In 1962, Gérard Lavallée (died in 2018), an art and art history professor at the Collège de Saint-Laurent, founded the gallery Nova et Vetera (“Modern and Ancient Realities”). He is concerned with the edification and preservation of Quebecker cultural heritage, as well as the fear of American or Ontarian collectors appropriating this heritage. The gallery was incorporated into the Musée d’art de Saint-Laurent in 1977, which became The Quebec’s Masters and Artisans Museum in 2003. Today in addition to the objects in the Museum, close to 14,000 objects are stored in the museum reserve located in the basement of the Bibliothèque du Boisé. The reserve was inaugurated in 2013. The Museum received the Award of Excellence from the Société des musées québécois 2014 for the construction of the new reserve and the Award of Excellence in Conservation from the Canadian Museums Association 2015. The Museum’s Conservation Department manages the permanent collection.
Information on more than 6000 objects in its permanent collection is available through Artefacts Canada and Info-Muse.
Frequently asked questions
Does the Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec buy works of art or antiques?
The Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec, like many museums of its size, does not currently have a budget for the acquisition of works. Generally speaking, objects enter the collection through the donation, bequest or transfer process.
How does the Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec choose what it acquires?
The Acquisition Committee meets twice a year (fall and spring) to analyze offers of donations received. The committee must include at least two external experts, in addition to the curator and the director. Right now we are very lucky, we have three external experts! The Committee analyses the donation files and decides on the acquisition according to the museum’s acquisition policy, its mission and the current collection.
Can the Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec evaluate works of art or antiques?
The Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec does not evaluate the works. We work with professional appraisers for donations of $1,000 or more for which the evaluation remains the responsibility of the donor.
What is the procedure for making a donation proposal to the museum?