The province's premier art institution is a must-see. It has a strong collection of local art, particularly the work of folk artist Maud Lewis, including the original tiny house (measuring 3m by 4m) where she lived most of her life, and which she turned into a living canvas. The main exhibit in the lower hall changes regularly and features anything from ancient art to the avant-garde.
Look out for two portraits of Nova Scotia notables by the master Joshua Reynolds: Edward Cornwallis, the founder and first governor of Halifax, and George Montagu-Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax. There's also a collection of works by the Group of Seven, an influential group of Canadian landscape painters from the 1920s and '30s, and their associates, including Tom Thomson, JEH MacDonald and Emily Carr.
The work of modern Nova Scotian artists, including Stanley Royle, Barbara Astman, Alex Colville, Tom Forrestall and Frances Bannerman, is well represented, too.
Free tours are given at 2pm Sunday year-round, daily during July and August.