The museum feels very old school: temple-like stone façade, lots of carved wood, the occasional hand-written label... The museum also feels like it is a well-used institution: I crossed students doing work on laptops, a family, and what looked like a university sketching class.
The galleries, originally built in 1882, are filled to the brim with dinosaur bones, fossils, mummies, coins, stuffed animals, and minerals. Where was I going to find celebration amidst these artifacts?
And then I came upon the shells.
Wooden cases display over 1,200 gem-quality shells, from the collection of Abe Levine, "Quebec's premiere mollusc collector". Arranged by big windows overlooking downtown Montreal, the shells reflect the sunlight, and some practically sparkle.
The shells are so joyful! I had so much fun pressing my nose against the glass of the display cases and inspecting the different variations: they were like both jewels and statues. The sense of the collector's joy in these shells is palpable, making the exhibit very celebratory.
And then I realized that I could call this adventure a shell-ebration. Dear reader, I will not admit how much this made me laugh out loud amidst the vitrines.
So, I went on a photo safari (a visit to a museum focusing on details found in objects around various themes, with the aim of looking at everything differently).
Shells, as found in the Redpath Museum:
Redpath Museum at McGill University
Address: 859 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal ∣ Métro: Station McGill or Peel (Green Line) ∣ Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, Sunday from 11am to 5pm (different summer hours)