A short history of the Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke
Thirty years ago, a group of indomitable Sherbrooke people, friends of the arts and lovers of the Eastern Townships decided to realise a dream which had long haunted them: organise art exhibitions for their fellow citizens. The beginnings are modest: a few paintings hung in the showcases of Wellington Street stores. Notwithstanding, devoted and stubborn, they find premises on this same street and move heaven and earth in order to reach their goal: provide the region with an art museum. In 1988, the Musée des beauxarts de Sherbrooke has a small nucleus of personnel and its first salaried director, Michel Forest. It is moved to a new building offered by l’Université de Sherbrooke, 174 Palais Street, where the faculty of law used to be. The Musée is officially recognised by the ministère des Affaires culturelles of Québec in the early 1990’s and in 1996, moves yet again to the magnificent historical building where it resides today: the former headquarters of the Eastern Townships Bank.
The dream has become reality in the short time span of 30 years and thus are recognised the know-all and the passion of people of our community. Among the first-hour builders who devoted themselves in the structuring of the Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke, the following are to be mentioned: Lise Beaulieu, Jeannine Blais and JeanRéal Brunette, these pioneers being joined by many people who, with the passage of time, contributed in the development of the Musée as it is today. Tradition is maintained among members of the board of the Musée, the board of the Fondation, the personnel and members: reason manages, passion and devotion support the adventure.
The Musée is now supported financially by the ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, the City of Sherbrooke and many partners from the private sector. It is the major agent in the area for the conservation and exhibition of visual arts in the Eastern Townships. It preserves some 4 600 art works, acquired during this short period of time: 30 years.