Gérard Lavallée, professor of visual arts and art history at Collège de Saint-Laurent, founded the Nova and Vetera Gallery in 1962. He was driven by a desire for the recognition and preservation of Québec’s cultural heritage, but also by the fear that American or Ontarian collectors might appropriate this heritage. The gallery is incorporated into the Musée d’art de Saint-Laurent in 1977 and becomes, in 2003, the Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec. Mr. Lavallée passed away in 2018, but his legacy is alive and well.
Today, in addition to the objects at the MUMAQ, nearly 14,000 objects are stored in the museum reserve, inaugurated in 2013 and located in the basement of the Bibliothèque du Boisé. The museum received, in 2014, the Société des musées québécois Award of Excellence for its construction as well as the Canadian Museums Association’s Award of Outstanding Achievement in Conservation in 2015.
In 2022, we received another Canadian Museums Association Outstanding Achievement Award - this time, in Exhibitions for our new permanent exhibition, Meaningful Objets: A History of Craft in Québec!
The records of more than 6,000 objects from the permanent collection are available through Artefacts Canada.