Montreal – Museum of Fine Arts

1379 – 1380 rue Sherbrooke Ouest

It will take you about 10 minutes to walk from the McGill University gate to the museum on Sherbrooke Street.

In the mid 1800s, the community already valued art.  While finding the funding and sufficient space to showcase the artistic works was not an easy task, a mobile unit was first used to capture interest.  Later, a donation from Benaiah Gibb in 1877 to the Art Association took a new turn. This allowed the building of a fixed infrastructure to present the pieces of art. The Square Philips building, which no longer exists, was soon not big enough and the Sherbrooke Street location was determined to be a good solution.

The new construction at 1379 Sherbrooke Street West was opened in 1912.

The museum was extended with the opening in 1976 of an annex which holds the name of Lilian and David M. Stewart while the main 4 column building is the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion.

In 1991, a new edifice was added across the street from the original building when the Jean-Noel Desmarais Pavillon officially opened (1380 Sherbrooke Street West).

In 2011, the 1893-1894 Erskine and American United Church was integrated to the museum.  The church was recognized as a national historical site in 1998 and the integration brought a new dimension to the museum.  The Church surely presents a typical architectural design of the time. Unique in style, it includes original towers and stained glass work by Tiffany.  The Bourgie Concert Hall was created with a capacity of just over 460 seats. The building now bears the name of Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion.

The 1912 building and the old church are divided by a street which has been modified to include a row of sculptures on each side of the street.

Finally, in 2016, a new addition to the museum on Bishop Street has a more modern look.

The museum holds multiple exhibitions, some permanent, some temporary and from different sources of art. Ancient art, modern, contemporary and design art are presented under the same roof. Quebec, Canadian and International art work are showcased. An art therapy program is also offered. A dedicated entrance to the movie theater is under the stairs of the 1912 building. Like other art museums, it is difficult to see it all in a single visit.

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