The Portland Art Museum

1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, Oregon 97205

About Auction House

Founded in late 1892, the Portland Art Museum is the seventh oldest museum in the United States and the oldest in the Pacific Northwest. The Museum is internationally recognized for its permanent collection and ambitious special exhibitions, drawn from the Museum’s holdings and the world’s finest public and private collections.

Auction Previews & News

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  • Artists, Auction Industry
    Artist to Know: Hank Willis Thomas

    Wright Presents Symbolic Black Power Sculpture in Upcoming Sale Now in the mature period of his career, American artist Hank Willis Thomas continues to stir conversation around race, gender, and commercialism. His photographs and multimedia works are intended to prompt questions rather than answer them. That has always been an intentional goal for the artist, who believes that “the most revolutionary thing a person can do is be open to change.” Threads of revolution run through many of his works, particularly in reference to the Black Panthers, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the social advancements of the 20th century. One of Thomas’ symbolic revolutionary sculptures will come to auction with Wright on September 30th, 2020, at 1:00 PM EDT. Learn more about his career— both past and present— before placing a bid. Hank Willis Thomas with Sharon Daniels’ Amends/ Civil Death. Image from KQED. The son of two photographers, Thomas was always drawn to art. After earning his BFA from New York University and his MFA from the California College of the Arts, Thomas formally entered the American art scene in the early 2000s. His breakthrough came with a photographic series that juxtaposed images of enslavement and punishment with professional sports. Basketball and Chain (2003), for example, shows a leaping pair of sneakers chained to a basketball at the bottom of the frame. Photos of a cotton picker across the yard line from a football player and a bald head branded with the Nike swoosh also boosted his fame. These photos are recognized as the starting point of the artist’s career and now consistently perform at auction. For example, Christie’s sold a print of Basketball and Chain for USD 30,000 last year.  Over time, Thomas began to reflect more on the history of protest and resistance within his work. He began depicting bronze arms raised in solidarity and afro picks topped with a clenched fist. Thomas has maintained a commitment to commenting on race in America, especially unpacking mass incarceration and the lasting effects of slavery. Speaking about his works, the Portland Art Museum’s Julia Dolan said, “They challenge…

  • Exhibitions
    ‘Natural Forces: Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington’ Debuts at Denver Art Museum

    Winslow Homer, Indian Boy with Canoe, 1895. Denver Art Museum. The Denver Art Museum (DAM) has debuted Natural Forces: Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington (on view to Sept. 7, 2020). The traveling exhibition, featuring 60 artworks, reveals connections between artistic themes and techniques used by these two acclaimed American artists. Born a generation apart, both artists succeeded in capturing the quintessential American spirit through works of art at the turn of the late-19th and early-20th centuries, an era of growing industrialization and notions of the closing of the American western frontier. Frederic Remington, The Fall of the Cowboy, 1895. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Amon G. Carter Collection, 1961.230. Winslow Homer (1836-1910), who was considered the most original painter of his time, prospered by creating masterful depictions of the Eastern Seaboard, while Frederic Remington (1861-1909) became famous for his iconic representations of the American West. The work of these two self-taught artists continues to be celebrated as independent, innovative and homegrown. Natural Forces is co-organized and co-curated by a team of four curators, including the DAM’s Thomas Brent Smith, Curator of Western American Art and Director of the Petrie Institute of Western American Art, and Jennifer R. Henneman, Associate Curator of Western American Art; Diana Greenwold, Associate Curator of American Art at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine; and Maggie Adler, Curator at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, TX. After debuting at the DAM, the exhibition will travel to the Portland Museum of Art and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. A 225-page exhibition catalog, published in collaboration with Yale University Press, will be available in The Shop at the Denver Art Museum and online. Take a video tour of the exhibition at DAM and see highlights here.

  • Exhibitions
    Portland Art Museum to Present Major Survey ‘Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal…’

    The Portland Art Museum presents the first major survey for the Brooklyn-based artist, including a new monumental commission addressing lives lost to gun violence. Hank Willis Thomas (American, born 1976). The Cotton Bowl, from the series Strange Fruit, 2011. Digital c-print. 50 x 73 inches. © Hank Willis Thomas, courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. This fall the Portland Art Museum presents Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal…, the first major survey of the work of one of America’s most important conceptual artists working today. The exhibition opens October 12, 2019, and will be on view through January 12, 2020. Throughout his career, Hank Willis Thomas (American, born 1976) has addressed the visual systems that perpetuate inequality and bias in bold, skillfully crafted works. Through photographs, sculpture, video, and collaborative public art projects, he invites us to consider the role of popular culture in instituting discrimination and how art can raise critical awareness in the ongoing struggle for social justice and civil rights. Organized by the Portland Art Museum and co-curated by Julia Dolan, Ph.D., The Minor White Curator of Photography, and Sara Krajewski, The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal… features approximately 100 works including early photographic series, recent sculptures based on archival photographs taken during historic 20th-century events, quilts constructed from commercial sports jerseys and prison uniforms, video installations, interactive two-dimensional and time-based works, and public art projects. In addition, the Museum will support the creation of a new and monumental flag-based work addressing lives lost to gun violence in the United States in 2018 that will serve as the entry point to the exhibition. Following its presentation in Portland, Oregon, the exhibition will travel to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas (February 8 – April 27, 2020), and to the Cincinnati Museum of Art in Cincinnati, Ohio (July 10 – September 27, 2020). Hank Willis Thomas (American, born 1976). Da' Nile/Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015, 1956/2015. Chromogenic print. 52 x 50 inches. © Hank Willis Thomas, courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery,…