I discovered to my delight that, since it was constructed in 1892, that the Portland Art Museum is the oldest art museum on the West Coast, and the seventh oldest overall in the United States.  It currently boasts over 40,000 pieces of art in its permanent collection and acts as home for the NW Film Center, which just finished a month-long festival of Hiyao Miyazaki films.  Said collection runs the gamut from Native American art, to Asian, to Middle Eastern, and even has an extensive group of sculptures out in front of its main building.

Including tributes to Cousin Itt.

Ooo yea! Nice and bony!

Melody Saunders, a great local photographer whom I had met during the Bill Plympton documentary showing the previous week, had invited me and many others to check out the John Frame exhibit before it closed on Sunday.  A big section of the second floor had been set aside for his display “Three Fragments of a Lost Tale“, which combined sculpture, stop-motion, and music in his own unique, cobbled together way.  I sadly couldn’t go on Sunday because of my first shift at the IPRC.

…But I could go on Friday during free admission time!

Sadly I wasn’t able to photograph any of the pieces in Frame’s exhibit.  The lighting was especially crucial to the mis en scene, and any flash photography would have ruined it.  You can check out more of his work at his website though.  Seeing all of the films and pieces arranged so intricately (which I can almost imagine Frame doing himself in the museum after hours), it was like I was looking at artifacts and records unearthed from a lost, dark civilization.  It sounds simplistic, but if you’ve enjoyed a Tool video in the past, you’ll enjoy this.

At the same time though, the museum had a Mark Rothko exhibit which I was able to photograph to my heart’s content.  I consider him one of the most influential abstract expressionists of the 20th Century, so it was a thrill to see his work in person.  It might sound immature, but his Color Field pieces always made me hungry for Sherbert.

Oh come on, tell me I'm wrong! Look at that! Rothko = Deliciousness!

More Sherberty Goodness from Mark Rothko!

You tell 'em, man!

I then took my time to wander around and check out the rest of the pieces.  I hadn’t been to a gallery like this in some time, so I decided to indulge myself.  It was free, so how could I refuse?

World's Most Badass Hummel Collection!

Is there a person there? Is it just a trick of the light? Up to you, I suppose.

Every time I go to a fine art museum, I have to photograph a bronze status of Shiva. Odd tradition, I know.

Hey! Like a virgin! Hah!

As I was getting ready to leave, I get a text from Kate and I idly ask her how things were going at the store.  She told me that a new shipment of colored sand had come in for people interested in using it for glass firing projects.  So she had spent all day (with my sympathies) basically organizing sand.

At that moment I thought “If I was back in Chicago, I’d be spending my day at my old retail job sifting through colored sand.  Instead, I’m 3000 miles away on a gorgeous Friday evening looking at the art of the masters.  For free.”

…Oh yea, time well spent.  No regrets there.