Wonder is front and centre in the MNBAQ’s 2024 programming


The Pierre Lassonde Pavilion is proposing a wealth of activities

QUÉBEC CITY, Jan. 9, 2024 /CNW/ – The View the Night exhibition continues until March 17, 2024, and is charming visitors who dare to undergo the sensory experience of the universal theme of the night and the nocturnal. The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) is proud to announce that wonder will be front and centre in all the adventures that it is proposing in 2024.

Tom Thomson, Moonlight, circa 1915. Empire Company Ltd., Stellarton, NS / Rembrandt van Rijn, Self-Portrait with Saskia, 1636. Coll. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, MS 640 (PK), from the estate of H.M. Montauban van Swijndregt, 1929 / Helen McNicoll, In the Shade of a Tree, c. 1910. MNBAQ, purchase (1951.140) / Norval Morrisseau, Thunderbird with Inner Spirit, c. 1978. McMichael Canadian Art Collection, purchase (1979.6) © Succ. Norval Morrisseau (CNW Group/Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec)

A sweeping, diversified panorama awaits visitors to the MNBAQ drawn by the attraction of an on-site visit, where an array of wonders awaits them.

Starting February 16, 2024, the Generations. The Sobey Family and Canadian Art exhibition, comprising works from the remarkable Sobey collection, will be presented in Québec City, its sole venue in Québec. This striking, varied exhibition highlighting numerous renowned artists affords a unique perspective of Canadian creativity past and present. The 175 works assembled focus on the anecdotes at the heart of our country’s great history and will propose an amazing emotional voyage from sea to sea.

Moreover, in February the public will also discover that art can become a tool of commitment and inclusion through Tarratuutiq | Taima. Artistic and Climatic Reflections from Nunavik. Produced in partnership with the Iguarsivik School in Puvirnituq, a northern village in Nunavik, the exhibition stems from an art and wellness mediation activity that sought to sensitively reinterpret works from the MNBAQ’s collections. The works that resulted from this unexpected encounter between a remote Indigenous community and the MNBAQ are especially touching and powerful.

Starting in April, the Rembrandt. Etchings from the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen will delight visitors wishing to view the work of painter and engraver Rembrandt Van Rijn (1606-1669), one of the great masters of European art. The 80 rare, remarkable works by one of the greatest engravers of all time are imbued with humanism and modernity, making the exhibition an indispensable event.

In June, Helen McNicoll. Travel Impressions will highlight the work of Helen McNicoll, a little-known but fascinating artist. Born in Toronto in the late 19th century, Helen McNicoll grew up in Montréal in a well-to-do environment conducive to artistic practice. At a time when women were more often than not confined to domesticity, Helen McNicoll was noteworthy for her mobility, love of travel, and discovery of new spaces. This magnificent retrospective of the artist’s work comprises 60 paintings, sketches, and photographs representing a major body of work and its luminous splendours.

In the fall, the Early Days exhibition organized by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in collaboration with contemporary Indigenous university specialists, guardians of traditional knowledge, and living artists, will highlight Canadian Indigenous art. This incredible kaleidoscope hinging on the latest research reflects the diversity and vitality of Indigenous art from the 18th century to the present. It affords visitors an extremely rare opportunity to explore our relationships with the earth, our ancestors, and others.

The MNBAQ’s new programming will reflect the values that our teams cherish, i.e., encounters with art that are at once relevant and moving while displaying sensitivity to societal trends and interests. The breadth of the exhibitions proposed to our visitors will certainly make 2024 a better, indeed, an outstanding year.


Meaningful exhibitions
Generations. The Sobey Family and Canadian Art

From February 16 to May 12, 2024 

Among the outstanding Canadian collections, that of the Sobey family from Stellarton, Nova Scotia is noteworthy since it includes many emblematic figures of Canadian art history.

Assembled for the first time, the 175 seminal works in the Generations. The Sobey Family and Canadian Art exhibition proposes several major artists: the 19th century painter Cornelius Krieghoff; artists from the Group of Seven and their 20th century contemporaries David Milne and Emily Carr; masters of Québec art from Maurice Cullen and Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté to abstract painters Jean Paul Riopelle and Paul-Émile Borduas; and major contemporary artists such as Brenda Draney, Brian Jungen, Ursula Johnson, and Kent Monkman, many of whom have received the Sobey Art Award.

Drawing inspiration from the collection principle, the exhibition weaves unique, surprising links between the artists. Hence, visitors will discover works by the contemporary painter Peter Doig juxtaposed with those of the 20th century painter David Milne. Artists from Ontario and Québec will also share the same space thereby flouting the segregation that art historians have imposed over the years. Lastly, new relationships are established between artists whose works are intertwined despite their differences, such as Emily Carr and Arthur Lismer or James Wilson Morrice and Jean Paul Lemieux.

This panorama of Canadian creativity past and present encompasses 10 inspired themes reflected in landscapes, personal anecdotes, and incisive revisions of the history of Canada. The exhibition is sure to satisfy our thirst for beauty and timeless voyages at the heart of our majestic country.

