Museum to remain open as construction on the Rothko Pavilion expansion and renovation project begins

Rothko Pavilion rendering at dusk

A vibrant slate of exhibitions is planned as the Museum remains committed to downtown Portland and its recovery

Following the relocation of its main loading dock from the plaza facing the South Park Blocks to Southwest Jefferson Street, the Portland Art Museum is set to begin construction on the central Mark Rothko Pavilion. The Museum will remain open to the public offering a vibrant slate of special exhibitions, including the recently acclaimed Black Artists of Oregon (through March 17, 2024). 

Upcoming exhibitions include Africa Fashion (November 18, 2023 – February 18, 2024), Future Now: Virtual Sneakers to Cutting-Edge Kicks (March 30 – August 31, 2024), Psychedelic Rock Posters & Fashion of the Sixties (September 2024 – January 2025), and Throughlines: Connections in the Collection a collaborative exhibition of collection highlights that opens October 28 and will remain on view while the Museum’s permanent collection galleries are closed for construction.

This phase of construction is part of a major, multi-year expansion and renovation to create a more welcoming and inclusive art experience in downtown Portland. The project is among the most significant in the city, and a key part of revitalizing a downtown core that has been slow to recover after the pandemic. When construction is complete in mid-2025, the Museum will have added or renovated 95,000 square feet, connecting its historic Main and Mark buildings and creating new state-of-the-art exhibition galleries and features that include new elevators, public gathering spaces, and accessible restrooms.

“As the oldest museum in the Pacific Northwest, the Portland Art Museum is dedicated to the revitalization of our city and region,” said Director Brian Ferriso. “We are committed to remaining open during this renovation and to continue to fulfill our mission of making art accessible to all through world-class exhibitions, programs, and events.” Fundraising is underway for this project, which constitutes an investment of more than $111 million in downtown Portland at an essential time for reinvigorating the city. Fundraising is still underway, and the Museum will share more about the campaign next year.

During construction, visitors will enter the Museum on the SW Park Avenue side of the Main Building. Additionally, the passageway between the two buildings connecting SW 10th Avenue and SW Park Avenue will be fenced starting October 3, 2023, and will remain closed until completion of the project. The Museum has taken steps to ensure that both SW Jefferson and SW Main remain safe and usable routes for neighbors and people visiting Portland’s Cultural District.

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