Annual Report 2019
2018-2019 Annual Report
Evolution, collaboration, and a focus on the future were hallmarks of the past year for the Portland Art Museum. From important new staff appointments, to a renewed focus on community partnerships, the Museum staff, board, and volunteers are working hard to make this institution the best it can be.
This past year, the Museum and Northwest Film Center presented 31 exhibitions, nearly 600 films, and hundreds of public programs. In all 325,000 people visited the Museum or saw a film, and 30,000 participated in a public program. Exhibitions spanned a range of artists, styles, topics, and time periods, and included: The Shape of Speed, Poetic Imagination in Japanese Art: Selections from the Collection of Mary and Cheney Cowles; Modern American Realism: Highlights from the Smithsonian’s Sara Roby Foundation Collection; Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross, a partnership with the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education; the map is not the territory; and Paris 1900: City of Entertainment. As well as a stunning Georges de La Tour Masterworks | Portland painting.
Newly appointed staff include Amy Dotson as the Northwest Film Center Director and Curator of Film and New Media, Becky Emmert as the first-ever Head of Accessibility, and Kathleen Ash-Milby as Curator of Native American Art. These individuals are leaders in their respective fields and bring with them extraordinary expertise and enthusiasm.
Central to the Museum’s work are education, public programs and connecting with community. The Museum welcomed 22,000 students, 580 teachers for professional development, and 30,000 visitors to public programs this past year. In response to our expanded commitment to community engagement and involvement, in December 2018 the Education department became the Learning and Community Partnerships department. By including and empowering community members to help inform and shape key aspects of exhibitions and programs at the Museum, all visitors’ experiences will be enhanced. Visitors can look forward to having more opportunities to connect to each other, and to the local community through shared experiences with art.
Partnership highlights from the past year include:
- Working with calligraphy artist Sora Shodo and Write Around Portland during Poetic Imagination in Japanese Art.
- Programs with Portland Meet Portland, Native American Youth and Family Center, Chinook Indian Nation, and Portland Public Schools during the map is not the territory.
- In-gallery events, film screenings, and opportunities with many individuals and organizations as part of WE. CONSTRUCT. MARVELS. BETWEEN. MONUMENTS.
- Día de Muertos event in partnership with artists, community organizers, and leaders from Portland’s diverse Mexican communities.
- Sixth annual Potluck in the Park Christmas dinner service.
- Literary Arts Portland Book Festival and related Museum and Northwest Film Center programming.
- Northwest Film Center partnership programs with Portland State University, Institute for Judaic Studies at Reed College, and Literary Arts, among others.
The Museum’s commitment to students, educators, and school districts continues to be a priority. For the fifth year in a row ,the Kridel Grand Ballroom and Miller Gallery highlighted the creative work of some 400 student artists and performers during The HeART of Portland, a Portland Public Schools arts showcase. Through their filmmaking classes, the Northwest Film Center taught more than 900 students filmmaking and storytelling skills, including 300 Portland Public Schools middle schoolers as part of their Career Exposure Program.
During the past year the Museum acquired nearly 840 works of art. Highlights include a gift of 363 Bruce Davidson photographs spanning his entire career; 20 major Japanese works donated by Mary and Cheney Cowles, which span from the mid-8th century to the mid-20th century; Rembrandt’s iconic Adam and Eve print; a compelling video work by renowned contemporary artist Mickalene Thomas; the Pete and Mary Mark bequest that added 14 European and American paintings and drawings to the collection; Wolfgang Tillmans’ Greifbar 50, a revolutionary abstract photograph that will be featured when the new Rothko Pavilion opens; and a pivotal transitional Morris Graves work.
In addition to acquisitions, the museum is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of works in the collection. This past spring, Roy Lichtenstein’s Brushstrokes received conservation treatment and a new coat of paint thanks in part to the Bank of America Art Conservation Project. This commitment to preservation extends to the Museum’s library and archives as well. In December 2018 the library accepted the archives of the now-closed Marylhurst Art Gym. As one of the foremost sources of information about the history of Oregon visual arts in Portland, the library is well positioned to steward these important materials, and to ensure their access for many generations. In this same vein, the library also accepted a selection of rare and special collection materials from the now-closed Oregon College of Art and Craft. The Museum is grateful to be a resource to the community in this way.
After an incredible 24 percent increase in visitors during the 2017-2018 fiscal year, thanks to the LAIKA exhibition, the past fiscal year saw admissions, membership, and earned income return to more normal levels. Thanks to careful management of expenses, the Museum ended the fiscal year within 1% of balancing the budget.
Funding to support the Museum comes from a variety of revenue sources. Last year, approximately 24 percent came from admissions and memberships, 26 percent from contributions and grants, 20 percent from Museum Store sales and facility rental fees, and 12 percent from return on investment. The Connections Campaign in support of the expansion and renovation project accounted for 18 percent. The majority of expenses were used in support of Museum and Film Center programs and to acquire and preserve art.
By the Numbers
- 31 exhibitions and 600 films
- 18,033 member households
- 325,000 Museum and NW Film Center visitors
- 840 new works of art acquired
- 22,000 student visits
- 580 teachers for professional development
- 30,000 visitors to public programs
- 900 NW Film Center students
- 376 docents and volunteers