The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is the oldest art museum in Canada. It was established way back in 1860. It moved to its present location in the Golden Square Mile in December 1912. The new building was in the Beaux Arts style. The museum’s collection is also held in two other buildings – the modernist Desmarais Pavilion across the street and the Bourgie Pavilion in an old church. Today the collection has more than 30,000 pieces.
The collection is split into five different departments: Canadian Art and Inuit Art, International Art, Decorative Arts and Design, World Cultures, and Contemporary Art. Though it has its share of masters, most of the paintings are by lesser-known artists. The collection of Islamic Art is very good and includes ceramics, metalwork, and textiles. There’s also an excellent devoted to Napoleon. The modern art collection is probably the most interesting, though. It features works of art across many mediums by some of the art world’s biggest names. Temporary exhibitions are often compelling as well.
The main building was recently renovated and has been reopened as of June 2011. This is the best museum in Montreal and is a must-see. It will take a while to get through, so be sure to wear a pair of comfy shoes.
Location: 1380 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal H3G 1J5
Hours: Open daily 11:00-17:00, closed Monday.
$16.00 Seniors (65+)
$12.00 Youth (13-25)
Free for children under 12; $10.00 Wednesday evenings 17:00-21:00.