Music in the Museum: An Operatic Demise

Music in the Museum: An Operatic Demise

The (currently defunct) musical audioguide at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts paired different artworks with various musical selections. I was a big fan of the experience, and I was particularly moved by the pairing of a painting and an aria inspired by the tragic fates of two women [...]

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Imaginibus Year in Review 2016

Imaginibus Year in Review 2016

2016 brought some exciting developments to this blog, including the launch of a new product line of creative prompts for visiting museums: MusEmvelopes. The two available themes are Love and Voyages. I also started a newsletter, which you can subscribe to below! I've had so much fun this year exploring [...]

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Music in the Museum: Chopin and the Polish Princess in Paris

Music in the Museum: Chopin and the Polish Princess in Paris

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts offers a musical audioguide, which pairs different artworks with various musical selections. One of my favorite combinations is that of a Polish princess and a Chopin Polonaise. Paul Delaroche, the Romantic French painter, was a big deal in the 19th century, as famous as his contemporary Delacroix. When he wasn't traveling, he [...]

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Toulouse-Lautrec's Women of the Belle Époque

Toulouse-Lautrec's Women of the Belle Époque

I went to the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition looking for calm. It’s been an intense week; the semester is halfway over, which means the projects for my seminars need to be at a certain point of completion. When I saw that I had an hour-long pocket in my schedule on Tuesday, I decided to fill it with some Toulouse-Lautrec [...]

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Music in the Museum: The Cult of the Virgin Mary

Music in the Museum: The Cult of the Virgin Mary

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts with its musical audioguide. The first stop on the audio tour was a French statue of the Virgin and Child from the 14th century. The cult of the Virgin Mary was very common in both the visual and musical cultures of that time. This [...]

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The Musical Audioguide at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The Musical Audioguide at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

When I learned last year that the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts offered a musical audioguide, I believe I actually scoffed. A musical audioguide seemed like taking what can be a stereotypically unsexy museum offering and making it even more unattractive. I don’t know exactly what was expecting, perhaps being subjected to fuzzy elevator [...]

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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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Museum-Inspired Christmas Ornaments

Museum-Inspired Christmas Ornaments

This month's Creativity Theme is CELEBRATION. So, with Christmas approaching, I gave myself a challenge for my visit to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: find a way to celebrate Christmas inspired by artwork seen in the museum. I figured the most literal way to be inspired would be by [...]

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The (Snowy) Colours of Jazz

The (Snowy) Colours of Jazz

I assumed that my first winter in Montreal would be covered in snow. Prior to my move here this October, I obsessed with preparations for winter: I stocked up on puffy coats, heavy-duty boots, strap-on cleats for icy days... Friends, it is now December and this is the weather. Rain?! Perhaps this explains [...]

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Birds, Guitars, Cacophony: from here to ear v.19

Birds, Guitars, Cacophony: from here to ear v.19

There is a ridiculously cool exhibition now on in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Seventy songbirds fill a room littered with electric guitars on stands. As the birds perch on the strings of the guitars, they create a cacophonous song of pre-recorded rock, punk and heavy-metal chords. The installation [...]

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Eyes in the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts

Eyes in the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts

I was really excited about the butt tour. Let me explain. The Montréal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) website promoted a guided tour called "Delightful Derrières", all about the nudes in the collection. It sounded wonderfully ridiculous; I mean, come on, this was the promotional image [...]

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How Can Museums Promote Peace?

How Can Museums Promote Peace?

From the attacks in Paris and Beirut, to the Syrian refugee crisis, to other horrific acts of violence and hatred across the globe, I have been at a loss for how to work for peace as a museum professional. I have been greatly encouraged by the work of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts [...]

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First Impressions of the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal

First Impressions of the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal

With much trepidation, I climbed the stone steps that led to the front doors of the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (MBAM) for the first time. Why was I so nervous? I moved to Montréal without knowing much about the museums. And how could I make a city my home if I didn’t like [...]

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