By STEVEN HOWELL
---- — MONTREAL — The change of seasons brings an abundance of new exhibitions to Montreal museums.
First up, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts presents a Canadian premiere and exclusive titled “A History of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Clark.” The exhibit highlights paintings by the likes of Renoir, Degas, Gauguin, Manet, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro and Sisley. The exhibit, currently on a worldwide tour, comes courtesy of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. It runs Oct. 13 through Jan. 20.
Also on display at 1379 Sherbrooke St. W. will be “The Art of the Picture Book,” a free exhibition of more than 80 original artworks created by Canadian illustrators of children’s book. It’s presented Sept. 14 through Oct. 14.
MFA is also offering a new pavilion of Quebec and Canadian Art and new galleries devoted to European Art and Decorative Arts and Design. Call (514) 285-2000 or visit www.mmfa.qc.ca for more information.
Musee d’art Contemporain offers 70 contemporary works by Quebec artist Pierre Dorion, which includes new paintings; photography; installations; and “Chambres avec vues,” a small-scale reconstruction of an exhibition mounted in 1999 in a vacant apartment in Montreal.
Next is an exhibition by Brooklyn-based artist Janet Biggs, which offers video, photography and performance works. Both run from Oct. 4 through Jan. 6.
Also on display is “A Matter of Abstraction,” a collection of 100 paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs and videos spanning seven decades from 1940 to 2010, which highlights the finest Montreal School abstract art. The museum is at 185 Ste. Catherine St. W. For more information, call (514) 847-6226 or visit www.macm.org.
The McCord Museum of Canadian History lives up to its name with plenty to enjoy, including “Montreal Points of View,” the museum’s permanent exhibition that explores 10 facets of Montreal history.
On now is “Cartooning Calamities,” a light-hearted look at editorial cartoons that depict 150 years of catastrophes. The exhibits are on display at 690 Sherbrooke St. W. Call (514) 398-7100 or visit www.mccord-museum.qc.ca for details.
The Canadian Center for Architecture presents “Notes from the Archive: James Frazer Stirling,” a showcase of the archive of British architect, Yale School of Architecture professor and Pritzker Prize laureate James Stirling. It continues through Oct. 14 at 1920 Baile St. Call (514) 939-7026 or visit www.cca.qc.ca for more.
Pointe a Calliere, the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History offers a thoughtful history of the city with three permanent exhibitions, “Where Montreal Was Born,” “Montreal Love Stories – The Cultural Connection” and “Yours Truly, Montreal.”
Their ongoing temporary exhibition, “Samurai – The Prestigious Collection of Richard Beliveau,” is a sumptuous, stunning must-see exploration of Japan’s iconic Samurai warrior. It continues through March 31 at 350 Place Royale. For details, call (514) 872-9150 or visit www.pacmusee.qc.ca.
Centre d’Histoire de Montreal, the Montreal History Center, extends the run of “Lost Neighborhoods,” an exhibition that explores the disappearance of entire neighborhoods in Montreal between 1950 and 1975 when the likes of Expo 67 and the 1976 Summer Olympics changed the map in more ways than one. The museum is located at 335 Place d’Youville. Call (514) 872-3207 or visit www.ville.montreal.qc.ca/chm for additional information.
Chateau Ramezay takes a “healthy” New France turn with “In the Time of Smallpox,” an exhibition boasting 250 objects that explore health care during the 17th and 18th centuries. It winds down its run Nov. 11 at 280 Notre Dame E. Call (514) 861-3708 or visit www.chateauramezay.qc.ca for further details.
Montreal’s East End is showcased with a visit to Montreal Biodome, which recreates five ecosystems under one roof: a Laurentian maple forest, a tropical rainforest, the sub-Antarctic islands, the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Labrador coast.
Earlier this month, the Biodome welcomed a 10-week-old lynx cub that was born in captivity. He shares the space with his mother in a newly refurbished habitat in the Laurentian maple forest ecosystem.
The Biodome is located at 4777 Pierre De Coubertin Ave. For more information, call (514) 868-3000 or visit www.biodome.qc.ca.
Finally, with fall comes a parade of night lights as the Montreal Botanical Garden presents its annual Magic of Lanterns event in the Chinese Garden. This year’s theme is “The Heavenly Banquet,” which runs Sept. 7 through Nov. 4 at 4101 Sherbrooke St. E. Call (514) 872-1400 or visit www.ville.montreal.qc.ca/jardin for details.
Steven Howell is the author of Montreal Essential Guide, a Sutro Media iPhone travel app available at iTunes.com.