—is near the entrance of the new pavilion, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the grounds and the Grande Allée.

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Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec

The museum holds one of the world’s most important collections of Inuit art. Visiting exhibitions display both local and international artists.

One-Stop Shop to Culture

If you only have a few days in Québec like I did, I recommend visiting the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, especially if you are interested in art history. Admission for adults is a bit steep at $18 but you definitely get your money’s worth. With just over ten exhibits, both permanent and temporary, you will get a crash course into Québec art history throughout the years. Most of the exhibits are located on the left-hand side when you walk in (Charles Baillairgé Pavillion) and the rest are on the other side (Gérard Morisset Pavillion). My favorite exhibit was actually a permanent one titled Riopelle, one of Québec’s most famous artists. I had personally never heard of him before but was immediately blown away by his work.

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