In these times of confinement, the daily scene playing out outside our windows has become a familiar one: a cat wandering about, neighbours taking in the early morning sun on their front steps, the burgeoning buds announcing spring…
Stephen Legari invites us to change our perspective on these details to see them as living works of art.
- Go to the window and observe your outdoor surroundings.
- Take the time to sketch or paint this familiar scene.
- As your neighbourhood comes to life on the page, send some positive thoughts to those who live there.
For this art therapy workshop, you will need a rock and some art supplies (paint, chalk, felt pens, etc.).
Nature is already beautiful as it is, so the goal here is to work with this beauty to transform your rock into a masterpiece, inspired by this happy whale.
Escape through writing!
- Simply look at the artwork without trying to analyze it.
- Hit Play and let yourself be guided.
This activity is designed for people of all ages.
- Take some markers, pencil crayons or pastels.
- Scribble lines on a sheet of paper, and then colour in the shapes formed by the lines.
- Repeat with your eyes closed.
- Try the same exercise with the right hand, then the left.
- Share the activity with someone by taking turns colouring.
- Try to find familiar forms in the final drawing.
- Grab a camera or your cell phone.
- Bring yourself into the present moment.
- Let yourself be led by whatever naturally draws your eye.
- Capture the moment.
- Take any circular object you have on hand, like a bowl or plate, and trace a circle on your sheet of paper.
- Fill it in by setting your imagination free: you can use different-coloured markers or paint, or even explore a single shade, like in this work by Louis Archambault (see opposite).
- For a fun family activity, take turns filling in the circle with natural or found materials, such as shells, stones, old macaroni.
This meditation activity consists of immersing yourself in a work of art to nourish your inner peace.
- Read the short text below.
- Hit Play and let your imagination take over.
The spring sun returns to nourish the living world around us, the buds appear on the trees, the birds return and each day the sun stays a little longer. While we all work hard indoors, we can let our imaginations travel to the places in nature that matter most to us.
Sharing the love
There are a thousand ways we can continue to take care of each other from a distance.
- Think of someone you’d like to send some encouraging words to.
- Make a postcard using inspiring materials you have on hand – it could be as basic as piece of paper and pencil – and write your message.
- Take a photo of the card with your phone and send it to the person virtually. The key is to focus on the pleasure of creating. Try not to judge or analyze what you’re doing – it’s about enjoying the process. So, turn off the news, take some time for yourself, and relax.
You like to discover the works in our collections… and we’re happy to indulge you!
While we wait to welcome you back to the Museum, our curators want to share with you their favourites from our collections.
Hilliard T. Goldfarb
Senior Curator – Collections and Curator of Old Masters.
“As many of us find ourselves quarantined or in isolation in our homes or apartments, it is a welcome diversion to recall the modest yet intimate and uplifting joy in life that nature can bring to us. That is the delight of a small, charming print in our collection by the German Romantic printmaker Carl Wilhelm Kolbe, titled A Thicket; a Gnarled Willow Tree at Left, a Thicket of Vegetation at Right. This new acquisition is among his most well-known works. The imagery Kolbe created with the etching needle was based ultimately on his own meditations on his countryside treks near Dessau. This small print rewards close observation and reminds us of the wonders to be found in even the most humble displays of nature.”
This activity is a tribute to Claude Lafortune, who touched the hearts of an entire generation with his legendary creations.
Gather together a cardboard box, paper, scissors and glue, and create your own paper art together!
Kate Walker, museum mediator at the MMFA, shares a creative workshop for the whole family.
The first-ever museums were composed of treasures that had been gathered over the years by explorers, scientists and collectors. These objects, at times rare and peculiar but always intriguing, were exhibited in cabinets of curiosities.
In among these displays, it was not uncommon to find paintings called still lifes that immortalized a collection’s most handsome items – much like the Jacques Linard work that was today’s inspiration.
Create your own still life at home by gathering some of your everyday objects you want to draw! You will see these subjects in a new light and discover their many hidden secrets…
The professions at the MMFA
The profession of Conservation Technician
With Sacha Marie Levay, Conservation Technician
The profession of Art Therapist
With Stephen Legari, Educational Programs Officer – Art Therapy.
The profession of Curator
With Anne Grace, Curator of Modern Art.
*Please note the interview is in French only.
The profession of Conservator
With Richard Gagnier, Head of Conservation.
*Please note the interview is in French only.
Art in education
Learn the fun way: the MMFA’s EducArt platform.
EducArt offers a gateway into the Museum’s collection through various themes and social issues like the heart, the body, cultural diversity, ecology and peace. Adapted to specific elementary and secondary school levels, the platform is accessible for free.
Raise your children and young teens’ consciousness about respect for the environment!
Watch the video Love, Connection, Nature with EducArt expert Étienne Lapierre, beekeeper and cofounder of the urban beekeeping firm Alvéole, as he shares his perspective on ecology through a work by Ludger Larose.
Add to get your creativity buzzing, check out the interdisciplinary project carried out by students at Charles-Le Moyne elementary school in Montreal:
Explore with your children a theme that is especially important in this period of confinement: communication.
Watch this video of Matthieu Dugal, host and commentator at Radio-Canada, who offers his perspective on this topic through the works of Betty Goodwin, Dana Schutz, Barbara Steinman, and John Adam Zellers and Herbert E. Bridgewater.
(In French with English subtitles)
To see more creative ideas for exploring communication, check out the interdisciplinary EducArt project produced by the students at Langevin secondary school in Rimouski that marries the English language, visual arts and music.
