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The mission of the Portland Art Museum is to engage diverse communities through art and film of enduring quality, and to collect, preserve, and educate for the enrichment of present and future generations.

Philosophy and Core Values

The Portland Art Museum believes that the experience of original works of art enriches and changes people’s lives.  Art inspires new ways of understanding the present and our place in the world.  By providing a welcoming environment for the public to look, talk, and reflect on works of visual and media art, the Museum deepens our collective understanding of humanity, builds community, and contributes to a thriving civic life.  The following core values guide the Portland Art Museum:


The arts are at the core of our humanity, representing a timeless human impulse.


The arts touch us and connect us across time, geography, and cultural differences, shedding light on how humans interact with their world.


The arts open us to diverse ideas and ways of knowing ourselves, our community, and our world.


The arts must be economically, intellectually, and physically accessible to everyone.


Transparency and careful stewardship of resources—including collections, staff, facilities, and investments – are essential for mission fulfillment now and in the future.


The Portland Art Museum is the leading cultural institution in the state and region.  Its hallmarks are innovation, excellence, and engaged community partnerships.  The Museum presents a relevant and dynamic program originating from its collections and Film Center.  With historically preserved and newly designed architectural space of the highest quality, the Museum invites, inspires, and fosters contemplation and discussion.  As a beacon for culture and education for our growing and evolving community, the Museum is known for its exceptional trustees, staff, programs, collections, and visitor amenities.