The Portland Museum of Art is home to an impressive collection of European, American and contemporary art not usually found outside of the world's great metropolises. It is located in the center of Portland, Maine in an area known as the Art District.
Founded in 1882, the PMA held its exhibitions in various locations until 1908. In that year, Margaret Jane Massey Sweet donated a house, known as the McLellan House, and an endowment to the PMA. This also led to the construction of the LDM Sweet Memorial Galleries, designed by John Colan Sterns, which is adjacent to the McLellan House. It opened in 1911.
In 1983, the Charles Shipman Payson Building was added to the PMA's campus. Designed by Henry Nicolas Cobb, this modern building significantly increased the PMA's exhibition space.
The three buildings were integrated together in 2002. Although of vastly different architectural styles, the three buildings now form a harmonious whole. Also, one can move from one to the other without going outside, which can be of considerable convenience given Maine's winters. The complex also includes a shop and a cafe.
The PMA “strives to engage audiences in a dialogue about the relevance of art and culture to our everyday lives and is committed to the stewardship and growth of the collection.” Accordingly. in addition to exhibitions from its permanent collection, the PMA also presents temporary exhibitions.
The permanent collection grew exponentially in the last half of the 20th century with donations of several significant private collections. Its holdings of American art include works by Winslow Homer, Gilbert Stuart, John Singer Sargent, James McNeil Whistler, Andrew Wyeth, Mary Cassatt and Reginald Marsh. European artists such as Monet, Renoir, Degas, Magritte, Munch and Picasso are also represented. In short, this is not the collection of a regional museum.
This is not to say that the museum does not recognize its responsibility as one of the leading cultural institutions in Maine. It actively highlights the artistic tradition of the state and its artists. Among other things, the PMA maintains and gives tours of the studio of Maine's foremost artist Winslow Homer.
For more information about visiting, see the Portand Museum of Art's website
For more places to see art
See our Places to See Art index
For more about visiting Portland
See our Portland profile and guide
Places to see art - - Portland, Maine - United States - - Portland Museum of Art