Situated in the tree-lined Park Blocks neighborhood of downtown Portland, Oregon, the Portland Art Museum is known for its large archives of Native American and First Nations artifacts as well as its exemplary collections of art from around the world. Here you’ll find everything from Van Gogh and Monet paintings to calligraphy from pre–Han Dynasty China.
The Portland Art Museum has nine permanent collections along with a regular rotation of visiting works and exhibits. Permanent collections can be divided into American, European, and Asian art, as well as contemporary and modern art, Native American art, and Northwest art. The museum also has photography, graphic arts, and silver collections. Due to its central location in downtown Portland, it’s a popular stop on Portland city tours.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Visitors are required to check backpacks and umbrellas.
- Photography is allowed in the permanent-collection galleries but prohibited in special exhibitions.
- The entire museum is wheelchair accessible, and wheelchair users can use either entrance.
- The Portland Art Museum is closed on Mondays.
How to Get There
The Portland Art Museum's red brick main building is located on SW Park Avenue, between Madison and Jefferson Streets in downtown Portland, nine blocks west of the Willamette River. The nearest MAX light-rail stop is the Library/SW 9th stop, five blocks away, and many Tri-Met buses stop nearby. Note that downtown street parking is limited; skip the hassle of driving by taking public transit or booking a tour that includes transportation.
When to Get There
Although Portland is best visited in the summer, this indoor attraction is popular throughout the year and offers a selection of visiting exhibits, special programs, and family-friendly programs year-round. Admission is free from 5pm to 8pm on the first Thursday of every month.
Since 2010, the Portland Art Museum has been running a project called Object Stories, a changing collection of storytelling-driven exhibits that highlight issues relevant to the local community. Past topics have ranged from social justice and activism to living with disabilities. Exhibits are rotated every three to four months.