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The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1860-1985, The Old Holton House, Montreal

Title

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1860-1985, The Old Holton House, Montreal

Denomination

34¢

Date of Issue

November 15, 1985

Year

Quantity

16,000,000

Postal Administration

Canada

Perforation or Dimension

13.5

Printer

Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.

Creators

Designed by Jean Morin.

Original Artwork

James Wilson Morrice, "La vieille maison Holton à Montréal", 1903-1915 Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montréal, Quebec

About Stamp

Art museums, as mirrors of human artistic activity, contribute to society's cultural development. They inform, educate, entertain and stir the creative spirit sleeping in every one of us. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, one of Canada's oldest, is being commemorated on this stamp. In 1860, a group of patrons with the dream of encouraging the fine arts founded the Art Association of Montreal and launched a veritable artistic revolution on that city. A legacy from Benalah Gibb, a Montreal merchant, led to the establishment of the first permanent gallery in 1879. The exhibitions presented by the museum eventually persuaded collectors to leave their treasures to the Art Association. In 1912, the collections were moved to a larger building on Sherbrooke Street in order to display new acquisitions. Today, the Museum's collection numbers over 23,500 objects and draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The future looks promising, as the Museum soon expects to triple in size and become the largest of its type in Canada. A good example of the influence of museums on development of the arts is the life of James Wilson Morrice (1865-1942), a Canadian painter of international renown. Although Morrice's father had acquired canvasses by celebrated painters, he was reluctant to recognize his son's talent. Had it not been for the intervention of Sir William Van Horne, a member of the Art Association, the young man would probably never have been given leave to abandon his legal education and study painting. Today, the largest collection of Morrice's works is in The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The Morrice painting on the stamp depicts the old Holton House on Sherbrooke Street in Montreal, which would later become the site of the present Museum building. Luc Parent and Jean Morin, both of Montreal, designed this stamp, which shows the painting in its original frame on a background reminiscent of an art gallery wall.

Reference

Canada Post Corporation. [Postage Stamp Press Release], 1985.

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