Tarratuutiq | Taima
Artistic and Climatic Reflections from Nunavik

From February 29 to June 2, 2024

By placing what is human at the heart of its initiatives and by fostering diversity, accessibility, and inclusion, the MNBAQ is engendering unexpected projects. The Tarratuutiq | Taima. Artistic and Climatic Reflections from Nunavik exhibition is a striking example that allows visitors to encounter a remote Indigenous community.

The process stemming from an art and wellness mediation activity carried out in partnership with the Iguarsivik School in Puvirnituq, Nunavik focusing on a sensitive reinterpretation of works from the MNBAQ’s collections led to the creation of 10 touching works. Based, by way of an example, on the works of Marie-Fauve Bélanger, Jacinthe Carrier, Raphaëlle de Groot, and Alfred Pellan the young Inuit boldly, creatively illustrated the climate change challenges that they face daily.

A source of considerable pride, the Tarratuutiq (which means mirror in Inuktitut) project thus gave rise to the Taima (That’s enough!) exhibition. The 10 works were first exhibited inside the school and on the walls of public buildings in Puvirnituq, thereby encouraging the community to action, and will be displayed in the Grand Hall of the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion at the MNBAQ in 2024. The 10 giant photographs are sure to strike visitors’ imaginations. The Tarratuutik | Taima. Artistic and Climatic Reflections from Nunavik exhibition has been elaborated with and for the Inuit community and offers a meeting point for the North and the South to reflect collectively on universal issues using art as a tool for commitment.

Rembrandt. Etchings from the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen 

April 25 to September 2, 2024

The MNBAQ is proud to be part of prestigious international circuits by presenting the exclusive Canadian engagement of the Rembrandt. Etchings from the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen exhibition, which affords visitors an encounter with Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), a great master of European art, painter, and engraver.

A major figure of the Dutch Golden Age, the artist contributed decisively to the flourishing of Baroque Art and is recognized for his highly personal treatment of chiaroscuro and his very modern humanism. Rembrandt’s art is celebrated for its vivid imagination and emotional richness and has been universally admired since the 17th century.

Rembrandt, the peerless master of engraving

Rembrandt was profoundly innovative and revolutionized the art of engraving by adopting a resolutely experimental approach that capitalized to the utmost on the process’s potential. Like Dürer, Goya, or Picasso, Rembrandt is regarded as one of the greatest engravers of all time. He produced some of the most celebrated works in the history of the medium and his impact on the discipline is still relevant today. The exhibition will present Rembrandt’s celebrated etchings that have established his reputation over the centuries.

Rare, remarkable works

The 80 works selected will offer a panorama that reveals Rembrandt’s outstanding skill as an engraver in the human, aesthetic, and technical dimensions of engraving. The exhibition will include the artist’s foremost masterpieces—The Hundred Guilder Print  (circa 1648), The Three Crosses (1653), and The Little Tomb (circa 1657)—and other outstanding works. The exhibition encompasses all the topics that Rembrandt broached. His self-portraits, religious prints, landscapes, portraits, and genre scenes reveal the diversity of Dutch society at the time, where Amsterdam, a thriving, cosmopolitan city and brilliant hub of intellectual and artistic life, was one of the major European powers in the 17th century.

An additional Québec touch

The exhibition will also display several works by other artists from whom Rembrandt drew inspiration and the work of some of his students and collaborators. Visitors can also examine several posthumous printings of the master’s works and compare the original prints and the later versions.

In addition, several works by Québec artists from the MNBAQ’s collections will round out the varied body of Dutch work, including works inspired by Rembrandt’s practice and Dutch art in the Golden Age whether from the standpoint of iconography and style or that illustrate the specific use of chiaroscuro.

The exhibition, produced through a generous loan from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, which will put the spotlight on the MNBAQ in the spring and summer of 2024, has been made possible through the Entente de développement culturel entre le gouvernement du Québec et la Ville de Québec under the Mesure d’aide financière à l’intention des musées d’État pour des expositions internationales majeures.

Helen McNicoll. Travel Impressions

June 20, 2024, to January 5, 2025

The eagerly awaited retrospective devoted to Canadian artist Helen McNicoll (1879-1915) will highlight the work of a free painter known for her transatlantic mobility who pushed the boundaries as an independent professional woman at a time when women were often confined to the domestic world.

A remarkable destiny 

Little-known to the public, Helen McNicoll was born in Toronto and grew up in Montréal in a well-to-do environment conducive to artistic practice. Scarlet fever rendered her deaf at the age of 2 and her parents encouraged her to develop her artistic and musical creativity despite her handicap.

Helen McNicoll is noteworthy for her love of travel and the discovery of new spaces. Her relationship with the world and her artistic output are certainly linked to nascent tourism at the turn of the 20th century. Her trips to Europe and numerous exhibitions afforded her inside knowledge of developments in the realms of impressionism and post-impressionism.

The artist played a significant role in bridging North American and European art. She was celebrated in her lifetime for the high quality of her rural or seaside landscapes suffused with light and scenes focusing on the private lives of individuals and their feelings and relationships in which women subjects predominate.

