The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is one of the most prominent museums in Canada and the oldest institution of its kind in the city. The Musee de Beaux Arts, as it translates in French, was founded in 1860 and has enjoyed a long and rich history since its inception. It is not only Montreal’s oldest, but also its largest museum. The art museum in Montreal is a member of what is known as the Bizot Group, essentially a conglomeration of the world’s most prominent museums that agree to share large exhibitions with one another. This means that you are not likely to ever visit this museum without being inspired by new exhibitions. Not only is it an important part of the cultural heritage of the city, it is also a very popular tourist attraction. It is located on Sherbrooke Street along the famous Golden Square Mile, known for its striking diversity of architecture.
There are some helpful tidbits to know if you are considering paying a visit to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The museum itself it split up into three separate sections. The Michael and Renata Hornstein Pavilion is the oldest of the three, constructed in 1912, and is largely dedicated to the history of Montreal. The Jean-Noel Desmarais Pavilion is located across the street and features a wide variety of works by artists from around the world, spanning from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. The Lilane and David M. Stewart Pavilion is the last of the three pavilions, which all together feature over 30,000 pieces of art, artifacts, and other items. The museum also announced its intention to convert the Erskine and American United Church into an exhibition space for the purpose of doubling the size of the grounds dedicated Canadian art. The size and beauty of the buildings themselves are certainly one aspect of why the experience of visiting the Musee de Beaux Arts is so special, but it is what is on the inside that is really exciting.
The experience at the popular art museum in Montreal starts with the three permanent exhibits. One of the exhibitions features works of art as well as personal affects of Napoleon. The permanent exhibits are rounded out by the engaging Pre-Columbian display and the fascinating Sacred Africa. These are well worth checking out, but anyone who is planning a trip to this art museum in Montreal probably already knows the wide range of legendary artists that are also on display in its halls. The list of legends at the Musee de Beaux Arts is almost too long to recount. Just some of the internationally renowned names include Rembrandt, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Pellegrini, Monet, and Renoir. From the early works on display from the fourteenth century to the amazing Impressionist and post-Impressionist exhibits, you will be amazed at the stunning array of art at the museum.
The Musee de Beaux Arts is closed on Monday, open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is half price for everyone on Wednesdays. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is one of the finest museums in Canada and well worth a visit on your next trip.
Image: Tourisme Montréal, Mario Melillo