IMPORTANT NOTICE: Reopening of the McCord Museum on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. More information here.


Hald-day Lecture

Friday, April 3, 2020, at 1:30 p.m.

Photo: © Laura Dumitriu, 2017

Postponed – McCord Discoveries



The McCord Museum is closely monitoring current events and developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Following the recommendations of the Quebec government to cancel any event gathering more than 250 people, the McCord Museum will cancel its cultural and family activities, which bring a certain proximity, until April 10.

Learn more about measures implemented by the McCord Museum

In the McCord Discoveries series, our experts share their exciting research projects and discoveries in the archives and collections of the Museum. An in-depth exploration of our rich collections with some surprising finds!

The event is free (limited places) and is of interest to an academic audience as well as anyone fascinated by history, archival science, museum studies and material culture.

SOLD OUT. Sign up for the waiting list.

Montreal in the 19th Century: Expressions and Representations

In this first event in the McCord Discoveries series, our Museum experts will reveal little known aspects of the McCord collections that shed light on the themes of self-expression and representations of Montreal in the 19th century.

Sign up for the waiting list. Stay tuned, seats may become available soon!
Limited places. Reservation mandatory on Eventbrite.


Trancestors: Gender Nonconformity in the 19th Century

While gender fluidity as identity performance is of current interest, this presentation will focus on the past, shedding light on cases of gender transitioning  as documented by 19th century photographers. It will consider the contexts of production, exchange, use, and meaning in the cases that have been identified, particularly that of William W. Austin, The Gent for Mrs. Austin held in in the Notman Photographic Archives.

Speaker: Hélène Samson, Curator, Photography
Presentation in French at 1:40 p.m.

Shared Sensibilities, or Teasing Out Emotions from Archival Documents

Anyone who has read archival documents, such as letters and diaries, knows just how rich these witnesses to the past can be. They often convey emotions, viewpoints, values and ideologies not accounted for in traditional archival indexing methods and therefore hard to pinpoint in archives.

The Shared Sensibilities project aims to make aspects of the history of sensibilities more accessible to the public and to scholars. By developing and implementing an innovative approach to indexing emotions in text, and by expanding on the descriptions of recently digitized archival documents, the McCord Museum is working to enhance one of the strengths of its Textual Archives collection, particularly rich in personal documents that illustrate aspects of the social, cultural, and even emotional and intimate aspects of the lives of Montrealers.

Speakers: Mathieu Lapointe, Curator, Textual Archives, and Patricia Prost, Curatorial Assistant
Presentation in French at 2:30 p.m.

Montreal before Photography, 1760–1840

Before the advent of photography, painting functioned as the representation of reality. The Museum’s Paintings, Prints and Drawings collection serves to visually chronicle the history of Montreal’s urban development before 1840, the year that saw photography introduced here. Created as of 1760, as Montreal entered a new phase following the British conquest, this group of drawings, paintings and prints offers unique views of the rapid expansion of the colony’s new metropolis.

Speaker: Christian Vachon, Curator, Paintings, Prints and Drawings
Presentation in French at 3:40 p.m.

Alexandre Vattemare and His Collection in Lower Canada

During the fall and winter of 1840–41, the citizenry of Montreal and Quebec City received an unusual visitor from France: Alexandre Vattemare, known at the time for his intriguing multiple vocations as a ventriloquist, wealthy philanthropist, and cultural ambassador. During his stay, Vattemare acquired works of art, among them four watercolour figure sketches, now part of the McCord Museum’s collections. This talk will focus on the identity of the artist, his representation of Indigenous people, with links to other works that make up the Alexandre Vattemare collection.

Speaker: Anne MacKay, Head, Conservation
Presentation in English at 4:30 p.m.

Free activity, limited places. Reserve your seat!
Reservation mandatory on Eventbrite.
Location: J. Armand Bombardier Theatre at the McCord Museum

Not to be missed!

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