From Fall to Spring, Enjoy the Cultural Season!
- A world-class institution, the MMFA is the most popular art museum in Canada in terms of annual attendance, the 12th in North America and the 58th in the world.
- The MMFA welcomed over a million visitors for the second year in a row in 2014-2015 – a new record!
- Since 2010, the number of visitors has risen from 550,000 to 1,087,000 (+ 98%).
- With its 63,764 memberships, the MMFA ranks first in Canada and fifth in North America.
- Since 2010, the number of VIP members has risen from 37,000 to 95,000 (+ 157%).
- As a committed citizen, the MMFA has been partnering with over 400 community organizations for fifteen years.
- The number of participants in educational and cultural activities has tripled in less than three years, from 100,000 to 300,000 (+200%).
- Thirty-three percent of the MMFA’s visitors are tourists, and over 100,000 of them choose Montreal as their destination specifically in order to visit the Museum.
- Its efficiently managed operating budget is much smaller than that of comparable museums in Canada and the United States.
- Our cost per visitor is half that of Canada’s other art museums.
- The net cost of the MMFA’s exhibitions has fallen by over 60% in the past ten years since the Museum began touring its exhibitions. Daring, innovative and multidisciplinary, the MMFA is internationally recognized for its expertise in developing and circulating large-scale exhibitions.
- The world tour of the exhibition Jean Paul Gaultier has to date drawn almost two million visitors… 418,000 of them to the Grand Palais in Paris this past summer.
Construction of the Pavilion for Peace
Last but by no means least, along with its unprecedented growth, the MMFA is hard at work building the new Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace, which will be devoted to international art and education … coming in 2016!
Director and Chief Curator
A Word from the Executive Director - Fall 2014
A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO LILIANE STEWART
From all of us at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Liliane M. Stewart was a visionary who enabled Montreal to take its place as a UNESCO City of Design on the international stage thanks to the outstanding collection she gave to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the hundreds of acquisitions, made possible through her donations and her support of the Museum’s acquisition committee, which she presided over, as well as the many scholarly exhibitions and catalogues sponsored by the Macdonald Stewart Foundation. As a patron, she made a remarkable contribution to the cultural heritage of Canada and North America. Mrs. Stewart died on May 3, almost exactly thirty years after her beloved husband, David.
Mrs. Stewart created a museum of decorative arts for Montreal featuring a colossal collection of design, the only one of its kind in North America. To the end of her life, this “best friend of Montreal’s museums,” a woman of great refinement, courtesy and generosity, notable for her scholarly rigour, retained her sparkling curiosity and intelligence.
A Design Pioneer
Liliane M. Stewart was born on September 2, 1928, in Cairo, Egypt, the daughter of Czech parents. In 1967, she married David M. Stewart (1920-1984), heir to the family firm, Macdonald Tobacco. While David was particularly interested in old objects, archaeology and the history of New France, Liliane loved artisans and designers, as well as industrial design. When she started her collection, she was at the forefront of the re-evaluation of what was considered modern, provocative and noteworthy in twentieth-century design.
In 2000, thanks to Mrs. Stewart’s generosity and her friendship with Bernard Lamarre, then-president of the MMFA, the collection of the Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts, valued at $15 million, was merged with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Some 5,000 objects of modern and contemporary design were added to the Museum’s existing collection of early decorative arts. It was one of the most valuable gifts ever received by a Canadian museum. Under the direction of Guy Cogeval, the collection was installed in part of the wing built in 1976 by Fred Lebensold and named the Liliane and David M. Stewart Pavilion in 2001.
Mrs. Stewart continued to collect and donate art to the end of her life. She became Chairman of the Museum’s Acquisition Committee for Decorative Arts and Design at its founding in 2001. Among other gifts, in 2010 the Museum received from Mrs. Stewart the Eric Brill collection of a thousand objects of American industrial design, which included objects from offices and kitchens – overlooked by others – further evidence of her resolutely modern approach.
One of the best pieces of advice given to me by this wonderfully warm and caring woman during one of our memorable conversations was “Always remember to say thank you.”
The entire family of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Brian M. Levitt, Chairman of the Board, its volunteers and staff, all join with me in saying “Thank you!” to Mrs. Stewart.
Director and Chief Curator