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The Museum Makeover Project

This spring, visitors to the Portland Art Museum will explore what made Italian Style iconic: the designs, the materials, the craftsmanship, and the men and women behind them. In response, the Museum will be asking visitors a complementary question: what is Portland Style?

From overalls to tulle skirts, thrift store vintage to R.E.I., these Portland natives will lend their style to works of their choice in the Museum’s collection. New mashups will be posted each Friday of the exhibition on the Museum’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter streams.

Click on images to enlarge.

Former security monitor, Natashia, 25, lends her style to the unsigned print, Stenographers! Washington Needs You!, 1917Former security monitor, Natashia, 25, lends her style to the unsigned print, Stenographers! Washington Needs You!, 1917.

“This dress I got at H&M for New Years’ Eve this past year. The boots I liked because they looked industrial, like a mechanic could wear. And then the 2-D bag I got online. There’s a whole series of them, they’re really fun. I’ve gotten more compliments on this purse than anything else I’ve ever owned.

“If I could do anything, I’d write. Horror stories… I’m a big fan of vintage, propaganda type art. And this one also had a mystery poster type feel to it, which I like… I do like the idea of a series of horror mystery novels where the covers are all vintage prints.”

Learn more about this print in our Online Collections.

 

Administrator at a San Francisco fashion college, Eden, 42 lends her style to Pierre Auguste Renoir's Venus Victorieuse, 1916.Administrator at a San Francisco fashion college, Eden, 42 lends her style to Pierre Auguste Renoir’s Venus Victorieuse, 1916.

“I just walked past her in the galleries and I was like, ‘this is me.’ My body is like hers and she’s sort of an exhibitionist and she has food.

“I wear a lot of dark colors, shades of grey. If I throw in something different it’s usually because I’m out of my element. Portland was in my mind when I was packing so I was kind of water inspired, so greens and blues. Then I have to have my signature darkness: so I have smiley face skulls and sparkles.”

Learn more about this sculpture in our Online Collections.

 

Accountant, Petr, 40, lends his style to John DeAndrea's Dying Gaul, 1984Accountant, Petr, 40, lends his style to John DeAndrea’s Dying Gaul, 1984

“I’m from Prague and the clothes are a little different there. I don’t like the khaki and polo shirt fashion that American guys tend to like. For me, it’s all about the fit.

“Men’s fashion… even going through the exhibits, [my wife], she feels sorry for me. There’s not much there, for men. I actually like glitter and rhinestones and all that stuff. If they ever open the door for that in men’s fashion, I would be all for it.”

Learn more about this sculpture in our Online Collections.

 

High school senior, Annamarie, 17, lends her style to Julian Alden Weir's The Black Hat, 1900High school senior, Annamarie, 17, lends her style to Julian Alden Weir’s The Black Hat, 1900

“When I think of Portland, I think of the hipsters and the Keep Portland Weird aspect… There are so many out-there pieces you can go see, like all the stuff with the rhinestones. I tend to stay away from that. I like straight lines and structured pieces. My bag I bought because it reminded me of an optical illusion that we were discussing in Bio.

“I like classic clothes… I feel confident when I look professional because I don’t really stand out but I look nice.”

Learn more about this painting in our Online Collections.

 

Fashion designer and co-founder of Veil and Valor, Shelby, 39, lends her dress to Jean-Jacques Henner's Reclining Nymph, 1865/1870Fashion designer and co-founder of Veil and Valor, Shelby, 39, lends her dress to Jean-Jacques Henner’s Reclining Nymph, 1865/1870

“I’ve always loved this painting. I love the color, the deep dark tones… I love how relaxed her body is, there’s no tension at all. It always spoke to me because, for me, it’s a woman who is comfortable in her own skin. It always reminds me that whatever skin I’m in today, it’s a beautiful skin.”

“I think I’m a better designer now than I would have been at 20. My approach is not to overpower. The dress should never overpower the woman. It’s not about what she’s wearing, it’s about what she wants to do in her clothes… Being a woman is a really fierce and strong thing, but also soft.”

