Château Ramezay

Left: Kitchen, Château de Ramezay, Montreal, QC, about 1890

Right: Kitchen, Musée du Château Ramezay, Montreal, QC. After Notman (VIEW 3013). Taken on August 4th 1999 at 11:00 a.m.

Photographers: Left: William Notman, Right: Andrzej Maciejewski
McCord Museum of Canadian History

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.


Date/Time: August 4, 1999, 11:00 a.m.

The Chateau De Ramezay was already a museum in Notman's time, though of a very different sort. It appears as if the fireplace was still being used. I think Notman seated people in the room for the purposes of his photograph, and fortunately I managed to capture some people in mine as well. Today the walls remain the same, but little else. Now there are many artifacts displayed behind glass, and many modern additions, such as electric lights, which I had to rearrange for better effect. With the loss of natural light the character of this room has changed dramatically.
Date/Time: August 4, 1999, 11:00 a.m.

The Chateau De Ramezay was already a museum in Notman's time, though of a very different sort. It appears as if the fireplace was still being used. I think Notman seated people in the room for the purposes of his photograph, and fortunately I managed to capture some people in mine as well. Today the walls remain the same, but little else. Now there are many artifacts displayed behind glass, and many modern additions, such as electric lights, which I had to rearrange for better effect. With the loss of natural light the character of this room has changed dramatically.

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.

Map

This Map of Montreal depicts the location where the photographs by Notman and Maciejewski were taken.

McCord Museum of Canadian History

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.


At the end of the 19th century, the West discovered a new interest in the past. The speed of change brought about by industrialization and urbanization seemed to create a need, or perhaps simply a desire, to hark back to bygone eras. In the big cities, history museums regularly drew many cultivated visitors.

Founded in 1862, the Antiquarian and Numismatic Society of Montreal (Anglophone in the beginning, then more and more bilingual) created a history museum in the Château Ramezay in 1895, thus saving an historic building from certain demolition. The new museum exhibited the big collections gathered through donations from the members, including collections of books and metals. Visitors were not allowed to enter the vaults. They must have been preparing for their opening the year this photograph was taken. The sign "La cuisine" indicates that this part of the basement was the kitchen.
At the end of the 19th century, the West discovered a new interest in the past. The speed of change brought about by industrialization and urbanization seemed to create a need, or perhaps simply a desire, to hark back to bygone eras. In the big cities, history museums regularly drew many cultivated visitors.

Founded in 1862, the Antiquarian and Numismatic Society of Montreal (Anglophone in the beginning, then more and more bilingual) created a history museum in the Château Ramezay in 1895, thus saving an historic building from certain demolition. The new museum exhibited the big collections gathered through donations from the members, including collections of books and metals. Visitors were not allowed to enter the vaults. They must have been preparing for their opening the year this photograph was taken. The sign "La cuisine" indicates that this part of the basement was the kitchen.
Printed Documents
  • Château Ramezay. [1897?]. Catalogue of the Museum of the Chateau Ramezay. Montreal: [Numismatic and Antiquarian Society].
  • Chateau Ramezay. 1903; 1910. Catalogue of the Chateau Ramezay, Museum and Portrait Gallery, 2nd ed. (1903); 7th ed. (1910). Montreal : [Numismatic and Antiquarian Society].
  • Young, Brian. 2001. Le McCord : L'histoire d'un musée universitaire, 1921-1996. Montreal : Hurtubise HMH.
On-Line Document
  • Chateau Ramezay Museum Website. [On Line]. http://www.chateauramezay.qc.ca (Pages accessed in January 2002).

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.

Elgin Gallery

This museum room, named Elgin in honour of the famous Governor General of Canada who had offices in the "château" in the 1840s, displayed portraits of a number of historical figures, including many from New France. A few of these portraits were already very old in 1900, but most were commissioned at the time of the opening of the museum.

Unknown
McCord Museum of Canadian History - Gift of Mr. Stanley G.Triggs
c. 1895
Silver salts on paper mounted on card - Albumen process
19 x 24 cm
MP-0000.838.13
© McCord Museum


To collect and exhibit...

in order to preserve the traces of a world undergoing profound change: this is the purpose of several late-19th-century societies, associations and private collectors that help set up some of the first Canadian museums. One of these collectors, David Ross McCord, has an ambitious dream, which he realizes in 1921-to found a museum of Canadian history. The artifacts that interest him are often connected with events, places, communities and people that have had an impact on the country's history. He is equally enthusiastic, however, about unusual objects, including those that seem slated to disappear or that are simply part of his family's heritage.
To collect and exhibit...

in order to preserve the traces of a world undergoing profound change: this is the purpose of several late-19th-century societies, associations and private collectors that help set up some of the first Canadian museums. One of these collectors, David Ross McCord, has an ambitious dream, which he realizes in 1921-to found a museum of Canadian history. The artifacts that interest him are often connected with events, places, communities and people that have had an impact on the country's history. He is equally enthusiastic, however, about unusual objects, including those that seem slated to disappear or that are simply part of his family's heritage.

