Know Before You Go
The museum is partially open, allowing visitor access to all galleries, except the main special exhibition galleries and some adjacent galleries. The entire museum will open on May 5, giving visitors full access to all galleries including the highly anticipated new exhibition Ansel Adams in Our Time.
For more information visit Portland Art Museum website.
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.
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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.
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…
The Mt. Tabor Art Walk is a Portland tradition. This juried show and sale is a great opportunity to see quality visual art and meet artists in their studios and homes. Diverse media are represented including photography, painting, ceramics, sculpture, prints, metal arts, photography, glass, jewelry, book arts and mosaics.
The 2021 festival will feature a two-day sales event in George Rogers Park that focuses solely on showcasing talented artists. For more than 50 years, the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts has proudly presented unique art exhibits including more than 600 local, national, and international artists. Visitors can also experience live music on two…
The 2021 event will be held virtually; please visit the event website for current information. The Portland Zine Symposium is an organization that hosts, among other events, a yearly free conference and zine social exploring facets of independent publishing and DIY culture. This event has been held in Portland, Oregon every summer since 2001 and…
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.
Internationally beloved artists Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) and Diego Rivera (1886–1957) played a crucial role in defining and establishing the Avant-Garde cultural movement in Mexico in the early 20th century. Their famously stormy marriage reflected their diverging artistic styles: While Rivera’s art projected itself outward, often in vast murals and concerned itself with the construction of…
Alberta Street Gallery is an artist collective showcasing high-quality art from local, professional artists. Local artists John Douglas Palmer, Joe Dean Carter and Dan Bernard present an eclectic and dynamic collection of photographic art.
Alberta Street Gallery is an artist collective showcasing high-quality art from local, professional artists. After a year it’s time to get ready to go out. Local artists Michelle Sorensen and Maquette Reeverts are here to help. Celebrate your outside freedom with new jewelry and art that celebrates getting out of the house.
Fuller Rosen Gallery is delighted to announce umm no, a solo show of new work by Portland-based artist Yuyang Zhang. umm no presents two distinct bodies of work by Zhang; a selection of digital collages and paintings created during quarantine in 2020-21. The gallery will also exhibit a textile banner designed by the artist in…
Shop from the best curated capsule of over 55 independent designers, artists and emerging brands at the Unique Markets Portland Spring 2021 Pop-Up. Find one-of-a-kind goods, shop with your pod and support local businesses with us. Meet the people who design and make the goods directly! Hear their story, learn about their process, and get…
Well Well Projects presents new work by artists Morgan Rosskopf and Manu Torres.
Time Being: a group exhibition featuring the works of Bean Gilsdorf, Lisa Jarrett, Jaleesa Johnston, Elizabeth Malaska, Maya Vivas and Samantha Wall. All of the artists are exploring the figure or the body in different ways. A reception will be held on Saturday, June 26, 2021. Visit disjecta.org for details.
Celebrate art with free, family-friendly fun at the annual Gresham Arts Festival with more than 140 artists, live music, a break dance competition and more. The Gresham Arts Festival draws thousands from around the region each year to Gresham’s charming downtown streets to meet, browse and shop from a carefully curated selection of Northwest artisans,…
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