Learn more about this painting in our Online Collections.

 

Recent Portland transplant and installer of home audio systems, Oliver, 36, lends his style to Torii Kiyonobu II’s Ichikawa ima Danjûrô, 1735

Recent Portland transplant and installer of home audio systems, Oliver, 36, lends his style to Torii Kiyonobu II’s Ichikawa ima Danjûrô, 1735

“Portland style is unique. Everybody has their own thing going on. When I was in North Carolina, it was was more traditional. Here, it’s more do what you want… Guy with two Samurai swords and a sports coat is kinda unique.”

Learn more about this print in our Online Collections.

 

Full time poet and royal history hobbyist, Sarah, 29, lend her style to Peter Lely’s Queen Mary, Second Wife of James II, 1673/1680.Full time poet and royal history hobbyist, Sarah, 29, lend her style to Peter Lely’s Queen Mary, Second Wife of James II, 1673/1680

“I think fashion is a beautiful way to express an aesthetic. Fashion doesn’t have to be practical or even wearable. There’s an inherent sense of magnetism in a lot of it, even if it can’t be worn.

“There’s still something so attractive and intriguing about kings and queens and wealth and palaces. As a writer, the story fascinates me. With royalty, there are these grand worldly stories combined with the minutia of daily life… I chose Mary of Modena because she is so grand and yet so sad… that juxtaposition of the sumptuous clothing with the sadness of her daily life after she and her husband were exiled from England.”

Learn more about this painting in our Online Collections.

 

34 Portland LGBTQ and GSA-affiliated teens, ages 12 to 18, lend their styles to Daumier's Le Ventre législatif, 1834.

34 Portland LGBTQ and GSA-affiliated teens, ages 12 to 18, lend their styles to Daumier’s Le Ventre législatif, 1834.

For these teens, style ranges from turquoise mohawks and “free pile hippy” to hand-woven top hats and earrings that escaped Austria on the Kindertransport.

For Giselle, 16, it’s the power of second-hand. “All my clothes come from used clothing stores, so I know they all have stories. I like to wear clothes that are really unique, that can’t be found anywhere else.”

For Ryan, 17, it’s wearing a sweater, no matter the weather, “I think it acts like a wall between me and the world.”

Nube, 17, sums up their bright style: “I think about what is going to make an emotional statement. Not an aesthetic statement. I want someone to feel what I’m wearing emotionally.”

Learn more about this painting in our Online Collections.
If you’re one of the teens in this image and you would like a high-res version of your character, email Phillippa.

 

Jumba instructor and Michael Jackson impersonator, Michael, age 22, lends his look to Anthony van Dyck’s Portrait of Cardinal Domenico Rivarola, 1623-24.

Jumba instructor and Michael Jackson impersonator, Michael, age 22, lends his look to Anthony van Dyck’s Portrait of Cardinal Domenico Rivarola, 1623-24.

“I’ve been working on a play for that’s been ongoing for the past five years. People say it’s a A Christmas Carol meets Back to the Future. But in my mind, it’s The Sandlot meets Footloose except the town is for dancing.

“I try to mix it up. I can tell you the blazer is Calvin Klein. The scarf was my mom’s, Weekender’s, I think. These are DSW loafers and the rest is from Goodwill. The pocket square I got when I was really young, 4th or 5th grade. I folded it to give the illusion of a pocket square. Also it goes with the shirt… Red, you know, is the color of passion. It’s bold, a primary color. And it is the Italian fashion show.”

Learn more about this painting in our Online Collections.

 

Rindert lends a new tune to Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux’s Spirit of the Dance, 1873

Local maker, Rindert, age 62, lends a new tune to Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux’s Spirit of the Dance, 1873.

“This is actually a Pendleton coat. I saw it in the Pendleton outlet. I liked the brightness of the coloring, it’s a little bit different. And it’s warm too! My wife makes art sometimes inspired by Pendleton patterns so we go there all the time and we always go to the store. My boots were made in Vietnam. At that time they were known for making shoes. They measure you up and the next day or so they have them for you.”