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.

Painting

This oil, painted in 1886, shows the Château Ramezay before the addition of the east-end tower in 1903. David Ross McCord (1844-1930) commissioned Henry Richard S. Bunnett (1845-1910) to paint over 200 oil paintings between 1885 and 1889. The works depicted buildings, views and places around Quebec that McCord felt were of historical importance.

Artist: Henry Richard S. Bunnett
McCord Museum of Canadian History - Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord

Oil on canvas
28.8 x 41 cm
M309
© McCord Museum


Claude de Ramezay (1657-1724) was named governor of Montreal in 1704. He built the Château Ramezay, on Notre-Dame Street, to use for official functions and to house his family, which included 16 children.

At the time this painting was executed, the building was being used by the Faculty of Medicine and Law of Laval University at Montreal. In 1895, the city bought the premises, and the Archeological and Numismatic Society of Montreal (founded in 1862) opened Le Musée du Château Ramezay there in 1895. The Château Ramezay was the first building in Quebec to be declared a historical monument, in 1929.

David Ross McCord (1844-1930), the founder of the McCord Museum, commissioned a number of paintings in the mid-1880s from the artist Henry Richard S. Bunnett (1845-1910), including this one. McCord wanted a record of buildings and places that he felt were of historical importance and might disappear in the future.
Claude de Ramezay (1657-1724) was named governor of Montreal in 1704. He built the Château Ramezay, on Notre-Dame Street, to use for official functions and to house his family, which included 16 children.

At the time this painting was executed, the building was being used by the Faculty of Medicine and Law of Laval University at Montreal. In 1895, the city bought the premises, and the Archeological and Numismatic Society of Montreal (founded in 1862) opened Le Musée du Château Ramezay there in 1895. The Château Ramezay was the first building in Quebec to be declared a historical monument, in 1929.

David Ross McCord (1844-1930), the founder of the McCord Museum, commissioned a number of paintings in the mid-1880s from the artist Henry Richard S. Bunnett (1845-1910), including this one. McCord wanted a record of buildings and places that he felt were of historical importance and might disappear in the future.

© McCord Museum of Canadian History

French Regime Room

The photograph shows the room devoted to the French Regime (1608-1763) in Canada in the first McCord Museum building.

Photographer: Sydney Jack Hayward
McCord Museum of Canadian History
c. 1927
Silver salts on paper (glossy finish) - Gelatin silver process
20.3 x 25.4 cm
MP-0000.181.1.2
© McCord Museum


The founder of the McCord Museum, David Ross McCord (1844-1930), amassed a collection of historic artifacts that reflected the history of Canada.

In 1919 McCord donated his collection to McGill University, and the McCord National Museum was officially opened on October 13, 1921. It was located in the Jesse Joseph House, on the corner of McTavish and Sherbrooke Streets on the McGill campus. This photograph shows the museum’s French Regime (1608-1763) Room. It and the other rooms in the house displayed artifacts related to Native history, Major-General James Wolfe (1727-1759), the history of McGill University, religion in Quebec and McCord family history.

David McCord felt that he was not the owner of this vast collection, but that he merely held it for Canada. His donation to McGill was therefore a gift to his fellow Canadians. The collection grew out of McCord’s voluminous knowledge of Canadian history and his interest in the important objects that his family had accumulated.
The founder of the McCord Museum, David Ross McCord (1844-1930), amassed a collection of historic artifacts that reflected the history of Canada.

In 1919 McCord donated his collection to McGill University, and the McCord National Museum was officially opened on October 13, 1921. It was located in the Jesse Joseph House, on the corner of McTavish and Sherbrooke Streets on the McGill campus. This photograph shows the museum’s French Regime (1608-1763) Room. It and the other rooms in the house displayed artifacts related to Native history, Major-General James Wolfe (1727-1759), the history of McGill University, religion in Quebec and McCord family history.

David McCord felt that he was not the owner of this vast collection, but that he merely held it for Canada. His donation to McGill was therefore a gift to his fellow Canadians. The collection grew out of McCord’s voluminous knowledge of Canadian history and his interest in the important objects that his family had accumulated.

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Identify the changes that were operated within Canadian society over two decades (territory, population, economy, etc.);
  • Describe in details changes that he/she is able to observe;
  • Explain and speculate about the reasons that could justify these changes;
  • Make connections between the differences and similarities of the two eras.

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