About the Collection
Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art
Main Building | Hoffman Wing | 3rd & 4th Floor
Established in 2000, the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Northwest Art brings the Museum’s regional collection to the forefront, tracing the history of Northwest art from the late 19th century to today. The two–floor Center is home to works from the collection, and historic and contemporary art exhibitions that celebrate the Northwest’s history and culture. Works are arranged chronologically, with pre–1960s works on the third floor and post–1960s and contemporary art on the fourth floor.
This vast collection of Northwest art distinguishes the Portland Art Museum from other cultural institutions in the region. The collection is rich in a variety of works by past and present artists living and working in Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Washington, and Wyoming. Together, these historical and contemporary objects depict a visual narrative of the Northwest while providing insight to significant works by artists such as Northwest School members Carl Morris, Morris Graves, and Mark Tobey, legendary Oregon artist C.S. Price, and the acclaimed Jacob Lawrence, who is best known for depicting important moments in African American history.
The Center’s lab–like, sky–lit fourth floor hosts the Museum’s dynamic exhibition series, APEX, which presents contemporary artwork by emerging and established Northwest artists. Exhibitions range in intentions and mediums, from painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography, to video, installation, and sound.
The third floor’s Rubinstein Alcove features rotating historic dossier presentations in a cozy nook just big enough to intimately showcase works from the collection by notable regional artists. Previous dossier presentation artists include James Castle.