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“Always great special exhibits”

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musee des Beaux-Arts)
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$92.94*
and up
Montreal Attraction Pass
Ranked #5 of 407 things to do in Montreal
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Founded in 1860 as the Art Association of Montreal by a group of Montreal art collectors and patrons, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) was one of the first museums in North America to build up an encyclopedic collection worthy of the name. It now numbers over 41,000 works from Antiquity to today, making it unique in Canada. It comprises paintings, sculptures, graphic arts, photographs and decorative art objects displayed in four pavilions: the Jean-Noel Desmarais Pavilion (international art), the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion (world cultures), the Liliane and David M. Stewart Pavilion (decorative arts and design) and the Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion (Quebec and Canadian art). The latter, which was inaugurated in September 2011, includes a 444-seat concert hall - Bourgie Hall - featuring an important group of Tiffany stained glass windows. A fifth wing, the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace devoted to international art and education, will open in late 2016 to launch Montreal's 375th anniversary celebrations.
Ottawa, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Always great special exhibits”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

I've been making special trips to Montreal for specific special exhibits for many years. It's always worth the journey. This time it was the special exhibit of the Impressionists. The collection of artwork in this exhibit is fantastic - not easily matched anywhere else I would venture. The ticket buying process was in the main older building this weekend, rather than in the new wing across the road where it is normally located. I'm not sure why, but this certainly did slow the process. The ticket-selling staff were cheerful and efficient though. I love this museum.

Visited November 2012
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Chicoutimi, Québec, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Once upon a time ... Impressionism”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

WOW, this is a great collections of the Impressionist. The expositions is big and I think it's better if you rent an audio device to listen what the artists has to say about their paintings.

Don't miss it if you can

Visited November 2012
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Thank lbyrns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great rainy day activity”
Reviewed November 4, 2012

The temporary exhibitions are always interesting, but what I like about this museum is that you can access the permanent collection by donation. Name your price, drop it in the donation box on your way in, and you can see art from any era you'd like - from ancient Egypt to the present. Unless there happens to be a school group there, it's usually very quiet - no distractions.

Visited February 2012
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Thank thenextkristin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McLean, Virginia
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Il' impressionnisme”
Reviewed November 4, 2012

Renoir, Degas, Gauguin and Monet exhibit. Many rarely displayed classic impressionist paintings, from the Clark. My husband loved the Toulouse-Laurtrec and Monet. Only a Schar would have added more.

Visited November 2012
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New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
“Great design makes the collection sizzle - and it's right downtown”
Reviewed November 1, 2012

OK, it's not the Louvre; Montreal is a small city. But the design makes the collection punch way above its weight.

The decorative arts wing, for example, is in the museum's old building, but they deconstructed and designed the hell out of their old classical box, making a space and a collection that is so visually arresting it may take a minute before you notice that you're looking at familiar Thonet and Philippe Starck production pieces.

You've probably come for the Canadian pieces, and they do remind you that Canada and Montreal were provincial. But the reuse of an old Romanesque church is wonderful, and the Moshe Safdie building joins the sundry "pavilions" with a lively concourse.

In short, the whole is much better than the sum of its parts. A tribute to a great curator or Board of Directors, I don't know the place well enough to know who was responsible, only that as an experience it works beautifully.

The museum is in the city center a short walk from your hotel or meeting, and a wonderful oasis on a business trip.

Visited November 2012
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