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A Report to the Community

July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013

In fiscal year 2013, the Museum celebrated its 121st year—a year which exceeded expectations.

Museum and Film Center staff focused on three pillars—art, access, and accountability—for all activities.
Here is a look at just a few of the successes from the past year.


The Museum acquired more than 1,500 works, including an 18th-century suit of samurai armor.

The Museum also received a bequest of 300 works from Los Angeles collector Judd Hammack, including works by Frank Auerbach, Sherrie Levine, Jasper Johns, and Brice Marden.

An important collection of English silver by celebrated London master silversmith Paul Storr found a permanent home at the Museum.

Additionally, the contemporary art collection was deepened thanks to a major gift of 54 works from Museum patrons Eli and Edythe Broad.

More than 80 percent of the Museum’s permanent collection has come through gifts of art, which means that our collection has been greatly influenced by collectors along with our curators.

This year, we premiered a new event to grow the collection by connecting our curators and donors in a single evening with the goal of acquiring new works for the collection. The Museum’s seven curators each selected a work of art that they wanted to see added to the permanent collection. During the evening, guests viewed the seven works, heard spirited presentations from the curators, and voted on objects to become part of the Museum’s collection.

In 2013, the evening resulted in the acquisition of three works, and Museum supporters secured funds to purchase three additional works after the event. Overall, six of the seven works were added to the collection.

Throughout the year, a number of significant loans enhanced the permanent collection galleries. The year started with the loan of three paintings by Claude Monet, which complemented the two paintings in the permanent collection. For 100 days, Museum visitors were able to see five Monets, providing insights into the painter’s development.

The Museum was fortunate to display one of the most significant paintings by Francis Bacon, allowing visitors a once-in-a-lifetime experience to view an important work by one of the 20th century’s artistic geniuses.

Last year, the Museum presented more than 20 exhibitions, including California Impressionism: Selections from the Irvine Museum, Ellsworth Kelly / Prints, The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece, Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video, MAN/WOMAN: Gaston Lachaise, and Cyclepedia: Iconic Bicycle Design.

The Northwest Film Center screened more than 400 films, bringing important works from around the world to 65,000 people. More than 70 visiting artists presented their films during festivals, including the Portland International Film Festival, Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival, and Portland Jewish Film Festival. The Film Center also presented a variety of film series exploring unique ideas and themes in the media arts, including Human Rights on Film, Reel Music, Japanese Currents, New German Cinema, and Northwest Tracking. Among many retrospectives and special programs were salutes to Universal Pictures at 100, Film Noir, actress Barbara Stanwyck, Czech animator Jan Švankmajer, and French directors Claire Denis and Pierre Étaix.



Every day the Museum and Film Center connect people with art and film, not only by presenting significant works of art, but also by creating a platform for exploring ideas, cultures, and creative thinking.

The Museum’s education staff worked with more than 130 artists on programs and activities to engage visitors and expand their experience in the galleries. More than 25,000 school children visited the Museum, and educator programs helped connect the Museum experience back to the classroom.

Shine a Light, the Museum’s annual event, encouraged thousands of visitors to rethink what can happen in a museum through a variety of artist-led programs and activities.

The Film Center’s Global Classroom gave 1,200 school kids a window on the world through the screening of international films tied to foreign language, social studies, and other school curricula.

More than 700 people—nearly half of them children—learned the art of filmmaking at the film school.

Project Viewfinder taught young adults, transitioning from homelessness, the art of filmmaking—learning a marketable skill and how to express themselves through film.

Through the Film Center’s “Best of the Northwest” and Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival outreach programs, more than 5,000 artists and audiences in five states gained access to a thriving media arts community.



The Museum leadership values transparency and fiscal responsibility. Thanks to internal controls, the Museum received a clean report from our auditors. The institution ended the fiscal year with a surplus, reduced debt by $1 million and grew the endowment by $1.3 million.

The Museum has a diversified funding base, and last year 30 percent came from investments, of which 13 percent was used to support the operating budget, 23 percent from contributions and grants, and admissions and memberships contributed 22 percent.

Membership plays an important role in supporting the Museum, and last year we saw a significant increase in renewing members.

Revenue was used to fulfill the Museum’s mission.

The majority of expenses were in support of Museum and Film Center programs and to acquire and preserve art. Thanks to internal controls and efficiencies, the Museum reduced overhead again this year.

An important part of the Museum’s financial stability is the strength of the endowment and investments.

In order to reduce risk, we have a diversified portfolio and invest for the long-term. Over a 10-year period, the Museum’s investment performance is in the top 4 percent of similar-sized endowments.

The Museum’s audited financial reports and 990 tax returns are available here.

Fiscal Year 2013 was a successful year for the Museum, and plans are already underway to keep the momentum of great art, compelling programs, and fiscal responsibility moving forward.

Maribeth Graybill, Ph.D., The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Asian Art, discusses the Museum’s acquisition of samurai armor.



Bruce Guenther, chief curator and The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, discusses the major gift of artwork from Eli and Edythe Broad.



This video from the 2013 Annual Meeting shows how the Museum connects people with art—and how art connects people.



Shine a Light 2013 encouraged visitors to rethink what can happen in a museum.