Heritage, modernity, creativity: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts invites cross-cultural dialogue
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 630 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), founded in 1860, is the oldest art museum in Canada. Its collections span Canadian heritage, modern and international art, design, and even frugal art (see our earlier coverage of exhibitions from 2019 and 2018).
The exhibits span five interconnecting pavilions, as well as an outdoor sculpture garden. There is also an auditorium and movie theatre, and a unique art therapy centre. The heritage collection includes Inuit artworks and Quebec artistic modernism (‘The Age of the Manifesto’).
Some of these exhibits and the engaging designs of the galleries are captured in this three-part photo essay. They bring together diverse perspectives from painters, photographers, designers and sculptors.
Creativity, design and education combine to present a well-curated engagement for viewers. The international scope of the museum’s exhibits also invites cross-cultural dialogue, particularly among the 120 cultural communities that live in Montreal.
Special sections in recent exhibitions focus on the works of Nicolas Party and Stanley Février, while another pavilion is themed Views of Within: Picturing the Spaces We Inhabit.
Nicolas Party’s breathtaking pastels are inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe, Giorgio Morandi, Rosalba Carriera, and Félix Vallotton. The exhibition is supported by Hydro-Québec and the Consulate General of Switzerland in Montreal.
“At turns poetic and provocative, Nicolas Party’s exhibition is an invitation to dream and to re-imagine the terms of our relationship to nature,” according to Mary-Dailey Desmarais, Chief Curator of the MMFA.
Reflections on indoor spaces and the impact of the pandemic lockdowns are inspired by the exhibition Views of Within. The works of 20 artists show how mobility restrictions impacted notions of work, family life, place, and privacy.
“Our relationship with interior space – whether physical, psychological or digital – has taken on a whole new dimension,” Mary-Dailey Desmarais describes.
Thematic sections of this exhibition are titled The Studio, In-between Spaces, Utopian Space, Private Space, and Domestic Interior. The museum also offers scenic views of Montreal’s skyline, including a giant mural of Canadian singer-songwriter and novelist, Leonard Cohen.
Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and harness your creative core?
(All photographs were taken by Madanmohan Rao at MMFA.)