In October 1987, the minister of cultural affairs, Lise Bacon, announced the beginning of a major expansions program for the Muséé du Québec. This announcement was the culmination of several years of effort on the part of many people to provide this institution with the facilities of a modern museum.
An architectural design created by architects Charles Dorval and Louis Fortin integrated 2 existing buildings, the Baillargé pavilion (the former prison) and the Gérard-Morisset pavilion (the original museum building). In order to preserve the natural quality of the setting (Battlefield Park) and also the distinctive character of the two older buildings, the architects chose the unusual strategy of concealing a section of the new wing under the park's natural landscaping.
The new structure has become a part of the site, as if it were a natural extension of it, and the many views afforded of the museum's natural setting contribute to the creation of a calm, relaxing atmosphere. Comfortable, sunny and spacious, this gathering place is now home to all of the museum's public services. The new museum complex comprising the Great Hall, the new wing and the former prison doubles the surface area previously available for art exhibitions and enables the museum to offer visitors a wider variety of services.
Since it first opened its doors in 1933, the Musée du Québec has designed, organized and hosted hundreds of exhibitions. It exhibits important and prestigious works from Québec covering all ages and different artistic styles and was among the first to recognize the talent of the province's artists. Horatio WALKER, Sylvia Daoust, Clarence GAGNON, Alfred LALIBERTÉ, Marc-Aurèle de Foy SUZOR-COTÉ, Georges Saint-Pierre, Alfred PELLAN, Jean Paul RIOPELLE, Jean-Paul LEMIEUX, Françoise Sullivan, Marcelle FERRON, and Paul-Émile BORDUAS, have all enjoyed the honour of being exhibited at the museum at one time or another. Along with its modern and contemporary Canadian art, the museum collects gold jewellery and boasts a fine print and drawing room. It plays a major role through its educational services, library and documentation centre.
Author MICHEL CHAMPAGNE
Links to Other Sites
Museums to Discover
This Société des musées québécois website features an interesting multimedia overview of Quebec museum themes. Includes a directory of Québec museums.