PORTLAND, OR.- On December 9, 2004, at the 112th annual meeting of the Portland Art Museum Executive Director, John E. Buchanan, Jr., announced a major endowment gift of $3.5 million from arts patrons Arlene and Harold Schnitzer solidifying their renowned legacy and lifetime commitment to Northwest art and artists. The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Endowment for Northwest Art is an unprecedented gift that comprises three funds: 1) an endowment for a named curatorial position for Northwest art, 2) an endowment for the organization, exhibition and publication of the art of the Northwest, both contemporary and historical, and 3) an endowment for the acquisition and conservation of Northwest art from the Schnitzers collection.
This endowment builds on an earlier gift given by the Schnitzers in 2000 that established The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Northwest Art, part of the Project for the Millennium capital campaign that funded the renovation of the Museums Hoffman Wing. At that time, the Schnitzers also made a promised gift of works from their private collection of Northwest art.
"Arlene and Harold have been the greatest proponents of Northwest art. Through their gift, they are creating a legacy for our community by ensuring that the Museum has the resources to benefit artists of the region, now and forever," remarked John E. Buchanan, Jr., the Museums Executive Director.
Endowed Curator of Northwest Art - For the first time in the Museums history this gift establishes a new curatorial position dedicated to art of the Northwest named The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art. The curator will be responsible for the care, research, exhibition, growth, and custody of the Centers collection and the development of special exhibitions for Northwest art. The curator will work with art and artists of the Northwest region comprising Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Vancouver B.C., in the areas of acquisitions, exhibitions, publications, and donors. A national search for the curator is underway.
"I have long imagined a curator at the Museum focusing solely on the perpetuation of Northwest Art," comments Arlene Schnitzer, "one who can keep the dialogue alive in the Northwest about the magnitude and inspiration of the art generated by artists working in this region. Harold and I are honored to bestow this gift and trust it will serve to inspire not only the Northwest artistic community, but through education, the larger viewing community as well."