Miller Family Free Day

December 10, 2017 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Portland Art Museum 125th Birthday Party

Celebrate 125 years of art and community engagement at the Portland Art Museum’s 125th Birthday Party.  Join us for art making, tours, and performances. The Grand Finale includes a special performance by Moshow the Cat Rapper and a birthday cake large enough for 125 candles. Make a birthday wish for your art museum!  

The Museum’s 125th birthday celebration is inspired by the publication A History of Engagement: 1892-2014 by Jen Delos Reyes, Sarah Lampen, and Olivia Serrill. An updated and abbreviated Scout Book is available for purchase in the Museum Shop.

Admission to the Museum and all activities are FREE. Capacity for some activities may be limited.



Noon–4 p.m.
Object Stories Stevens Room, Lower Level
Launched in 2010, Object Stories is an open-ended inquiry into the relationship between people, personal objects, and our communities. Just as works of art are part of countless stories, Object Stories invites people to think about and share the stories their own objects carry. Join the artist Julie Keefe in an art-making project that asks visitors to think about and share their stories.

Noon–4 p.m.
“My Kid Could Do That!”
Location 1: Northwest Galleries, 3rd floor
Location 2: Modern & Contemporary Art,  2nd floor
In 1942, after hearing a visitor say “My kid could do that!” during a Joan Miró exhibition, the Museum’s then-director Robert Tyler Davis placed a table with paint and paper in the gallery and invited visitors to replicate Miró‘s style. Grab some paper and colored pencils and try your hand at recreating one of the abstract artworks in these galleries.


12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
Secret Drum Band
Modern & Contemporary Art, 4th floor
Secret Drum Band is a percussion ensemble featuring five drummers and two ambient musicians. Their compositions are often written in response to soundscapes and address environmental issues. Their recent full-length release, Dynamics, includes work from the Mojave Desert, Mount Hood National Forest, and Hawai’i, where founder Lisa Schonberg documented the endangered native Hylaeus bees.

In 2017-18,We.Construct.Marvels.Between.Monuments., a series of five exhibitions developed in partnership with artists and art collectives and organized by visiting artistic director Libby Werbel, will transform and activate the fourth floor of the Jubitz Center for Modern and Contemporary with visual art,  performance, screenings, and discussions. The programming invites a range of emerging and established voices to ask questions about how the Museum can become more artist-centered and inclusive in its practices and become more critically engaged with a broader array of emerging and established artists in the region. Join Secret Drum Band for a transportive performance that speaks to the future of engagement.

2:30 p.m.
Moments in Museum History — Improv with Kickstand Comedy
Did the Museum really host a “Take Down Hoe Down” in the galleries in 1974? Dive into the Portland Art Museum’s publication A History of Engagement: 1892-2017. Join museum security staff member Ted Smith to hear about his favorite programs from the Museum’s past and see how these moments inspire improv from our friends at Kickstand Comedy.


1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.
Animals in Art Guided Tour
In 1943, the Museum built a children’s art collection of animal sculptures and installed an exhibition called Animals of all Ages at children’s eye level. Join a Museum docent for a tour of art featuring animals, including objects from the original children’s collection.

1:30, 2:10 and 2:50 p.m.
Movement & Art Gallery Experience
Modern & Contemporary Art, 2nd floor
In 1978, during an exhibition of work by the sculptor Alexander Calder, the Museum offered children’s movement classes in the galleries. Join Marge Gale and Marianne Brevard of  Imagination Yoga for guided movement experiences inspired by works of art.


4 p.m.
Moshow the Cat Rapper Performance
Sunken Ballroom, Mark Building, 1st Floor
In 2015, YouTube sensation Moshow the Cat Rapper helped the Museum celebrate its display of the world’s largest cat painting.  Today he returns to help celebrate 125 years of art and public engagement and to cut the world’s largest birthday cake (not really, but it’s pretty big!).

Portland Art Museum Family programs are generously supported in part by Sharon L. Miller and Family, the Gordon D. Sondland and Katherine J. Durant Foundation, the Lamb Baldwin Foundation, and the Joseph E. Weston Public Foundation.


The Portland Art Museum is pleased to offer accommodations to ensure that our programs are accessible and inclusive. All spaces for this program are accessible by wheelchair. Assistive listening devices are also available for lectures. All restrooms have accessible stalls but no power doors. There are single-stall all-gender bathrooms available. Please ask staff for directions.

We will do our best to accommodate your needs when you arrive, however, we need 2-3 weeks advance notice for some specific requests. Please email requests to, or call 503-226-2811.