The Portland Art Museum, founded in 1892, is the oldest art museum on the West Coast and the seventh oldest in the United States.
The sculpture garden surrounding the museum is worth a stop even if you don't have time to go inside.
|Brushstrokes (1996) by Roy Lichtenstein|
Hungarian artist and emigre Frederic Littman is credited with reviving the art of sculpture in Oregon in the 1940s:
|Mistral No. 2 (1961) by Frederic Littman|
I recently saw another one of Deborah Butterfield's horses in the San Francisco Airport:
|Dance Horse (1998-1999) by Deborah Butterfield|
|Detail from Dance Horse, a bronze statue|
And that's just the OUTSIDE of the museum.
We allotted two hours to explore the interior exhibits, but we could have used double that. The museum is in two buildings connected by an underground hallway. Like many art museums, it is a warren of rooms and the organization doesn't make a lot of sense. There are 40,000 pieces in the art museum's collection. Here are a few of my favorites.
The first piece to really capture my attention turned out to be my favorite of all the work in the museum. Crafted of stoneware with a matte glaze, this piece evokes blowing fabric or rushing water. The artist is a young Japanese ceramicist.
|Flow I (2011) by Fujikasa Satoko|
Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Young Girls Reading (1891) and Georges Rouault's Head (1920) illustrate the dramatic shift in portraiture that took place around the turn of the century.
How would you like this "bust" sitting on your piano?
|Head of St. John the Baptist (1894-1900) by James Vibert|
Or how about this stack of bronze and wool blankets next to your unfolded laundry?
|Almanac (Glacier Park, Granny Beebe,|
Satin Ledger) (2005) by Marie Watt
|Ginko Carpet (2002) by Tanaka Ryohei|
Matsubara Naoko created this wonderful woodblock of a tree in 1967 (left, below) and entitled it Inner Strength. It is based on the trees that shelter a Shinto shrine in Kyoto where her father served as a priest. In stark contrast is her depiction of the single remaining structure after the bombing at Hiroshima (1998):
Two Girls and Ducks (1970) by Minami Keiko and Cyclamen Reverie (1980) by Yoshida Chizuko:
Moving on to the regular galleries . . .
If this "young woman" really looked like this, I feel sorry for her:
|Portrait of a Young Woman (c. 1830) by|
Erastus Salisbury Field
|Garden of Gethsamane (1905-1906) by John Singer Sargent|
Equally appealing is this depiction of a woman painted by a woman who surely understood the burdens women carry:
|Woman with a Bundle of Sticks (c. 1899) by Elizabeth Nourse|
Oregon's own Mount Hood (1869), painted by Albert Bierstadt:
This marble depicts the blind girl Nydia, from Bulwer-Lytton's The Last Days of Pompeii, escaping from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and searching for her lost loved ones.
|Nydia, the Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii|
(1855) by Randolph Rogers
|Detail from Nydia|
A Vincent Van Gogh painting is also a must, and Oregon's MOA has the only Van Gogh in the Pacific Northwest.
|The Ox Cart (1884) by Vincent Van Gogh|
|Adoration of the Shepherds (1640) by Philippe de Champaigne|
|Detail, Adoration of the Shepherds|
|Nature's Fan (1881) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau|
|Kanzan and Jittoku (2006) by Ako Takamori|
Shine on Me (2002-2006) by Sherry Markovitz is made of glass beads, fabric, ribbons and found objects over papier-mache.
Bolt (2007) by Tony Cragg is made of steel, and Paradise Chandelier (2013) is made of porcelain.
Boite-en-valise, Series F (1941-1966) by Marcel Duchamp, the man who made a urinal into a piece of art:
There are several "my second-grader could make that (but he didn't)" paintings, including Untitled Composition (1934) by Joan Miro and Untitled (1967) by Mark Rothko: