About the collection
The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal boasts a collection of 7,961 works by Quebec, Canadian and international artists that offers a vivid portrait of our era, a time of radical questioning and change. This context has given rise to a truly diverse artistic output whose richness is reflected in our acquisitions.
The strength of the MAC’s collection lies in its diversity, depth, multidisciplinarity, support for new practices and capacity to engage in a dialogue with important moments in art history in general while illustrating defining moments in contemporary art in Quebec.
The MAC team in charge of the collection oversees the management of acquisitions, loans, conservation, storage, exhibition, handling and transportation of the works of art entrusted to it.
Since the MAC’s founding in 1964, its collection has benefited from the generosity of numerous artists, collectors, associations, foundations and galleries. In 1964 and 1965, nearly 100 works of art were donated to the museum, enriching its collection of some 400 works, including 200 by Quebec artists, 20 by Canadian artists and 180 international works.
In 1973, the National Museums of Canada donated 55 works by Paul-Émile Borduas to the MAC, making it the largest repository of the renowned artist’s works and archives. Currently, 118 works by Borduas are housed in the MAC’s Borduas Collection.
From 1972 to 1988, Dr. Max Stern and Iris Stern made a major of gift 87 artworks to the MAC. In 1988, the MAC was the grateful recipient of the bequest of René Payant, a gift of 45 contemporary works, most of them by Quebec artists, from the personal collection of the Quebec art historian and critic who passed away in 1988.
In 1992, with the help of the Ministère des affaires culturelles du Québec, the MAC acquired the Lavalin Collection (1,324 works, mainly by Quebec and Canadian artists), expanding its holdings of 3,576 works by as much as 30% on the eve of its 30th anniversary.
With a total of nearly 8,000 works today, the MAC’s collection has more than doubled since the museum set down roots in downtown Montreal in 1992. Its collection shines a strong spotlight on the contributions of major figures in Quebec and Canadian art while also proposing key works by international artists. Going forward, the main focus for development of the collection will be to pursue powerful, relevant and innovative practices across all media and disciplines.
The creation of this digital portal into the collections received support under Québec’s digital cultural plan.
The MAC is a proud partner of Art Public Montreal, a cultural journey to discover.