Portland is known for its rich creative community, artists, and artisans. From these established museums that showcase the greatest fine artists, to the mailbox-sized galleries of passions, Portland displays all kinds of art and curiosities. Read on for our top picks of museums and things to do in and around Portland.
Portland Art Museum
Portland Art Museum is the largest museum in Oregon, in two historic buildings in the South Park Blocks, has strong collections of prints and drawings, photography, Asian art, Native American (especially Pacific Coast) art, and Northwest art, and its European and American collections contain some extraordinary individual pieces, especially from the 19th and 20th centuries. With traveling exhibitions featuring some of the greatest artists, it is a must-see. Open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. –5 p.m. Admission $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and college students, and free for ages 17 and younger. Details are subject to change; please check Portland Art Museum’s Website for current information.
Center for Native American Art
Housed within the Portland Art Museum, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Center for Native American Art features outstanding works by Native American masters such as Allan Houser, Charles Edenshaw, and Maria Martinez, in addition to regional contemporary artists such as Lillian Pitt, Joe Feddersen, Pat Courtney Gold, Rick Bartow, and James Lavadour.
Five Oaks Museum
Know Before You Go
Formerly Washington County Historical Society, Five Oaks Museum presents exhibitions highlighting Oregon’s unique culture, starting conversations around the complicated history of this land and the many peoples who have worked to make it what it is today. Visit Wednesday to Friday noon –4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. –4 p.m. Admission $5 for adults (18+). Details are subject to change; please check Five Oaks Museum’s Website for current information.
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA) at Portland State University brings the university to its communities by showcasing world-class contemporary artwork. Its galleries feature art by Northwest artists, faculty and students, as well as exhibitions by national and international artists. Packed into a small gallery on two floors overlooking Southwest Broadway, the gallery offers accessible art experiences to PSU and the public. JSMA is open Tuesday – Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and free.
Oregon Maritime Museum
Oregon Maritime Museum is housed in “Portland,” the historic sternwheeler moored on the Willamette River. This working museum offers insight into the river-based history of Oregon and even a ride on the Willamette. Visit Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 11 a.m. –4 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for ages 13 –18 (with id), $3 for ages 6 –12, and free for children under 6 years. Details are subject to change; please check Oregon Maritime Museum’s Website for current information.
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
With a planetarium, a giant-screen theater, a retired navy submarine, traveling exhibits of all kinds, and places for all ages to learn about physics, OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) will require a day of exploring. And for the 21+ crowd, look for “After Dark” events that pair science talk with beer and wine. Summer hours every day 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Regular hours (September 6 to June 11) Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $11 for seniors (63+), $9 ages 3-13, and free for children under 2 years. Details are subject to change; please check OMSI’s Website for current information.
World Forestry Center Discovery Museum
Typically, a collection of trees is called a forest. But the World Forestry Center Discover Museum, an indoor museum in Portland’s Washington Park, explores what makes woodlands important through an array of interactive displays and exhibits. Open Thursdays -Sundays, 11 a.m –4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $5 for seniors, $5 for ages 3-18, and free for children 2 and under. Details are subject to change; please check the World Forestry Center’s Website for current information.
The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education
In times of social upheaval and political uncertainty, museums like OJMCHE are more relevant than ever. Explore the rich history and ongoing resiliency of Oregon’s diverse Jewish community with interactive exhibits and experiences for all ages.
Oregon Rail Heritage Center
The free museum features three vintage steam locomotives, including the one that pulled the U.S. Bicentennial Freedom Train in 1976.
Portland Art Museum
The largest art museum in Oregon and one of the oldest in the country, the Portland Art Museum is central to the city's cultural district, housing a large and wide-ranging collection of artworks.
Center for Native American Art
The Portland Art Museum's Center for Contemporary Native Art showcases the work of modern-day Native American artists. The innovative gallery hosts annual exhibitions along with a range of related talks and activities co-created by the artists.
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
With interactive science labs, a planetarium, a giant-screen theater, a retired navy submarine, traveling exhibits and "After Dark" events, OMSI lures all ages.
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