Explore the theme of peace with your children and young teens. Watch the video of Monique Mujawamariya, President and founder of Fédération Mafubo Internationale, who discusses this topic through the work Peace and Justice by Pompeo Batoni.
Take your reflection further, check out our interdisciplinary project in visual arts, languages, science and technology carried out by elementary and secondary school students on our EducArt website.
Introduce the concept of resiliency for your children and young teens. Michèle Viau-Chagnon, EducArt expert and cofounder of Le Phare Enfants et Familles respite care organization, demystifies the notion, which is eloquently illustrated in a work by artist Jim Dine.
Take the exploration further and check out our interdisciplinary project on resiliency specially designed for secondary students on our EducArt website.
The Arts of One World
How about taking a virtual discovery tour of the Arts of One World?
Our Geopoetic Tour proposes an exploration of art in which the dividing lines between frontiers and eras have been effaced. Take the time to ponder nine works from our collection and let your imagination wander.
Available on our mobile app!
Portrayals of the Human Body
The human body is fascinating fertile ground for artistic exploration.
Head to our mobile app to discover 10 artworks – 10 unique representations of the body, each reflecting a particular era and singular vision.
The MMFA's masterpieces
See the Museum’s masterpieces (almost) as if you were here!
Discover the treasures in our collection! Nathalie Bondil, Director General and Chief Curator of the MMFA, has selected some 30 works from our International and Québec and Canadian art collections.
Take a virtual tour on our mobile app.
At home with the kids? Here’s the perfect podcast to stimulate their creativity: La vie secrète de l’art! (in French only)
It features five original stories invented by children’s author Simon Boulerice based on artworks in the MMFA’s collection.
Free on our mobile app and wherever you download your podcasts.
The podcast La vie secrète de l’art was produced by Magnéto and La puce à l’oreille in collaboration with the MMFA. It has been nominated for a Numix award, which recognizes excellence in Quebec digital media productions.
Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives
Discover the exhibition's through an audioguide and a virtual stroll!
Travel back to ancient Egypt and uncover the mysteries of mummies with the exhibition audioguide, now available for free on our mobile app. Psst! The app also has an audioguide specially created for children!
We’ve opened our video archives and selected the most stunning images, so you can dive (back) into this fascinating exhibition, as you wind your way through its galleries and observe these long-ago inhabitants of the Nile.
Movies and videos
Rediscover our collections, exhibitions and much more on our YouTube channel.
From former Director General and Chief Curator Nathalie Bondil’s top-pick cultural activities to interviews with artists, exhibition montages and talks given by experts, our YouTube channel is overflowing with videos that will introduce you to entirely new facets of art.
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Bacchante with Roses
Our Director General and Chief Curator presents one of her favourite works in the Museum's collection: Bacchante with Roses by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux.
Every art collection starts with that first acquisition. How does one become a collector? What do you need to know about the art market before diving in?
Jo-Anne Duchesne, Director of Operations at the MMFA Foundation, unites three stakeholders around her virtual table to answer these questions:
- Manuel Mathieu, artist
- Alain Tremblay, contemporary art collector
- Sylvie Lacerte, Curator of Quebec and Canadian Art at the MMFA
This event is organized by the MMFA’s Young Philanthropists’ Circle (YPC) and is sponsored by Hatch. This webinar is in French only.
Do you miss the Museum? We miss you too and can’t wait to welcome you back!
In the meantime, Nathalie Bondil, Director General and Chief Curator of the MMFA, wants to give you a taste of our upcoming major exhibition, Paris in the Days of Post-Impressionism: Signac and the Indépendants.
In this video, she revisits the dawn of Post-Impressionism in the Paris of the Belle Époque, and discusses artists whose masterpieces you’ll have a chance to admire: from Monet to Redon, with Pissarro, Morisot and Seurat in between.
Bondil also shares the behind-the-scenes work that goes into such an exhibition, such as how the physical presentation of artworks was thought out and developed around the central figure of Paul Signac, cofounder of the Salon des Indépendants.
The video is in French with English subtitles.
160 CANDLES FOR THE MMFA
In these walls, you’ve wandered the galleries, discovered your favourite artist and picked up a painting technique… you’ve even returned several times to an exhibition that moved you.
April 23, 2020, marks the MMFA’s 160th anniversary, (re)visit the MMFA’s history through the 2011 film “A Museum in the City,” by Luc Bourdon.
Co-production NFB – Echo Media (Montreal)
Distribution: NFB (National Film Board of Canada)
3 minutes with an artwork
Through these videos, our Volunteer Guides share with you the stories behind the works in our collection.
Marc-Aurèle Fortin, Storm Brewing over Hochelaga, about 1940. MMFA, gift of Musée Marc-Aurèle Fortin (gift of Abra and William Mastenbroek)
Interviews with artists in a time of crisis
Mary-Dailey Desmarais, Curator of International Modern and Contemporary Art at the MMFA, is using this confinement period to conduct a series of interviews with artists. In this first episode, she sits down (remotely) with Adad Hannah!
To learn more about the artist’s work, visit his website
The Museum's works... revisited!
Even in confinement, the MMFA’s teams continue to be inspired by the works in our collection. Interpretations of artworks are cropping up all around the world, sparked by an original idea of @tussenkunstenquarantaine.
Get inspired by our collection yourself, and share your images with firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media. Remember to add the mention @mbamtl in your posts, so that we can find you.