In conjunction with the Museum’s 125th anniversary, Picturing Oregon offers an extraordinary opportunity to reflect on the importance of place and to celebrate the incredible geographic diversity of Oregon, and the artists whose work it inspired.
With its wide-ranging climate and expansive range of natural features, Oregon’s landscape has long been an inspiration for artists. The western side boasts miles of coastline offering vistas of dunes and spires, while abundant rain cycles further inland result in dense, forested mountains, mossy urban areas, and bountiful agriculture. Set in the “rain shadow” of the Cascades, arid eastern Oregon is characterized by desert landforms and vast, dramatic terrain.
Picturing Oregon presents paintings and photographs inspired by the distinct regions that comprise the state—the Coast; Greater Portland; Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge; Willamette Valley; Central Oregon; Eastern Oregon; and Southern Oregon. The exhibition features works from the late 1800s, including Oregon’s pioneer period, and touches on contemporary pieces—all from the Museum’s permanent collection.
Celebrated artists depicting this diverse ecological state include William Samuel Parrott, Charles McKim, C.E.S. Wood, Childe Hassam, and Charles Heaney, among others. Louis Bunce, Amanda Snyder, Michael Brophy, and Roll Hardy offer an abstract and a contemporary lens to the landscape. Picturing Oregon will also feature a selection of photography, which has served an important role in capturing the region, including works by Lily White, Myra Albert Wiggins, Sarah Ladd, Drex Brooks, and Douglas Frank.