Stroll through the many buildings of the oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest, and discover pieces ranging from prehistoric artefacts to contemporary art.
The oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest is best known for its extensive Native American art collection, but that isn’t all it has to offer. The Portland Art Museum’s over 42,000 permanent works include sculptures and paintings from Europe, screen prints from Japan, thousands of photographs, and a fine assemblage of modern and contemporary art.
The Portland Art Museum highlights the city’s cultural scene, spanning two-and-a-half blocks in the downtown district. It is composed of several buildings and is open Tuesday through Sunday year-round except on the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s day. Admission is free between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the fourth Friday of every month.
Free guided tours cover different collections, depending on the day and time. The main gallery area is located in the Belluschi Building. Two floors in the Belluschi Building are dedicated solely to local talent from the late 19th century through the present day. Oregon artists include the prolific Amanda Snyder and the impressionist C. S. Price. The Belluschi Building also houses a historic collection of silverware, works of graphic art, and an outstanding Native American collection of more than 5,000 prehistoric and historic artefacts, in addition to a sculpture court.
Use the underground tunnel from the Belluschi Building to reach the Mark building. It houses six floors of contemporary and modern art, which are rotated in and out. Works come from all around the world and include pieces from artists from Akiko Ota to Andy Warhol. The year-round exhibition program includes foreign, classic, and experimental works.
Other buildings on the museum campus include the Northwest Film Centre—where the Portland International Film Festival is held in February and where the Northwest Filmmaker’s Festival steals the stage in November—and the Crumpacker Family Library, which has more than a century’s worth of exhibition catalogues, artist files, and archives. In addition, the museum coffee shop offers a great place to take a break before heading off to explore some more.