Gardens of the Way of the Cross - Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal

Gardens of the Way of the Cross - Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal

My Montreal museum cocktail for the week led me to the small museum in Saint Joseph's Oratory, the grand basilica located on one of Mount Royal's peaks. I had already passed the Oratory and its enormous dome several times, and I was excited to learn what it was exactly. On a sunny May day, I arrived at the base of the Oratory's hill and was faced with seemingly never-ending outdoor stairs winding their [...]

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Montreal's History in 8 Tweets (Montreal Points of View at the McCord Museum)

Montreal's History in 8 Tweets (Montreal Points of View at the McCord Museum)

Montreal - Points of View, a permanent exhibition at the McCord Museum, gives the visitor an overview of Montreal's history. It takes on 10 different facets of the story, presenting the historic districts and people through objects and accessible texts. There was a lot of history to process, especially for someone (like me) who isn't very familiar yet with Montreal's past. To help me make sense [...]

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A Museum in the Fire Station: the Musée des Pompiers

A Museum in the Fire Station: the Musée des Pompiers

There is a museum that has intrigued me since I moved to Montreal. Each time I go to my favorite microbrewery Dieu du Ciel in Mile End, I pass a palatial fire station with a sign advertising the Musée des Pompiers (Firefighter Museum). I hadn't visited it yet, as it has the smallest window of opening hours imaginable [...]

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Visit the World's Great Libraries in Virtual Reality: The Library at Night

Visit the World's Great Libraries in Virtual Reality: The Library at Night

Hands down, The Library at Night is one of the coolest exhibitions I've been to lately, maybe ever. It explores ten great libraries of the world using virtual reality. It's more than an exhibition: the virtual reality makes it a personal experience. I cannot recommend it highly enough. In a nutshell, The Library at Night (La bibliothèque, la nuit) is a "virtual exploration" of [...]

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Château Ramezay: Historic House in Montreal

Château Ramezay: Historic House in Montreal

Claude de Ramezay was the governor of Montreal from 1703 to 1724. He decided that, as governor, he needed to have a grand home that befit the importance of the office. Ramezay went a little overboard, spending way too much of his own money. But the Château earned him bragging rights [...]

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Museums of Montreal, Cocktail Version

Museums of Montreal, Cocktail Version

I have lived in Montreal for six months, and I have visited six museums. The shame! There are over forty museums on the island, so a grand total of six museums (albeit visited multiple times) is not a great batting average. I've had a lot on my plate with adjusting to life in Montreal: finding and fluffing a nest, dealing with Canadian immigration, and figuring out what my [...]

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Make a Mummy Mask

Make a Mummy Mask

I was really into masks last year. After I learned how to make papier-mâché masks for Halloween, I started to see masks in every museum I visited. The obvious reaction? Copy them in papier-mâché! My first museum-inspired mask was based on the deliciously grotesque horror masks of French 19th century artist Jean-Joseph Carriès. The project really helped me take in [...]

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What I Learned as a Kid in UMMA

What I Learned as a Kid in UMMA

My first ever museum was the glorious University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) in Ann Arbor. UMMA has always been a magical place for me. As my hometown museum, it was a cabinet of curiosities for my young self. I saw things there unlike anything I had ever seen: intriguing objects from Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe. During a trip this month to see my family in Ann Arbor [...]

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Recharging in Copenhagen's Nationalmuseet

Recharging in Copenhagen's Nationalmuseet

Exactly four years ago, I found myself in Denmark. I had just survived my first semester at the École du Louvre. The term had culminated with eight exams in five days; each exam was basically a choice between two broad questions with three hours to answer one of them. I celebrated my birthday with an exam [...]

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My Home in the Louvre

My Home in the Louvre

I've been in Montreal for only four months, but my life in Paris already feels like another lifetime. I recently traveled to New York City (to visit the lovely Sara, another 'Expat American-Expat-in-Paris'), which obviously meant dedicating a significant amount of time in the Metropolitan Museum of Art [...]

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Valentine's Day at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Valentine's Day at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Valentine's Day is upon us again. Commercial though it may be, I have always liked this holiday. I'll take any excuse to celebrate love! This year, I am organizing a Valentine's Day get together at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. I've crafted some love-themed activities and mapped out the paintings that depict love in various forms [...]

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Pompeii at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Pompeii at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts just opened a large exhibition on Pompeii, with over 220 archeological artifacts. I was blown away (yikes, pun not intended). The objects were exceptional, from the colorful wall frescoes to the almost 2000-year-old bowl of olives. And the scenography was gorgeous; I [...]

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Home Furnishings from the Museum

Home Furnishings from the Museum

I am (still) in the midst of furnishing my new Montréal apartment. I have spent hours searching for fun and functional furniture and decorations to make this nest feel like home.  After spending a recent morning assembling furniture, I decided to treat myself with a visit to the Montreal Museum of [...]

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Love in a Garden

Love in a Garden

This painting, this fête galante, full of lovers in a garden, is a celebration of flirtation and love. While the young lovers are the focal point of the painting, a full half of the painting is dedicated to the landscape, to the architecture, to the physicality of the scene. As I looked at this painting by Nicolas Lancret, newly [...]

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