Portland Art Museum!!
Portland Travel Blog› entry 44 of 53 › view all entries
I love this museum, The exhibiting spaces were phenomenal! from what I have read it is the oldest museum in the Pacific Northwest, dating back to 1892.
The museum as a whole consisted of two buildings separated by a cozy artful courtyard but connected by an underground walkway. The main entrance is in the older building that houses the more classical and ancient artworks. Two floors and several gallery spaces filled with artworks and objects from ancient China to Colonial America along with a special exhibit of Greek sculptures and vases depicting the human form from the British Museum of Art.
The second building that can only be accessed by the underground walkway is dedicated solely to modern and contemporary art. About 4-5 floors total.
Like I said, I love this museum! The flow was consistant and I found the exhibits to be well currated. One of my favorite exhibits was the Japanese galleries. Japanese Ceramics are, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful pieces of stoneware in the world. They culture aesthetic is probably one of the most influenctial styles for contemporary artists today. What I found to be really successful about ths particular exhibit was the combination of specific contemporary japanese ceramic art pieces juxtapose with pieces that are several hundred years old. The contemporary pieces were abstract but still maintained the classical zen aesthetic that so many love and respect from Japanese cermicists.
The museum had several pieces that caught my eye. They had a Van Gogh that I was not familiar with located in the basement level of the contemporary building. An image of an ox pulling a cart dated back to 1884. It was not painted in his more familar style of thick paint layers and bold color use common in his later years.
There was also another piece, A photograph by Brittish artist Melanie Manchot. I beleive it is a self portrait. an image of a\ topless older woman viewed from the back as she takes in the view of a mountainscape. It was in a gallery full of black and white photos and trully a unique body image for art. Most artists tend to focus on youthful more socially idylic bodies types rather than deal with age and beauty.
Outside in the courtyard is a piece from an artist that I fell madly in love with in Des Moines last year. Spanish artist Juame Piensa. He is known for fusing letters together to create stoic human forms. The piece displayed outside the museum entrance near the gift shop is considerably smaller than the one I encountered in Iowa, but still just as interesting. Instead of fusing only the alphabet famliar to Westerners, but also added Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese - I think - and possibly a few more languages that I am not personally familar with. The mixed lettering creating another kneeling human over a large rock. It was gorgeous!!