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The Portland Art Museum must rely on the generosity of private contributors to meet the enormous cost of providing programs and services to 350,000 annual visitors. The Museum receives less than two percent of its annual funding from governmental sources.
To learn about the Museum’s donor privacy policy, click here.

Giving Opportunities


In the past year, our community has been able to experience great art, including:

  • The magnificent collection of Greek and Roman works from the British Museum;
  • The stunning photography of Portland native Carrie Mae Weems;
  • The sensual modernist sculpture of Gaston Lachaise; and
  • The power of design to impact our everyday lives through Cyclepedia.

The year ahead is very ambitious. Please join our community of donors, who in addition to their annual membership, support our Exhibition Series with a year-end gift. Your gift, up to $5,000, will be matched by the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund, dollar for dollar.
Exhibitions are our cornerstone program and our economic engine, supporting all other Museum activities by encouraging attendance, membership, gift shop sales, and even event space rentals. Every year the Museum raises funds from major donors, corporations, and foundations to support exhibitions. About 50 percent of these donors directly support an individual exhibition, and the other 50 percent support our Exhibition Series—a fund that can support any and all exhibitions. The Exhibition Series fund is critically important to the Museum, enabling the allocation of resources to support a diversity of shows.
For more information about exhibition sponsorship or to make a donation, call the Development Hotline at 503-276-4365. You can also make a gift online by clicking here.

Your 100 percent tax deductible gift will serve as a direct contribution to our exhibitions, which will feature a truly spectacular slate over the next 12 months:

  • Contemporary Northwest Art Awards, on view through January 12, 2014. The CNAA exhibition builds on the Museum’s commitment to the arts and artists of our region by providing an opportunity for the work of Northwest artists to receive national exposure through a major museum exhibition;
  • Samurai!, on view through January 12, 2014. Featuring objects from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection, one of the best and largest collections in the world, this exhibition highlights the extraordinary artistry of the armor used by samurai—the military elite led by the shoguns, or warlords, of Japan from the 14th through 19th centuries;
  • Venice: The Golden Age of Art and Music, opening February 2014. This stunning multidisciplinary exhibition is the first to explore the interaction between the visual arts, music and political culture in Venice between the early 16th century and the close of the 18th century. It features works by Tintoretto, Tiepolo, Canaletto, and Guardi, as well as illuminated manuscripts, original period instruments, early music texts and fashion;
  • The Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden, opening June 2014. This exhibition features more than 100 works—some of which have never been seen outside of France—including large-scale sculptures from the garden that were created in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries by artists including François-Joseph Bosio, Antoine Coysevox, and Aristide Maillol, as well as paintings, photographs, and drawings that depict the Tuileries. The exhibition will also explore how the 63-acre garden influenced and inspired works by painters such as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Childe Hassam, and photographers such as Eugène Atget, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and André Kertész.
  • Blue Sky @ 40, opening October 2014. The Museum will honor nonprofit Blue Sky Gallery’s contributions to photography and the Northwest art community in a major survey exhibition on its 40th anniversary. Blue Sky @ 40 will celebrate how artist voices have changed local artistic discourse. Founded as the Oregon Center for the Photographic arts by five photographers in 1975, Blue Sky exhibits new work by emerging and established artists that exemplify the finest photographic vision and innovation. Over the course of the organization’s history, Blue Sky has expanded its offerings to include national and international artists, many of whom exhibited at the gallery early in their careers. Recognizing Blue Sky’s contribution to contemporary art, Blue Sky @ 40 will feature some of the most influential artists and photographs shown since its inception.
  • Treasures from the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Collection, opening October 2014. A prolific collector of Northwest art, Arlene Schnitzer has promised her significant collection to the Portland Art Museum. This exhibition will showcase these works, as well as Arlene Schnitzer’s important philanthropic and artistic contributions to the region.

Your generous donation will be recognized on the Museum’s electronic donor walls and website, in Portal, and at the Annual Members’ Meeting. You will also receive exclusive invitations to private donor events throughout the year. Most importantly, however, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that your support helps drive the Portland Art Museum’s mission forward in our community.


General Operating Fund

As is typical for major museums in the United States, the average cost per visitor to the Portland Art Museum is approximately $60. Yet, the admission fee is only $15 and only covers a portion of the cost. Additionally, we offer a wide range of free opportunities (free admission for children 17 and under, free school tours, free fourth Friday evenings, and free quarterly Museum Sundays) that allow our community to engage with the programs, exhibitions, and collections regardless of the ability to pay. Gifts to the General Operating Fund help bridge these gaps and pay for basic Museum operating necessities like lighting, climate control, and security guards.

