A museum’s relevance must lie in its ability to inspire reflections on the works it contains, fostering
and cherishing a plurality of interpretations. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has been exploring
new avenues of interpretation, rejecting the idea of an exhaustive overview of the arts of the world’s
various regions in the manner of the so-called universal museums of the nineteenth century. From
the multitude of realities its art collections embody and the histories they index, nodes of encounter
and entanglement emerge, the so-called space “in between,” from which new visions arise. Within
this new epistemic framework, the museum recently welcomed The Kapany Collection of Sikh Art,
a new gallery dedicated to historical and contemporary Sikh Art, part of a commitment to render the
museum into a space receptive to the shifting plurality of voices that comprise our ever-changing
Canadian society. The Kapany Collection presented a timely opportunity to re-think conventional
museological approaches and offer new perspectives to Sikh art and art in general, incorporating
Sikhi as a meaningful curatorial praxis and prompting contemporary diasporic artists to weave new
histories from within.
Keywords: Sikh Art, Museum Studies, Contemporary Diasporic Art
Then and Now: On Activating Sikh Visual and Material Culture at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) – Laura Vigo – Click the PDF icon to view, right-click to save as.