“I’m really into this local, made local movement. I used to work in high tech, chip work. But I was always getting on a plane. So I made a career change, now I’m making beautiful wooden iPhone accessories…Software, nobody sees it. It’s all hidden. I wanted to make something you see.”

Learn more about this statue in our Online Collections.

 

François Boucher’s, Portrait of a Lady, 1760/1770 by AnnaAnna, marketing and social media guru at local jeweler Betsy and Iya, lends her style to François Boucher’s, Portrait of a Lady, 1760/1770.

“I love jewelry. I work in jewelry. I only have ten fingers and I’m wearing… ten rings! I like to look down and see things that either have a story or have a story for me. A lot of my jewelry is made by Portland artists and I love that. Wherever I go, I have Portland with me, or on me! I know who made each of these and that’s really powerful to me.

“I think when I look at art, I try to find something I relate to. And it looks like she’s a woman who took the time to put herself together. I think women in this time put a lot of attention into what they wore… and she’s a woman who knows how to put herself together.”

Learn more about the original painting our Online Collections.

 

Katsukawa Shunsho’s print of the kabuki actress Nakamura Rikô I by Kelsey

Art history lecturer, Kelsey, age 34, lends her style to Katsukawa Shunsho’s print of the kabuki actress Nakamura Rikô I, 1782.

“My closet looks like an explosion of patterns. I love prints. And I love mixing prints and patterns. The dress is from Branch and Birdie so a local boutique, which I think is good. Everything else is Buffalo Exchange. The place I got my necklace, Whiskey and Honey, is an Instagram shop! I was looking for a chunky kind of collar necklace to wear over button ups and such. And I love it because I like noisy jewelry apparently. It was even on one of my student evaluations, “She’s so jangly.”

“I always love Japanese prints because of their mixing of patterns and how you get a feel for the textiles in the print. And they have beautiful lines too!”

Learn more about the original print in our Online Collections.

 

Franz Van Stuck's Allegoric Figure of a Woman by Ruby

Student and aspiring fashion journalist, Ruby, age 19, reinvents Franz Van Stuck’s Allegoric Figure of a Woman, 1917.

What influences her style? “Literature. Cafes. Paris in the 1960s. Menswear, sometimes. Architecture. Definitely anything vintage. Most people tell me it’s just very Ruby. It’s very personal to me.

The skirt is by Alexandra Grecco. She’s primarily a wedding dress designer. But, I actually won this skirt on Instagram. You had to describe how you’d wear it and they liked my description best…This shirt I just got from L’ecole Des Femmes. I don’t wear T-shirts. I don’t own T-shirts. But I liked what it said. It just seemed reminiscent of French 1960s culture…I’m not afraid of anything. I just wear what I want.”

Learn more about the original painting in our Online Collections.

 

Wilhelm Lehmbruck’s Standing Woman by Ona

Local artist, Ona, age 23, lends some style inspiration to Wilhelm Lehmbruck’s Standing Woman, 1910.

“I’ve been trying to draw comics lately. I made a graphic novel on Foucault, I’m painting a series of sad clowns, and I probably drink too much.

“I’m wearing a pair of Dickies’ workman’s overalls that I found on eBay and an Against Me band T-shirt that I found in the Goodwill bins and Doc Martins that I thought went kinda well. The bracelet my friend made… I’ve been into the weird 90s style lately. I was listening to some No Doubt/Bikini Kill Radio on Pandora. My Bloody Valentine. Jawbox. A little bit of grunge.”

Learn more about the original sculpture in our Online Collections.

 

The Museum is very grateful to Leo Caillard for his support of this project. It was Caillard’s cheeky and provocative images of sculptures in the Louvre sporting modern garb which visually inspired the Portland Art Museum’s own Museum Makeover Project. See more of his Statues at leocaillard.com