Annual Report 2015
The Year in Review, 2014-2015
For 123 years the Museum has been connecting people to art. In 2014–2015 the Museum fulfilled its mission as a center for art, film, and culture through a robust exhibition schedule, film programs, education outreach, and community partnerships.
This past year the Museum presented 40 exhibitions and 517 films that brought the gardens of Paris to Portland, highlighted the profound impact of Arlene and Harold Schnitzer, experienced high-fashion Italian style, traveled the world through moving images, and immersed ourselves in the conflict of the Congo. Key to the impact of exhibitions are the public programs that provide not only a platform to deepen the visitor experience, but also an opportunity to engage with more than 400 diverse community partners.
Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945 was a shining example of the power of programming to ignite interest and engage audiences. Adam Arnold, one of the local designers featured in the Portland Style section of the exhibition, said, “People are moving to Portland to work in fashion now, and this show unites Portland designers with a larger, more international community.” The related Crafting Fashion events invited designers to demonstrate their craft to the public every Saturday during the exhibition. Similarly, the crowds at the Monster Drawing Rally during Gods and Heroes: Masterpieces from the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris strengthened ties with local artists, and demonstrated the Museum’s commitment to showcasing their talents.
As the largest arts institution in the city, the Museum is committed to being a resource for schools and teachers. More than 22,000 students toured the museum free of charge, led by skilled docents who connect the works in the galleries to classroom curriculum, and inspire new ways of seeing. Our education team also expanded access to underserved groups across the region and state through new outreach programs for veterans, LGBTQ youth, and people with dementia and their caregivers— part of a partnership with OHSU and the Alzheimer’s Association. Through new program initiatives and community partnerships, we are working to ensure that people with visual impairments and other disabilities enjoy the art and cultural experiences being offered by our institution.
2015 saw change and growth in the Museum’s curatorial and collections department. In addition to the acquisition of important works by artists including Kara Walker, Cézanne, and Richard Mosse, Sara Krajewski was hired as the new Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, and Samantha Springer became the Museum’s first full-time conservator. Marking a major achievement for our online collections, the entire Native American art collection is now digitally available to a global audience, and nearly 40 percent of the entire collection is now online.
As noted in last summer’s Portal, the Museum is now debt-free, an accomplishment made possible through strong fiscal management that enables us to increase our investments in the collection, exhibitions, programs and people.
Funding to support the Museum comes from a variety of revenue sources. Last year, 26 percent came from admissions and memberships, 4 percent from investments, and 41 percent from contributions and grants. The majority of expenses were used in support of Museum and Film Center programs and to acquire and preserve art.