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“When I Return to Portland, I'll Return to PAM, Too” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Portland Art Museum

Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR 97205 (Downtown)
503-226-2811
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Ranked #22 of 306 attractions in Portland
Type: Art Museums, Museums
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Although this venerable art museum, established in 1892, houses a large number of international works, its highlight is a renowned collection of Native American art.
Colorado
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“When I Return to Portland, I'll Return to PAM, Too”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

One of the most interesting permanent collections I've seen. Could spend days here; only had four or five hours. Non-flash photography permitted, which allows you to bring the collection home.
A beautiful museum store with many quality, affordable gift ideas.
The people of Portland are lucky to have this beautiful complex in the heart of the city. Across the street from the Oregon Museum of History.

Visited October 2013
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Save it for a rainy day”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2013

My sister and I went here while traveling through Portland and while they have a pretty diverse and eclectic mixture of art we wouldn't recommend anyone go out of their way to go here. Neither of us are versed or educated in any art-forms but we both appreciate art and try to go to an art museum every city we visit. Although they did have the Samurai exhibit going on while we visited we just bought regular tickets and explored the rest of the museum. From photography to Native American artifacts to contemporary installations and French paintings from the 1800's this place had a lot to see. The layout of the museum is great and we floated from room to room easily seeing everything there was to see. I would say this place is great to go to if it's raining or too cold outside. I wouldn't go back here if I visited Portland again though.

Visited October 2013
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Smithers
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Visiting Samurai”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

We started with the visiting Samurai exhibit which was quite expansive and very informative. You start with very old woodcut pictures that still have remarkable colour and often the full story associated with each picture. Then you move to the armour, the standards, the face shields, the shoes etc. Amazing diversity and gorgeous workmanship. And as always some background information. Then there was some contemporary art thrown in to bring you up to date.

We also went through several other exhibits and very much enjoyed the contemporary art. The aboriginal art from the pacific northwest and across the states was beautiful and again very diverse but I found that associated information was lacking. I found that I ended up explaining a number of pieces not only to my son but also to other visitors. Unfortunately, I am not as well versed in aboriginal art/artefacts from other areas and wish that that there was a bit more explanation as it is an art museum not just a gallery. But overall, I really enjoyed it and loved the diversity throughout (from Monet to Chilkat blankets)

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pensacola, Florida
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Not bad but not great.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013 via mobile

This Art Museum featured some decent modern art pieces. I personally liked the museums layout as it allows you to flow from section to section. It takes about 2 hours the see all of the displays.it is one of those places that if you're in the area it's worth stopping by however don't go out of your way to visit this museum

Visited October 2013
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Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Current Samurai! Exhibition is Amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Portland Art Museum (PAM) member and visit there several times each year. We frequent PAM and a number of other major museums in the nation, including annual visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where we took in their displays of Samurai armor last spring. However, nothing could have prepared me for the exceptional quality, beauty and sheer artistry of their current "Samurai!" exhibition, running October 2013 - January 2014. Awe-inspiring is really the only way to describe it.

We've seen a number of major exhibits of arms & armaments, as well as many international exhibitions of historical art, including recent exhibitions on the Terra Cotta Warriors of China, King Tut and Genghis Khan and the Mongol culture. None hold a candle to the quality, variety and quantity of artistry displayed in this nearly overwhelming exhibition of Samurai armor, helmets, face masks, and prints spanning nearly 1,000 years of styles.

I never thought I would be awed by an exhibition of Japanese armor, but this collection filling at least 7-8 galleries was astounding. Exquisite is the only way to describe the incredible examples of this ancient artistry on display. And, the excellent manner in which the Museum displayed it allowed one to take in the full grandeur of these items, close-up and from every angle. I left wondering how these gorgeous works of art could have ever been worn into battle - really?! There was so much to take in that I will have to return for a second, or perhaps third visit.

This is now the third time in as many years that the Portland Art Museum has really pushed the envelop on what is art - including equally amazing exhibitions on "The Allure of the Automobile" in 2012 and "The Art of the Bicycle" this past summer that handily proved that there is great art in almost everything. They sure do it well, and this exhibition is well worth a visit.

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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