About the collection

With roughly 8,000 works of art including works by artists from Quebec, Canada and abroad, the collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is a living reflection of its time filled with transformative encounters and perspectives on current societal issues.

The backbone of the MAC’s collection resides in its diversity, its depth, its multidisciplinary approach, as well as its propensity to support emerging practices. It also lies in its capacity to bear witness to historically significant events within our society and within the realm of Contemporary Art in Quebec.

The development of the collection is part of the MAC’s core mission. Click on the following link for details on the MAC’s acquisition policy and approach, and to submit a work for inclusion in the collection.


Since the MAC’s founding in 1964, its collection has benefited from the generosity of numerous artists, collectors, associations, foundations and galleries. In 1964 and 1965, nearly 100 works of art were donated to the museum, enriching its collection of some 400 works, including 200 by Quebec artists, 20 by Canadian artists and 180 international works.

In 1973, the National Museums of Canada donated 55 works by Paul-Émile Borduas to the MAC, making it the largest repository of the renowned artist’s works and archives. Currently, 118 works by Borduas are housed in the MAC’s Borduas Collection.

From 1972 to 1988, Dr. Max Stern and Iris Stern made a major of gift 87 artworks to the MAC. In 1988, the MAC was the grateful recipient of the bequest of René Payant, a gift of 45 contemporary works, most of them by Quebec artists, from the personal collection of the Quebec art historian and critic who passed away in 1988.

In 1992, with the help of the Ministère des affaires culturelles du Québec, the MAC acquired the Lavalin Collection (1,324 works, mainly by Quebec and Canadian artists), expanding its holdings of 3,576 works by as much as 30% on the eve of its 30th anniversary.

With a total of nearly 8,000 works today, the MAC’s collection has more than doubled since the museum set down roots in downtown Montreal in 1992. Its collection shines a strong spotlight on the contributions of major figures in Quebec and Canadian art while also proposing key works by international artists. Going forward, the main focus for development of the collection will be to pursue powerful, relevant and innovative practices across all media and disciplines.


The creation of this digital portal into the collections received support under Québec’s digital cultural plan.

The MAC is a proud partner of Art Public Montreal, a cultural journey to discover.