VIEW-13052 | New Art Gallery, Sherbrooke Street, Montreal, QC, 1913

New Art Gallery, Sherbrooke Street, Montreal, QC, 1913
Wm. Notman & Son
1913, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , building (531) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

The promotion of cultural institutions was another area in which philanthropists and the urban elite were active. Museums, art galleries and libraries were considered important civic institutions and most of them developed as a direct result of philanthropic donations and organization. Montreal was in the forefront of these developments. An Art Association was formed in 1860 to organize exhibitions. A timely legacy of land and money from Benaiah Gibb enabled the group to build a permanent art gallery on Phillips Square in 1877. This was about the same time that art museums were opened in New York and Boston and Toronto citizens started to raise funds for a museum that was finally opened in 1912.

Gibb's paintings formed the nucleus of the Montreal gallery's collection, and other supporters lent works for exhibitions. By 1912 the exhibition space was considered too small, and so the elegant building seen here was constructed as the gallery's new home. Again, this was done entirely through private donations.

  • What

    The Montreal Art Gallery is the oldest art museum in Canada. It changed its name to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des beaux-arts) in 1960.

  • Where

    The illustration is of the newly constructed gallery, located on Sherbrooke Street in the middle of the wealthy Golden Square Mile district, surrounded by other elegant Victorian greystones.

  • When

    The new art gallery was completed in 1912. The building is still a part of the Museum today and is linked to the main galleries now housed in a more modern building across the street.

  • Who

    The original building was designed by architects Edward (1867-1923) and William Maxwell (1874-1952), who built many of the mansions to be found in this wealthy district.