Focusing on the first half of the twentieth century, one can see the city of Montreal taking shape gradually growing to become Canada's first metropolis. A metropolis is a significant economic, political, and cultural center, as well as the critical role as a hub for commercial activity, connections, and communications for those both domestic and abroad. Social, economic, and commercial life in Montreal became vastly enriched during the period following the turn of the century with architecture developed at a lighting pace as territory is expanded and growing ever more diverse in infrastructure. Culturally life in Montreal underwent ever-growing influences stemming from its neighbor to the south. The United States had a particularly strong influence on popular culture in Montreal, despite the constant historical and ongoing influences from Europe in many facets of life. The art world was also undergoing a transformation and we begin to see fundamental reconsiderations in this sphere and these reflections will have major repercussions on art in Montreal and throughout Quebec. We can see Canada's own movements leading the way in new schools of artistic technique, which could be considered the first truly Canadian art as its own unique entity. The city of Montreal during the early twentieth century we see changes begin to unfold, happening at a pace never before seen in human history causing many people to become torn between the path of tradition and that of progress. This tension between tradition and that of modernity is clearly reflected in the arts. By studying artists working in Montreal and painting the city as they saw it during this crucial era we can get a unique look back into the sentiment of the time.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Art features a permanent exhibit on Quebec and Canadian Art. With its own wing and many works featured in an array of mediums; a vast display of everything from silver chalices to busts and sculptures.