The Portland Museum of Art has more than 19,000 objects in its collection, and over the last decade has taken deliberate steps to expand the narratives it can tell through its artworks. + collection is a rare opportunity to view a selection of the PMA’s most recent acquisitions while gaining insight into the very basis of building, maintaining, and stewarding a museum collection. On view from February 2 through April 28, 2024, + collection highlights the transparent and evolving nature of the PMA's Art for All mission and how it impacts its galleries, exhibitions, and the museum’s artistic program as a whole.
New works in museum collections undergo a lengthy review process that often takes several months or even years. + collection features over 50 artworks that have come into the collection via bequests, gifts, and purchases. Additionally, the exhibition investigates these artworks’ many avenues into the museum and unveils the processes critical for inclusive collection stewardship. By prioritizing the process as a critical part of the story, + collection enables conversation around private and public collections, presentation and care of artwork in profound ways.
Many artworks added to the collection have already transformed the PMA galleries. Extraordinary gifts in recent years—including more than 100 works from the Alex Katz Foundation as well as Judy Glickman Lauder's promised gift of nearly 700 photographs—have attracted global audiences to Portland to view works by Berenice Abbott, Martha Diamond, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Rackstraw Downes, Philip Guston, Sally Mann, Thaddeus Mosley, Sigmar Polke, Robert Rauschenberg, and many more.
In exploring the relationship between artworks and museums, + collection is a testament to the Portland Museum of Art's unwavering commitment to growth, stewardship, and evolving impact. With its diverse array of media and thought-provoking narratives, the exhibition invites viewers to explore the responsibilities, and ambitions, of public and private art institutions.