October 17, 2013

New exhibits offered at Montreal museums

By STEVEN HOWELL Press-Republican

---- — MONTREAL — From Italian splendor of centuries past to present-day hip-hop artistic influences, Montreal museums abound with an eclectic array of art this fall.


First up, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts presents “Splendore a Venezia: Art and Music from the Renaissance to Baroque in Venice.” The sumptuous visual feast highlights 120 works — paintings, prints, drawings, historical instruments and musical manuscripts — on display from some of the finest cultural institutions in the world, including the Musee du Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Washington’s National Gallery of Art, and London’s National Gallery. Of note: the first edition of “The Four Seasons” by Vivaldi is on display. “Splendore a Venezia” continues through Jan. 19, 2014.

In addition, the summer blockbuster of exquisite glass sculptures created by Dale Chihuly in an exhibition titled “Chihuly: Utterly Breathtaking” has been extended through Sunday, Oct. 27.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is at 1380 Sherbrooke St. W. Adult admission costs $22.50. Admission to the permanent collection is always free. Call (514) 285-2000 or visit for details. 


A few city blocks away — but a world apart — Musee d’art Contemporain offers “Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture.” The unique artistic and musical take delves into the contrasting world of urban culture and Aboriginal identity through paintings, sculptures, installations, performances and videos.

“Beat Nation” continues through Jan. 5, 2014.

Also on display is the haunting work “The Woolworths Choir of 1979” by 2012 Turner Prize-winner and British artist Elizabeth Price. The video installation explores a tragic fire that took place in a Woolworths’ department store in Manchester, England. It’s on display through Sunday, Dec. 1.

The museum is at 185 Ste. Catherine St. W. Adult admission costs $12. For more information, call (514) 847-6226 or visit


Pointe a Calliere, the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History, offers a new temporary exhibition beginning Wednesday, Oct. 23, called “Lives and Times of the Plateau,” an endearing stroll through one of Montreal’s most vibrant neighborhoods. 

Also on display is “The Beatles in Montreal,” the museum’s Fab Four love fest that celebrates the fateful night when John, Paul, George and Ringo came to town to perform at the Forum in 1964. The exhibit continues through March 30, 2014.

Pointe a Calliere is at 350 Place Royale in the Old Port. Adult admission costs $20. Call (514) 872-9150 or visit to learn more.


The McCord Museum of Canadian History offers “Plotting from Above — Mishka Henner and Montreal Aerial Survey,” a unique visual perspective that compares aerial photographs from the museum’s collection with works by British artist Mishka Henner, who uses Google Earth-style satellite imagery. It continues through Jan. 5, 2014.

Arriving just in time for the holidays is the fourth edition of “Toys,” a playful collection of fun, vintage artifacts. This year’s theme, “Mission Cosmos,” takes a trip to outer space with the likes of astronaut dolls and spacecraft. It runs Saturday, Nov. 16, through April 6, 2014.

The museum is at 690 Sherbrooke St. W. Adult admission costs $14. Call (514) 398-7100 or visit for details.


The Montreal Science Centre separates fact from fiction with “Truth or Lie? The Exhibition,” an interactive adventure that explores — or exposes — themes such as UFOs, magic tricks, pseudoscience, optical illusions and counterfeit money.

It continues through March 9, 2014.

The Science Centre is at the King Edward Pier in the Old Port. Adult admission costs $14. For questions, call (514) 496-4724 or visit

Steven Howell is the author of Montreal Essential Guide, a Sutro Media iPhone travel app available at