Endowment Opportunities

Through an endowment, funding for critical staff positions is permanently secured, allowing money previously allocated for salary and benefits to be redirected to other institutional expenses. Donors, meanwhile, have the wonderful opportunity to support areas of personal interest within the Museum’s collections. The names of donors or honorees are carried forward into the future through associations with important leadership, scholarship, and educational activities. Named endowment funds are not just for those who have passed on — they are also a meaningful way to honor and recognize a donor while alive.

Endowed Positions

Named Galleries & Exhibition Spaces $1 million+
Chief Conservator $1 million
Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art $2 to $2.5 million
Curator of Asian Art $2 million
Curator of Decorative Arts $2 million
Director of Education and Public Programs $2 million
Curator of European Art $2 million
Curator of Native American Arts $2 million
Curator of Photography $2 million
Curator of Prints & Drawings $2 million
Director of the Northwest Film Center $2 million

Additional Endowments

Unrestricted Named Endowments $250,000+
Annual Lecture Series and Symposiums
(Northwest, Asian, American, European,
Native American, Photography)
$500,000 each
Publications Endowment $1 million
Critical Voices Lecture Series $1 million
Free Admission for Children & Students $1 million
Free Admission for School Tours $1 million
Free Transportation for School Tours $1 million
Free General Admission for one day/mo $1.25 million
Free Sunday Admission, four/yr $1.25 million


Exhibition Sponsorship

The Portland Art Museum is internationally recognized for organizing and hosting special exhibitions from the world’s finest public and private collections, as well as for mounting themed exhibitions from its vast permanent collection of more than 52,000 objects.

Through their gifts, exhibition sponsors enable our community’s interaction with world-class exhibitions. Sponsorship of individual exhibitions begins at $10,000; sponsorship of the two-year exhibition series begins at $25,000. Sponsorship benefits can include recognition within the exhibition gallery, in the exhibition catalogue, and on the Museum website.
Additional recognition is available depending on sponsorship level. Sponsorship can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the donor. Donors also have the satisfaction of knowing that their contributions enable access to works of art of enduring quality that deepen our understanding of humanity.
For more information about exhibition sponsorship, call the Development Hotline at 503.276.4365.


Planned Giving

You have the power to make a lasting impact on the Portland Art Museum through a planned gift. Planned giving is often called “customized philanthropy” because each gift is designed to meet the museum’s strategic goals for the future while many times providing benefits to you today. A well-planned gift communicates your legacy; it tells a story of what you hold as most important and valuable in your life and community.
Learn more.

Gifts to the Collection

Gifts of Art

The Portland Art Museum’s permanent collection has been built through the generous donations of works of art by private collectors. There are thousands of examples, including:

  • Vincent van Gogh, Charette de Boeuf (The Ox Cart), July 1884, Oil on canvas. Gift of Fred and Frances Sohn
  • More than 8,000 prints and drawings donated by Vivian and Gordon Gilkey
  • Kazuyo Sejima, Coffee and Tea Service, 2003, Silver. Gift of Margo Grant Walsh Twentieth Century Silver and Metalwork Collection
Your gift of museum-quality art will ensure that current and future visitors to the Portland Art Museum will experience the power of art. Potential donors are advised to send a photo and brief description of their object to:

Curatorial Department
Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97205

Gifts for the Stewardship of Art

Maintaining great art requires care. The Portland Art Museum maintains works in the collection that are hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years old. You can support the stewardship of the Museum’s collection through gifts that:

  • Support storage — the Portland Art Museum stores approximately 40,000 works from its collection, while not on display, at any given time. Proper care is essential
  • Support conservation — works of art require expert care and repair
  • Protect exhibitions of the collection — exhibitions require security, lighting, displays, temperature and humidity control

Gifts for the Purchase of Art

Beginning with the Museum’s first gift, from Henry Corbett ($10,000 in 1895 to purchase casts of Greek and Roman sculptures), funds supplied by donors have shaped the Museum’s collection. In the last few years the Museum has purchased hundreds of important works of art, including:

  • Patrician Barnacle (Scale), Robert Rauschenberg, American, 1981, Museum Purchase: Funds provided by Carol and John Hampton
  • La chambre à coucher de l’empereur (The Emperor’s Bedchamber), Reuben Nakian, 1954, Museum Purchase: Robert Hale Ellis, Jr. Fund for the Blanche Eloise Day Ellis and Robert Hale Ellis Memorial Collection

These gifts were made possible through both endowed art purchase accounts and direct gifts to support the purchase of art.
For more information on creating an endowment or providing an outright gift to support the purchase of art, please contact the Museum’s Development Department:

Development Department
Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97205