McMaster Museum of Art

Roman Figures in the Sabine Mountains by Jean-Victor Bertin (McMaster Museum of Art)


Recently, it dawned on me how little I had explored Hamilton and I became eager to visit as many landmarks and beautiful locales as I could.

For some time I have also wanted to take up photography as a hobby.

With my ever atrophying artistic vision, camera and thirst for adventure I’ve set out to explore Hamilton. Hopefully, these series of articles will provide any readers with a few pretty pictures, an idea or two for things to do if ever bored in Hamilton and motivation for me to continue practicing photography.

Locale — McMaster Museum of Art

The McMaster Museum of Art is a public, non-profit university affiliated gallery situated near the McMaster Student Center and easily accessible by any student. It is home to many beautiful pieces of art and after 3.5 years at Mac I was embarrassed to say I’d never been so was eager to see what it had to offer.

The gallery is split into a bottom floor, which plays host to temporary exhibits that stop by as they tour the country, and a top floor which houses the gallery’s permanent collection. Understandably, I was not allowed to take pictures from the touring exhibit so all of these pictures are from the top floor.

The Goblet of Fire

Interestingly, when you take the flight of stairs to the top floor, you are greeted by an enormous chalice, a goblet, wreathed in spikes. It’s so large you could sit in it. The first time I saw it I was quite taken aback and I doubt I shall ever happen upon a larger cup.

Large Cup (McMaster Museum of Art)


Ancient Tools (McMaster Museum of Art)
Antiquity (McMaster Museum of Art)

The museum boasts an impressive collection of ancient antiquities, over 200 to be precise, with pieces from the Bronze age over 5000 years ago to the Modern era. They have pottery, glass, carvings and jewelry from places like China, Japan and Europe. One of my fondest memories is visiting the museums of Greece and drinking in the rich display of pottery and sculptures from ancient Athens. Walking through the collection of antiquities at McMaster Museum of Art I felt transported back there. Interestingly, this component of the exhibition is dedicated to Mr. Togo Salmon who it turns out was one of the first appointments to McMaster’s classics department in 1930 and taught at the school for 43 years. I’ve had a number of classes at Togo Salmon Hall throughout my undergrad so nice to finally know whose hall I’m sitting in.

Favourite Piece

The Many Faces of Madness (McMaster Museum of Art)

My favourite piece in the exhibit is probably the 5 faces above. There is something strangely ominous and eerie about them that frightens you but also draws you in. It almost seems as if the artist tried to replicate Picasso’s cubism, deforming the faces of the subjects, but chose to use a medium of stone rather than paint on a canvas.

Asian Exhibit

The Museum also has a nice Asian section which is very different from the rest of the exhibit which seems to focus on art with a European style and origin. The canvas paper used for the paintings was quite unique, it reminded me of the papyrus used in ancient Egypt more than anything and there were also some really colorful objects that looked like a mix of sculpting and origami.

Samurai (McMaster Museum of Art)


This trip was also an interesting place to practice photography as it was a new challenge for me to try to fit an entire piece into the view of my camera without capturing any other pieces or the frame of a painting for instance. Step too close and you miss some of the detail, step too far and you capture more than you want. It was cool trying to find the right balance.

I also found it challenging taking frontal pictures of paintings. The glass covering the paintings always caught my reflection which ended up making it onto the image. This forced me to take pictures of paintings at an angle and I am curious if there is a better workaround.


Note the following pictures just give a taste of the great work the McMaster Museum of Art has to offer and there are many more delights waiting to be seen.

I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to spend a pleasant afternoon enjoying art.



Medical student in reality. Mathematician in my head. Youtube —

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