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Daily Art Moment: Edward Penfield

Congratulations to the Class of 2021! This charming poster, advertising the June edition of Harper’s Magazine, gives a nod to the graduates of 1895. Artist Edward Penfield is credited with inventing the American publishing poster, a boom that thrived in the 1890s. Each month, Penfield created a lithograph to promote the magazine. He drew on…  Read more

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Marking Juneteenth: A Conversation About Candlesticks and Slavery

For the past few years, Ted Smith, longtime Portland Art Museum Visitor Services Lead has been marking Juneteenth by doing one of the many things that he does so well—connecting Museum visitors with art and making connections to our shared history of slavery and its lasting impact on our society. June 19th is Juneteenth, the…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Samantha Wall

“The shadow is both a part of our identity and apart from it. It is our counterpart and sometimes the truer part.” —Samantha Wall, 2021 Flayed is a drawing from Samantha Wall’s series titled, Shame on Me, hauntingly rendered as a self-portrait silhouette and shadow. Though much of the figure’s details are unknown, Wall beautifully…  Read more

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Write Around PAM: Ansel Adams

Last Sunday, we invited you to spend some time writing with Laura McPhee’s Midsummer (Lupine and Fireweed), which offered a scene of blooming wildflowers at the foot of charred tree trunks. Today, let’s spend some time with this photograph by Ansel Adams, which McPhee cites as an inspiration for her work. Notice how a closer…  Read more

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Postcards to the Earth: PPS HeART of Portland Exhibition and Showcase 2021

This month, the Portland Art Museum is celebrating the extraordinary work of Portland Public Schools students and teachers with an Ansel Adams-inspired installation in the Museum gift store windows. The installation is part of the annual K-12 student arts showcase, The HeART of Portland, scaled down for a school year in which most students spent…  Read more

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Write Around PAM: Laura McPhee

 “Photographing in the burned forest was one of the great, joyful experiences of my life,” Laura McPhee has said, “finding that catastrophe to be so beautiful,… so stunningly unexpected.” In McPhee’s Midsummer (Lupine and Fireweed), landscape provides a metaphor for loss and the regenerative power of natural cycles. This week, we invite you to contemplate…  Read more

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Write Around PAM: Catherine Opie

How can we bring new understanding, new light to something we already know so well? Catherine Opie’s Untitled #1 (Yosemite Valley) offers us a place to start. Opie’s photography gives us new ways of seeing iconic landscapes. We invite you to spend some time today writing with this photograph and discovering what comes up for…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Cowlitz artist

Plateau basketry traditions encompass several techniques including coiling which we see with this delightful Cowlitz basket. The vibrant design of this sturdy and well-balanced basket is a wonderful example of the decorative use of imbrication. This process transformed a basket of plain appearance (as seen on the inside) with the addition of different colors of…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Minami Keiko

Minami Keiko’s etchings offer the magic of fairy tale-like, narrative settings. Her fine touches on the printing plate and understated colors result in delicate, sometimes whimsical scenes. For me, she is often sweet without being cloying. Yet some prints hint at a deeper and more mysterious sense of ennui, loneliness, or alienation. Minami was orphaned…  Read more

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Write Around PAM: Ansel Adams

This work by Ansel Adams captures the seemingly solid, yet always fluid, energy of sand dunes. Shifting under foot, blowing in wind, never looking the same day to day, and yet steadily there. This “sand dune” energy feels like it mirrors our ever-shifting realities as we continue to grapple with changes at school, work, and…  Read more