Before 1850, well-defined occupations of artist, dealer and critic didn’t exist in Canada, and the buying and collecting of paintings was largely considered a foreign pursuit. By 1900, however, Montreal was host to an annual exhibition featuring contemporary works by professional artists, many of whom were Canadian-born and trained. Montrealers visited these shows by the thousands and newspapers give them prominent coverage.
The founding of the Art Association of Montreal in 1860 marks a turning point in the process of art institutionalization that was occurring all over Europe and North America. How did this process occur in Montreal, compared with other industrial cities? Join historian Lorne Huston as he delves into this emerging world of modern art before the railroad barons made their influence felt.