Connections Campaign recent gifts

UPDATE: Since this blog post in 2018, the Museum voluntarily went through three Design Advice Reviews with the City of Portland’s Historic Landmarks Commission. That process brought extensive feedback from the community and design changes that maximize access for all people. The project received unanimous approval in March 2019 from the Landmarks Commission. The total need for the capital project is $75 million, up from $50 million outlined in the Museum’s original plans. Together with the $25 million endowment need, the overall Connection Campaign goal is now $100 million.


The Museum is pleased to report several significant gifts to the Connections Campaign to expand and renovate the Museum campus to make it more accessible for people of all ages and abilities. Over the past six months while the Museum has focused on listening to the community regarding the Madison Street ordinance and the Rothko Pavilion, a number of donors have made major contributions to support both the Capital and Endowment portions of the campaign, including:

Capital Gifts:

  • $1 million – The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation
  • $1 million – The State of Oregon Lottery Bond Funds
  • $500,000 – The Harvey Mudd Foundation
  • $500,000 – The Smidt Foundation
  • $250,000 – The Oregon Community Foundation

These gifts bring the total raised to $30.3 million towards a $50 million capital goal.  Additionally, $2 million in gifts and pledges have been made towards the $25 million Endowment Campaign goal with almost $9 million committed.

Portland City Council approved the Madison Street ordinance change on December 13, clearing the way for the continuation of the community-centered planning process and construction of the Rothko Pavilion, which will connect the two buildings and serve as a new public space and entry.

“It is gratifying to know that these important funders believe in our ability to create a better, more accessible Museum for our community today, and in the future,” said Museum Director and Chief Curator Brian Ferriso.

The Museum announced the Connections Campaign, featuring the Rothko Pavilion in October 2016. The project addresses long-standing accessibility issues by creating a welcoming entrance on both the east and west sides, redesigning existing galleries and corridors, and offering three new barrier-free levels allowing visitors to move freely to and from the north and south sides of the Museum.