Decorative Arts and Design

The MMFA possesses one of the most important collections of decorative arts and design prior to 1900 in North America. Renowned for its scope, comprises 4,150 objects, including silverware, glass, ceramics, metal, textiles, enamels and furniture. The richness of the materials and the range of styles testify to the quality of the collection and illustrate the evolution of the decorative arts between 1400 and 1900.

In addition, the collection of decorative arts and design after 1900, unique in Canada, contains over 6,100 objects – furniture, jewellery, ceramics, glass, silverware and textiles – executed by international designers. The collection retraces the major movements that have marked the history of decorative arts and design since 1900, especially Art Nouveau, Art Deco, modernism and post-modernism.

Visit the collection at the Liliane and David M. Stewart Pavilion

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Among the most striking objects are over 500 pieces of European silverware executed by master goldsmiths between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. In 1932, the MMFA started to acquire a collection of early Quebec furniture, ceramics and silverware going back to the eighteenth century, a collection that has continued to grow over the years. In 2000, Montreal patrons Liliane and David M. Stewart gave the Museum a collection of 5,000 works produced by the most celebrated designers of the twentieth century, notably Alvar Aalto, Joe Colombo, Charles and Ray Eames, Frank O. Gehry, Arne Jacobsen, Gaetano Pesce, Gio Ponti, Marcel Wanders, Gerrit Rietveld and Frank Lloyd Wright. The strong points of this collection are Italian design produced between the 1950s and the 1980s, American and Scandinavian design from the 1940s and 1950s, together with modern and contemporary jewellery recently acquired to add to the jewellery already in the collection.