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Daily Art Moment: Haudenosaunee / Iroquois artist

This small but ornate pouch represents a very distinctive beadwork innovation created by Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) artists in the mid- to late-19th century. Small fabric bags, pin cushions, photo frames and other purely decorative forms, known as “whimsies,” were beaded with thick layers of stacked beadwork. The artists often favored translucent beads on black or bright…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Sara Cwynar

Sara Cwynar’s Encyclopedia Grid (Acropolis) tugs at my wanderlust. During the pandemic, I’ve traveled very little and have not been very far from Portland. Here, Cwynar arranges what appear to be clips and cuttings of the ancient Acropolis in Athens, Greece on a blue backdrop. Each image in the grid shows a finger placed on…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Beth Van Hoesen

Beth Van Hoesen’s cocktail drinkers, though created in 1946, seem to show the same world-weariness that has gripped many of us throughout the tumultuous year. They are prepared, I imagine, to toast out the year, but they aren’t going to pretend it was fun! The woman’s raised eyebrow suggests her skepticism about the state of…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Keisai Eisen

In 2021, the Year of the Ox begins. 1829 was also an ox year. Poets in Mino province commissioned the artist Keisai Eisen to design this special print to commemorate the new year. Privately commissioned prints like these are called surimono and feature expensive materials and techniques. This small ox figurine, sitting on layered futon…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Edward Penfield

In the 1890s, color posters advertising books, magazines, and newspapers exploded onto the scene. Initially inspired by French designs, American artists soon created their own unique style. Edward Penfield led the field with his charming posters advertising Harper’s Magazine beginning in 1893. These designs, generally about 19 by 14 inches, were displayed in book stores…  Read more

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Top 10 Daily Art Moments

When the pandemic began and the Museum first closed its doors earlier this year, our curators took to social media like never before. With galleries closed, our Daily Art Moment was launched—offering followers a daily dose of art accompanied by descriptions, quotes from artists, and other insights. While we aren’t posting quite as often anymore,…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: PAM’s 128th Birthday

Some things get better with age. This month we celebrated our 128th birthday. As we reflect on the past, one thing has remained constant: your support. Thank you to our members, donors, visitors, community partners, and frontline staff for helping us continue our mission of connecting the community to art. We look forward to reopening…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Light

“One might not think of light as a matter of fact, but I do. And it is, as I said, as plain and open and direct an art as you will ever find.” —Dan Flavin Happy Winter Solstice! To mark the turn of the season and welcome back those extra minutes of daylight, I’m sharing…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Gabriel Revel

Occasionally we get a nice surprise when paintings created long ago are cleaned and restored. This happened in 2016–17, when Gabriel Revel’s Portrait of a Sculptor, ca. 1680, underwent conservation treatment by Nina Olsson here in Portland. Cleaning revealed a new compositional element: a statuette behind the sculpted head in the foreground, as seen in…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Félix Vallotton

In 1896–97, Félix Vallotton captured the private joy and solace of music played only for oneself. In Musical Instruments,” a suite of six woodblock prints, he used the sparest means to depict solitary musicians in comfortable, domestic settings. The Portland Art Museum recently acquired two prints from this series: one depicting a cellist in his…  Read more