Portland Walking Tours

Portland Art Museum’s New Exhibit Provides an Enriching Indoor Experience for Outdoor Lovers

October 14th, 2015

Here in Portland, nature often takes center stage. With magnificent landscapes and mountain views, green spaces galore and parks aplenty, Mother Nature is truly in her glory in the City of Roses. With so many exciting outdoor activities and recreational pursuits available, people might not realize (or just forget!) that Portland offers many outstanding options for enriching indoor experiences as well. A visit to the Portland Art Museum (PAM) is one such option, and a special upcoming exhibit called Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection will entice indoor and outdoor enthusiasts alike.


Gustav Klimt, Birch Forest, 1903, courtesy of Paul G. Allen Family Collection

Showcasing the development of European and American landscape painting over a period of 500 years, Seeing Nature features 39 paintings that translate the wonder of nature into pictorial form. The paintings were collected by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen, who has been a major philanthropist in the Pacific Northwest region. This special exhibit has been five years in the making, and since it premieres in Portland on October 10 before any other city on its tour (including Seattle which has to wait until 2017 — shhhh), that gives us the unique privilege of being first to see all of these paintings together!

The big guns will be here: O’Keefe, Hopper, Cezanne, Canaletto, Cézanne, and Turner, for starters. If you are a fan of Monet, you are especially in luck as five of his works spanning 30 years will be on view. If you are drawn to the magical city of Venice, you are going to be happy to see multiple masterpieces with that setting by different artists. How about comparing the more literal representation of Thomas Moran’s Grand Canyon with the more personal interpretation by David Hockney? There will also be a rare opportunity to view a landscape painting by Gustav Klimt, the man who created one of the most celebrated paintings the world has ever seen in The Kiss. Whether documenting everyday surroundings or making meaning of dramatic vistas, these artists show nature in a light that will inspire.

And perhaps the next time you are gazing at Mount Hood from afar or admiring the beauty of a single rose, you will enjoy your natural surroundings with the fresh perspective gained from your experience of Seeing Nature.

Fun facts about PAM:

1)  It is the oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest and the seventh oldest in the U.S.

2)  It is family- and budget -friendly with free admission for children 17 and under, free for everyone on First Thursdays after 5 pm, and just $5 on Fridays after 5 pm.

3) Brian Ferriso, the director, is a formally trained landscape painter.

For more information, visit www.portlandartmuseum.org.

Article by Natasha Kelly


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