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Week 7 - Viewing the Works With New Glasses (family special)

Dernière mise à jour : 12 mai 2020

This week’s theme: revisiting museum collections

More and more families are participating in the Quarantined Museum community exhibition project. We have even heard from families who integrated the concept to their home schooling. In response, we would like to offer them one article per week intended for children aged 7 to 12. Of course, we recommend that families read it together to help each other and to discuss the themes!

There are no right or wrong answers. The whole family is invited to participate and discuss. You have the right to disagree, but you have to explain your point of view and listen to each other.

Let's start by thinking together about the following topics:

What is a museum?

Have you ever been to a museum?

What have you seen there?

What is a collection?

Do you have one at home?

What is a work of art?

Do you know any artists?

Let's take a look at the MAJ collection

Use the following link to discover some of the artworks in our collection:

We invite you to click on the images to see the label where we find the name of the artist, the title of the artwork, the materials used and the year of production.

Let's learn about our Museum and its collection

The Musée d'art de Joliette has a collection of more than 8,500 objects. They come from all over the world. Some are very old (5th Century B.C.) and others are more recent.

The collection is divided into four segments: Canadian art, European art, contemporary art and archaeology. There are paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos, drawings and much more!

Many employees work at the Museum. Each has an important and specific role. Here are just a few of them:

- Curator: He or she collects various objects and studies them. They create exhibitions that will be of interest to everyone, young and old.

- Mediator: During visits and activities, he or she communicates to the public everything there is to know about the artworks and answers the questions from visitors.

- Technician: Creates the best conditions for conserving the works of art and builds the layout elements of the exhibition rooms.

- Conservator (or restorer): When artworks are damaged, the conservator repairs them.

Canadian Art: These are works of art created by Canadian artists before 1950.

European Art: These are works of art created by European artists before 1950.

Contemporary art: These are works of art that have been made from 1950 to the present.

Archaeology: Archaeologists dig into the ground to find traces of the past. These are called found objects, artifacts.

Let's look at the following details:

In front of a work of art, you don't always know what to do. The Museum suggests a little activity!

Choose an artwork from the MAJ collection on the website:

Click on it to read the label.

Ask yourself what kind of work it might be. Is it a sculpture, a painting, a drawing, a photo?

Is it figurative art or abstract art?

Is it a landscape, a portrait, a still life?

Which colours do you see? Are they cold or warm?

Are there geometric shapes? If so, which ones?

Describe the artwork to a family member who hasn't seen it. They might even try to draw it while you describe it. Give them all the details, without forgetting anything, and then see if their drawing looks like the original!

Now that you've taken a good look at the artwork, can you tell what the artist's intention is? What do you think he wanted to do?

To tell a story? If so, what story?

Play with colours, shapes or techniques?

Express an emotion or an idea? If so, what was it?

Finally, ask yourself what do you think of the work? Wow? Yuck? Not so bad? Elaborate…

Figurative art: A figurative artwork represents recognizable subjects or objects, for example, a character, a landscape, an animal, a house, a monster, etc.

Abstract art: Abstract art does not represent recognizable subjects or objects. Rather, we see shapes, colours, textures, etc.

Landscape: The representation of a place is called landscape. It can be located in the city or in the countryside.

Portrait: This is the representation of a person. A portrait can be a photo, a painting or a sculpture.

Still life: Inanimate objects are presented on a plane, usually a table.

Cold colours: These are the colours that recall freshness. Imagine yourself on the ice floe in the North Pole! The colours blue, green and purple are cold.

Warm colours: You're looking at a fire or the inside of a volcano! Red, yellow, orange and beige are warm colours.

Let's make some links :

The Musée d'art de Joliette:

Collects works of art by great artists from Quebec, Canada and abroad, from the past and the present;

Stores the works in storage facilities and protects them by controlling the conditions of conservation such as light, humidity, temperature, etc.;

Researches and studies the artworks to better understand them;

Presents the works in exhibitions;

Organizes all kinds of activities to talk about the artworks and make them known to everyone!

Conditions of conservation: Did you know that if you put a photograph in the light for too long, the colours will disappear? Or if you put a drawing in a damp place for a long time, the paper will curl? Light, humidity and temperature are very controlled to make sure that each piece of artwork stays beautiful forever!

Let's have fun:

Print a few artworks from the MAJ collection, found on the page

Cut out elements from magazines, flyers, old photos or other artworks that you printed out, and paste them onto your favourite artwork to make it fun.

Using coloured felt-tip pens, add details to complete the transformation of the work from the collection into a new museum masterpiece.

So, can you tell me:

Now that you've read, observed, learned, and explored, have you changed your mind? Or can you add to your reflection from earlier?

What is a museum and what does it do?

What is a work of art?

Can you create another artwork inspired by our collection? This time, you could use materials such as play dough or photography! Don't forget to send us your creation at

Follow the indications to participate and get your art on this platform.


This activity was prepared by Ariane Cardinal, Curator of Education at the Musée d'art de Joliette.

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