Skip to content
Check out the highlights from lectures, gallery talks, workshops, and other public programs. Visit the events calendar for a list of upcoming lectures and programs.


Internationally celebrated installation/film artist Jesper Just discusses his cross-platform work with Chief Curator Bruce Guenther to kick off the Museum’s 2014 Critical Voices series.

Wendy Heller, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Music and Director of the Program in Italian Studies at Princeton University, explores the rhythms and rituals of Venice’s musical life during the city’s Golden Age. Presented in celebration of Venice: The Golden Age of Art and Music.

Chief Curator Bruce Guenther, The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, discusses Francis Bacon’s work, including the 1969 triptych Three Studies of Lucian Freud.

Dawson Carr, Ph.D., the Portland Art Museum’s Janet and Richard Geary Curator of European Art, explores the invaluable insight the paintings of Canaletto offer into the splendor and dignity of Venetian ceremonies. Presented in celebration of Venice: The Golden Age of Art and Music.

Art historian Patricia Failing looks at a range of Francis Bacon’s figure paintings, including his 1969 triptych Three Studies of Lucian Freud.

Hilliard T. Goldfarb, Ph.D., Associate Chief Curator and Curator of Old Masters at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, discusses the interface of art and music in Venice in this opening lecture celebrating Venice: The Golden Age of Art and Music.

Ken Ruoff, Ph.D., Professor of History and Director of the Center for Japanese Studies, Portland State University, discusses the fate of the samurai in a century of upheaval as Japan modernized, became an imperial power, and emerged as a peaceful economic superpower in the postwar years. Closing lecture for Samurai!.

Maribeth Graybill, Ph.D., The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Asian Art at the Portland Art Museum, discusses the often contradictory images of the samurai in history, drama, and artworks created for the elite during Japan’s Edo period (1615-1868). Presented in celebration of Samurai!.

This roundtable discussion in celebration of the 2013 Contemporary Northwest Art Awards brought visual arts leaders together to talk about our regional awards and funding landscape at the Portland Art Museum, November 13, 2013. Panelists: Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson (Portland Art Museum); Kristan Kennedy (PICA); Bryan Suereth (Disjecta); Amanda Hunt (LAXART); Luis Croquer (Henry Art Gallery; and Catharina Manchanda (Seattle Art Museum). Moderator: Terri Hopkins (The Art Gym, Marylhurst University).

Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai and Dark Horse Comics founder Mike Richardson discuss their work and passion for samurai culture during the “At the Museum with Dark Horse Comics” event in celebration of Samurai!.

Comic artist Stan Sakai, creator of Usagi Yojimbo, visited the Museum to talk about his award-winning series and to share insights on his drawing techniques in a live demonstration during the “At the Museum with Dark Horse Comics” event in celebration of Samurai!.

For the annual Mildred Schnitzer Lecture in Asian Art celebrating the Samurai! opening, Yoshiaki Shimizu, Ph.D., Frederick Marquand Professor of Art and Archaeology, Emeritus, Princeton University, and Guest Scholar, Getty Research Institute, discussed how how the samurai’s cultivation of civilian as well as martial skills shaped the enduring, but also conflicted, legacy of the samurai ethos down to the modern world.

In this lecture celebrating the opening of the Cyclepedia exhibition, “Cyclepedia: Design Meets the Bicycle,” architect and collector Michael Embacher discusses some key figures in bicycle design and provides a look at the creative, rare, offbeat, and even unsuccessful models that led to the creation of his unusual bicycle collection.

In “The Development of Woman in the Art of Gaston Lachaise,” the opening lecture for the exhibition MAN/WOMAN: Gaston Lachaise, curator and Lachaise Foundation trustee Paula R. Hornbostel discusses the Beaux-Arts-trained sculptor Gaston Lachaise—his life in America, his letters to Isabel, and his important contributions to American Modernism.

On March 18, 2012, California sculptor, filmmaker, and photographer John Frame shared thoughts on his work and some of the three dozen characters that take center stage in the fantastical world of Three Fragments of a Lost Tale.

Northwest artist Lee Kelly talks about his inspiration, materials, and process in this short film produced by the Portland Art Museum.

Barcelona-based sculptor Jaume Plensa discusses his work, including his installation In the Midst of Dreams, which provides a dramatic introduction to the Portland Art Museum’s DISQUIETED exhibition.

In this short video, Bruce Guenther, curator of modern and contemporary art, introduces the DISQUIETED exhibition.

Teens selected to participate in the 2009 Drawing Portfolio Workshop talk about their experiences.

New Yorker magazine art critic Adam Gopnik offers a parent discussion about parenting, art, and the role of museums.