Lady of many gifts

2014

Liliane Stewart was a great collector in decorative arts and design, and a noted philanthropist to Montreal museums. She passed away in May 2014. In 1973, she and her husband, the business magnate David Macdonald Stewart, set up a foundation that has provided essential support to many cultural initiatives over the years.

A former president of the Stewart Museum, on St. Helen’s Island, and of many other museum boards in the city, Liliane Stewart was a leading patron of the arts here for decades – her generosity enriched our museum collections and made the city home to a vast number of artistic treasures. In the year 2000, for example, she donated nearly 6,000 objects from the collection of the former Museum of Decorative Arts to the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, where they are now displayed in the Liliane and David M. Stewart Pavilion.

She has also chaired numerous museum boards. She was a member of the Order of Canada, the Ordre national du Québec, and the Légion d’honneur in France. Liliane Stewart’s dedication to artistic heritage went far beyond our borders. She contributed to the preservation of Venice; supported the renovation of the Jacques- Cartier Manor House Museum, in Saint-Malo; and donated a stained-glass panel on Samuel de Champlain to the communal church in his native town of Brouage, France. And yet Montréal, her home, will always bear the deepest imprint of her work as a grande dame of culture. 

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