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Renting a Work of Art

The Prêt d’oeuvres d’art collection of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is made up of more than 1,900 works by Québec artists. It was established in 1982 by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs to promote contemporary Québec art and make it visible to the public.


The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec will soon receive a major donation of works by Jean Paul Riopelle, in conjunction with the construction of a new pavilion dedicated to him by 2025.

The future construction site will have a major impact on our operations and especially on access to our collections. In this context, the MNBAQ has been forced to suspend the rental service for the Art Lending collection for an indefinite period.

We appreciate your understanding of this temporary situation. The MNBAQ will make every effort to resume normal operations as soon as possible. We will keep you informed of any news or decisions regarding the resumption of this unique rental service, which will evolve into a renewed and inclusive program, with the goal of promoting art in our community.

The MNBAQ manages the circulation of works in the CPOA through its art rental program made available to Québec ministries, organizations, delegations abroad and corporate clients. Each year, more than 50 organizations take advantage of this service, enabling them to display contemporary art in their workplace. The annual rental fees are modest and range from $220 to $500 per work. The rental contract is for a period of two years and may be renewed twice, for a maximum of six years.

what changes in 2021

In the wake of the positive changes occurring at the MNBAQ and in keeping with the perspective of an inclusive museum on a human scale, the CPOA is turning a page of its history. The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is committed to a deep-seated transformation of the Collection Prêt d’œuvres d’art to better reflect the commitments made in its strategic planning to adapt to current societal realities. The promotion of diversity, access to culture, and innovation are, more than ever, central to our activities. Nearly 40 years after its creation, the CPOA will be transformed so that the MNBAQ’s activities reflect a desire to better service the Québec artistic community. In anticipation of these substantive changes that should be introduced gradually this year, the CPOA competition is not being maintained.

The MNBAQ wishes to update the way it reflects all facets of creation and better enrich dialogue with all the cultural communities. The 2018-2022 Strategic Plan reflects the MNBAQ’s mission, clarifies strategic acquisition priorities, and seeks to strike better balance between genres, generations, and practices. The MNBAQ wishes to better represent First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists, and artists of various cultural origins.

A new position will be created to ensure that the province-wide collection better represents the diversity of artists and the range of artistic approaches and practices. The appointee will be responsible for the CPOA. The CPOA’s budget will be reapportioned to continue to support galleries and artists not represented by them. Maude Lévesque, who has served as curator of the CPOA for 12 years, will assume new challenges at the MNBAQ as an exhibition curator. She is already working on projects that will be unveiled shortly.

The CPOA has more than 1900 original works available for rental and enables private companies and Québec government bodies and departments to disseminate contemporary Québec art in the workplace and thus access Québec creation. The service will be maintained in the future and the works will still be available, thereby transmitting the universe of several artists. On the other hand, we wish to make available to an even diverse audience the works acquired in the past for dissemination outside the MNBAQ, for example in schools and community organizations.

For the sake of efficiency and to streamline our administrative practices, it is essential to review the CPOA model, its rental requirements, and its outreach potential. Accordingly, we acknowledge the importance of maintaining our financial support in a market weakened by the pandemic and will review the objectives respecting the dissemination and influence of the works in the collection.

Consult the entire CPOA collection on line

To search for a work, click here

Credits: Mélanie Authier, Ground Keeper. 2015. Watercolour and ink on paper, 56 x 73 cm (work); 63.3 x 82.7 cm (frame). Purchase for the Prêt d’œuvres d’art collection of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, with the support of the young philanthropists of Le Cercle 179.