The Musée opened to the public in March 1965 in temporary premises at Place Ville-Marie. It was housed at Château Dufresne from 1965 to 1968, when it moved to the Expo 67 Gallery of International Art, at Cité du Havre. In 1983, the museum was made a provincially owned corporation with the following mission: “To make known, promote and preserve contemporary Québec art and to ensure a place for international contemporary art through acquisitions, exhibitions and other cultural activities.”
Truly a museum for the twenty-first century, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal stands right next to Place des Festivals, in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles and on the Place des Arts site. It is part of Canada’s only cultural complex devoted to both the performing and visual arts.
Canada’s premier museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art, the Musée offers a varied program ranging from presentations of its Permanent Collection to temporary exhibitions of works by Québec, Canadian and international artists. The Permanent Collection comprises nearly 7,600 works, including the largest collection of art by Paul-Émile Borduas. With the support of its Education and Documentation Service, the museum presents a host of educational activities familiarizing the general public with contemporary art. It also stages numerous multimedia events—performances, contemporary music, video, film—further fulfilling its mission of promoting contemporary art.