People might not flock to Portland for its art museums, but the Portland Art Museum is the oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest and houses a fine permanent collection as well as several fabulous temporary exhibitions every year. The Northwest Film Center is also under under the Portland Art Museum umbrella.
Located in what are known as the South Park Blocks in downtown Portland, the Portland Art Museum was founded in late 1892 and since its recent additions and renovations now ranks amont the 25 largest art museums in the United States. The museum moved to its present location in 1932 and was designed by Portland architect Pietro Belluschi, and have undergone several expansions since then. The museum’s grounds feature an outdoor public sculpture garden as well as the indoor exhibits.
There are more than 35,000 pieces in the permanent collection, and the different sections of the museum include Modern & Contemporary Art, Asian Art and large sections on both Northwest Art and Native American Art. The museum has art from Europe and Africa as well. One of the more recent acquisitions the Portland Art Museum made was in 2001, when it purchased a New York art critic’s private collection of 159 pieces. They added significantly to the existing collection of modern and contemporary artwork and required that the museum expand into the refurbished former Masonic Temple nearby.
Perhaps the most well-known piece at the Portland Art Museum is one of the “Water Lilies” by Claude Monet, housed in the modern and contemporary art section. But the museum’s sections on Asian, Northwest and Native American art are of particular and regional interest.
The Northwest Film Center, a part of the Portland Art Museum, has both a regular schedule of screened films and hosts annual film festivals in the city as well.
Address & Phone: 1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland 97205; 503.226.2811
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday – 10:00-17:00; Thursday, Friday – 10:00-20:00; Sunday – 12:00-17:00; Monday & some holidays – Closed
Admission: $10 adults, $9 seniors (55+) and students (19+), $6 children 5-18 (under 4 – free), $8 per person in a group of 12 or more