Know Before You Go
The Portland Art Museum is open with timed ticket entry and limited gallery access. See the latest health and safety guidelines related to COVID-19 on the Portland Art Museum website.
Children 17 and under are always free. Free admission and special family programming is offered several times a year (check calendar).
The Portland Art Museum is the largest art museum in Oregon and one of the oldest in the country. Located in two historic buildings on Portland’s South Park Blocks, the museum is central to the city’s cultural district and houses a large and wide-ranging collection of art.
#reopeningpdx Video Tour
Campus and History
First organized in 1892, the museums’ first exhibition was a set of magnificent plaster casts of Greek and Roman sculpture, now displayed in the upper hall of the city’s library. In 1932, the museum moved into the primary building, designed by Pietro Belluschi: a gracious contemporary update of the Georgian style, sleek-lined and advanced in its ideas. The museum’s renovation of the Masonic temple to its immediate north added more exhibition and office space to the campus in 2005.
Belluschi’s original design was ahead of its time. It was airy and admitted natural light into the museum’s galleries, especially the court beyond the entryway, and the visitor today experiences that grand space as a sort of surprise, given the museum’s relative scale. More wings were added, first to house the Pacific Northwest College of Art (then known as the Museum Art School and ultimately separated into its own institution) and then a warren of smaller galleries. The old Masonic temple has become the Jubitz Center of Modern and Contemporary Art, though its old, ornate meeting rooms have been retained.
Portland Art Museum Collections
The museum 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. The huge prints and drawings collection was built largely by the late Gordon Gilkey and includes Old Masters printmakers (Dürer, Rembrandt) and the most recent examples of the art forms. And under chief curator Bruce Guenther, the museum’s modern art holdings have increased dramatically, in part because of the addition of the collection of the great modernist critic Clement Greenberg, which gives the museum a unique window into the development of advanced art in the mid-20th century.
Native American Art
The Native American collection was built from two primary sources: the Rasmussen Collection of Northwest Coast art, with its fabulous masks and whaling canoes, and the encyclopedic collection of Elizabeth Cole, which brings the exquisite work of Southwest, Plains, Plateau and Woodlands tribes into focus.
Northwest art is a primary attraction, tracking the development of art in Oregon and Washington since the 19th century. The museum’s curators have wisely spread this work throughout the galleries, placing the best work of Northwest abstractionists alongside their more celebrated New York peers, for example, but a gallery specifically dedicated to Northwest art supplies a good introduction to the fine artists who have worked here (C.S. Price, Mark Tobey, Morris Graves, Hilda and Carl Morris, Sally Haley and Michele Russo).
The North Portland art center's offerings range from visual art installations to collaborations with bands like the Shins.
The Portland Art Museum's Center for Contemporary Native Art showcases the work of modern-day Native American artists.
For two weekends every October, Portland Open Studios invites visitors to explore the houses and offices of artists across the city.
The first comprehensive retrospective of one of America’s most compelling and controversial artists, Art and Race Matters traces the work of Robert Colescott (1925-2009), who established his career in Portland with the support of gallery owner and philanthropist Arlene Schnitzer, then made his mark in the 1970s with a series of deconstructed art-historical masterpieces that…
To Bear Witness – Extraordinary Lives will capture, share and preserve the stories of 10 to 12 people from varied backgrounds who left their homelands for safe haven in the United States. Although these refugees had survival on their minds when they first arrived, they jump-started their lives with remarkable determination, finding their way in…
Marking the 40th anniversary of the eruption of Mount Saint Helens, this exhibition explores the overwhelming power of nature and the epic cycles of volcanic destruction and regeneration with stunning photographs, paintings and drawings of the mountain from 1845 to the present day. Curated by Dawson Carr, Ph.D., The Janet and Richard Geary Curator of…
In October 1956, a vibrant group of contemporary etchings, relief prints, and lithographs went on display in a Tokyo gallery. This was the debut exhibition of Japan’s first printmaking society for women artists, the Joryū Hanga Kyōkai, or the Women’s Print Association. It provided a crucial vehicle for talented female printmakers working in a crowded…
OryCon is Oregon’s premier, fan-run, annual science fiction/fantasy convention held in Portland since 1979. OryCon is a 100% volunteer-based production of Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. (OSFCI), which is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)3 corporation.
GeekCraft Expo is a curated craft market specializing in handmade, “geek”-themed crafts of all kinds; clothing, accessories, toys, home decoration, furniture, art . . . if it’s geeky and made by hand, it can be found at a GeekCraft Expo. Cosplay is highly encouraged and admission is free (you just need to pre-register).
At the Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival, you will find a wide variety of sewing, quilting, needle-art and craft supply exhibits from many quality companies, along with make ‘n’ takes, free demos, daily door prize drawings and more.
Join Renegade Craft for a festive holiday weekend celebration in Portland featuring the country’s foremost voices in craft and design. Get your holiday shopping done while supporting emerging and established makers, all while enjoying rarities and remixes from local DJs, workshops, exceptional food trucks and cocktails.
Ansel Adams in Our Time celebrates the visual legacy of the acclaimed American photographer and includes some of his most iconic images, from a symphonic view of snow-dusted peaks in The Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (1942) to the sublime Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite National Park (1960). More than 100…
The relationship Rembrandt had with the Jews of Amsterdam is a remarkable story. Most were Sephardic Jews – refugees from the Inquisition in Spain and Portugal. For many generations these Jews had been forced to deny their religious legacy, but in Amsterdam they were free to reclaim traditions and return to their Judaism. Rembrandt lived…
Social artist and activist Adam W. McKinney opens Shelter in Place in the windows and first floor gallery of Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education. Shelter in Place, which in its entirety is viewable from the sidewalk surrounding the museum, is a film, photography, and dance-based interrogation of the social tenets of Sukkot—departing…
Join a walking tour that takes groups around, across, under, and inside the unique and storied spans that shape life in Portland. Strolling along the waterfront the tour will cross several bridges, pausing at the Morrison Bridge to meet the bridge operator and see the view from the control tower. The tour may then head…
Ambrosia, a solo show featuring new work by Grace Stott at Fuller Rosen Gallery on view October 15, 2020 – November 19, 2020.
This exhibition will feature new works by May Maylisa Cat, Curtis Reid Henderson, Christina Kemp, Cristina Niculescu and Lynn Yarne. GLEAN is a juried art program that taps into the creativity of artists to inspire people to think about their consumption habits, the waste they generate and the resources they throw away. In light of…
Join Elisabeth Jones Art Center for a night of tarot, journaling, & collage to celebrate the Full Moon.
Come learn to draw portraits from a live model at a studio in Southeast Portland.
The Portland Art Museum provides free admission the first Thursday of each month from 5 to 8 p.m.
Every third Wednesday of the month at noon, photography enthusiasts gather at the Portland Art Museum to hear talks by regional photographers, gallerists, historians, curators and collectors.
Hosting an Event at this Venue?
Our meetings listings have all the details you need.