Helen McNicoll’s career was brief but prolific. It was shaped by the presentation of scores of works at exhibitions in Canada and England for which she received awards for her brilliant mastery of light and her unique pictorial representation. Among the distinctions she obtained, she was one of the rare women elected an associate member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1914.

Travel as a way of life 

Helen McNicoll made London her home base and travelled in England and Europe, and many times to Canada.

She focused on outdoor painting and research on the effects of light and atmosphere, which were sustained by her many trips to France, Belgium, and Italy, and in artists’ colonies, and did not hesitate to refine her palette in the studio.

Through the prism of travel, the exhibition will also propose the themes of female independence, risk-taking, sisterhood, and freedom for women in the stimulating context of the fight of English suffragettes for the right to vote.

A celebration of light

The artist was constantly on the move and captured her constantly changing environment remarkably. In Brittany, she painted village market scenes in honey tones. In Venise, her attention focused on the scintillating water of the canals. The hot sand and blue sky of Mediterranean beaches provided a backdrop suited to women and girls wearing dazzling white dresses.

Her favourite subjects were scenes of everyday life, although she gave them an interpretation distinct from the impressionists by focusing more closely on women’s labour.

Helen McNicoll. Travel Impressions will assemble the artist’s most beautiful paintings, including La Glaneuse (1908), Evening Street Scene (1910), La vendeuse de fruits (1910), Footbridge in Venise (circa 1910), Sur la plage (1912), and The Chintz Sofa (1913). Of the 65 works exhibited, a significant selection is drawn from the collection of philanthropist and art lover Pierre Lassonde, and the remainder from 15 institutional and private lenders. Sketches, sketchbooks, and photographs will round out this unique voyage, which is sure to delight visitors during the summer.

Early days (tentative title)

October 17, 2024, to May 4, 2025

Early Days is the first exhibition of Canadian Indigenous art to circulate on the international scene. The MNBAQ will host its exclusive Québec engagement in the fall of 2024. It will propose a sweeping, varied panorama of the art past and present of the First Nations.

Organized by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in collaboration with contemporary Indigenous university specialists and living artists, the exhibition will assemble historic art works as well as the works of contemporary artists from across Canada.

Early Days will showcase the diversity and vitality of Indigenous art in Canada. It will encompass objects ranging from 18th century ceremonial insignia to the works of contemporary Indigenous artists, and include the work of avant-gardist artists of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Significant works from different periods will highlight Indigenous expertise. The exhibition will also include recent acquisitions.

Nearly 50 artists from Aboriginal nations across Canada will participate in the exhibition, including Caroline Monnet (Anishinaabe/French), Norval Morrisseau (Anishinaabe), Nadia Myre (Algonquin), Meryl McMaster, (Plains Cree) Kent Monkman (Cree), Shuvinai Ashoona, Annie Pootoogook, Pudlo Pudlat, Nick Sikkuark (Inuit), Dana Claxton (Wood Mountain Lakota), Lawrence Yuxweluptun (Cowichan/Syilx), Carl Beam (Ojibwa), Robert Houle (Anishnabe Saulteaux), and Faye HeavyShield (Káínawa).

This major exhibition will also explore our relationship with the earth, our ancestors, and the ties that bind us. This is an essential encounter with fascinating, little-known cultures at the root of our history.


A wealth of cultural activities

Once again in 2024, the MNBAQ will offer a wealth of cultural activities that frequent visitors will appreciate.

For the considerable pleasure of regular visitors and those who dream of attending them, the MNBAQ will add two 5@9 to the programming as the year gets under way, to echo the View the Night exhibition: Veiller la nuit, January 24, 2024, and Osez! La nuit, February 28, 2024

A CELEBRATED WORK: Marcelle Ferron

To fittingly launch the year, special programming will begin on January 29, 2024, to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Marcelle Ferron, a major artist in the history of Québec art and a signatory of Le Refus global.

Visitors can discover a selected work by Ferron about which MNBAQ guides will offer a commentary during the week of celebrations. The activities include a concert by the Molinari Quartet specializing in 20th and 21st century music, which will celebrate the effervescence of artistic experimentation in Québec since the appearance of the radical manifesto Le Refus global; a documentary, Ferron, Marcelle, will be presented that paints a picture of the Québec artist, rebellious woman, solitary painter, and fiercely independent artist; a creative workshop, a talk by Eve–Lyne Beaudry, Curator of Contemporary Art (1950 to 1999), and an art and wellness evening inspired by Ferron’s work.


A series of major talks, multifaceted workshops, visits, and guided experiences intended for different audiences including the popular Museum Strollers and a new tour aimed at 2- to 4-year-olds, classical concerts, the Série des professeurs, and noon concerts, Série des élèves, are sure to delight culture lovers.

In the spring of 2024, a colourful new edition of the Festival International du Film sur l’Art (FIFA) will return from March 16 to 24, 2024. Under the theme See Big, spring break at the MNBAQ should delight visitors young and old who enjoy all forms of museum exploration. The year 2024 promises to be stimulating.

The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is a state corporation funded by the Gouvernement du Québec.

SOURCE Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec

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