In the March issue of The Montrealer, we reported that the McCord Museum was launching a campaign to purchase Kent Monkman’s painting that drew on William Notman’s photographs; permanently archived at the McCord Museum. Our readers were among the many Montrealers who responded and their generosity has enabled the McCord to purchase this distinctive and uniquely Montreal work of art.

The year 2014 is not yet over, but already it promises to be one of the most successful ever for the McCord Museum. “The year 2014 is one to celebrate,” said Suzanne Sauvage, President and Chief Executive Officer of the McCord Museum. The summer exhibitions Music – Quebec: From Charlebois to Arcade Fire, Bens, The Legendary Deli, the outdoor exhibition on McGill College Harry Sutcliffe – Strolling Through Montreal, and the activities offered on Victoria Street attracted more than a million people.” It’s the first time the McCord has had such visibility.

In addition, the McCord Museum has just acquired Welcome to the Studio: An Allegory for Artistic Reflection and Transformation, by Kent Monkman, an internationally renowned Canadian artist of Cree ancestry. The work was created in 2013 as part of the Museum’s Artist-in-Residence program and was exhibited from January 30 to June 1, 2014. The Museum launched a campaign on March 12, 2014 inviting Montrealers and Friends of the Museum to help raise the necessary funds to purchase the painting. The response was very favourable, and the work is now on display in the halls of the McCord’s permanent exhibition Montreal – Points of View.

“We are particularly happy about this acquisition,” said Suzanne Sauvage. “This work is not only an allegory of the artistic practice; it’s also a form of tribute to Montreal and our wonderful collection, the Notman Photographic Archives, where Kent Monkman found inspiration. It demonstrates too the generosity of Montrealers, to whom I would like to express our sincere gratitude.”

Welcome to the Studio, which measures 7.3 m (24 ft.) in length and 1.8 m (6 ft.) in height, alludes to the celebrated painting by Gustave Courbet, The Artist’s Studio.

Another exciting development is that the Museum will host, in May 2015, the North American premiere of a major retrospective exhibition by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition is devoted to the famous fashion photographer Horst P. Horst and will feature several haute couture dresses, some of them from the McCord’s rich Costume and Textiles collection.

The McCord Museum is located at 690 Sherbrooke St West (at Victoria). For information: www.mccord-museum.qc.ca

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