A new, minor art museum has opened in Portland, revealing a permanent collection of over 100 artworks from the closets of Portland’s wealthy and generous.

It’s part of the Peter Kohler Pavilion at OHSU, a new 14 story biomedical research facility perched at the top of Marquam Hill, and the top-side of Portland’s new aerial tram. Kohler is the hospital’s longtime president. The tram is Portland’s largest, most expensive public artwork.

Soon you’ll be able to ride the tram for $5 to visit the artwork, but there’s plenty of free parking in the new lot under the building (take a left on Campus Drive as you approach the hospital campus on Sam Jackson Park, park and take the elevator to the 9th floor).

Much of the artwork comes from donations by members of the OHSU Foundation, a club of Portland’s wealthy and powerful. Members of the Foundation include

  • Chairman Frank Jungers, former CEO and Chairman Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO)
  • Former Chair Richard Geary President of Kiewit Pacific, a major contractor building the tram.
  • Wayne Drinkward, President and CEO of Hoffman Construction Company, a major builder of the South Waterfront at OHSU
  • Arlene and Mina Schnitzer – longtime philanthropists and art lovers

The full list of Foundation officers, board members and trustees is here.

The artwork is squirreled all over the 9th and and 7th floors, and perhaps elsewhere in the building. Explore hallways and even offices to seem them all, weekends are best. There are outdoor sculpture areas on both floors with fantastic views of the city and the tram, showing artwork like the kitchy Sophie Ryder Standing Lady Hare with Dog – which she’s remade and sold many times. But it really works here, strong arms and strong backside gently holding the sick dog.

Many contributions come from the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Collection – including prints and paintings from local gallery artists Sherrie Wolf, Henk Pander, Julie Rall, Karen Guzak, Lucinda Parker, Laverne Kraus, Suzanne Duryea, and Shirley Gittelsohn.

The Ryder sculpture shown here was donated by Ken Novack, who happens to be the President of Schnitzer Steel. Just one of them tho. The top one.

Over the next several days, Portland Public Art will look at these artworks, and some of the artists who made them.

OHSU has a library of the artworks; but the links are duds or lead to enormous, pointless tiff files.

Speaking of bad pics – here’s a prediction: within ten years you’ll be able to weave a Google Earth-type program with all the Flickr + Google Images to create a comprehensive picture of everything in the world.