1889 SW 4th Avenue , Portland, OR, US, 97201
- Phone: (503) 226-7646
- Fax: (503) 459-4000
Arts & Museums
Portland once had a trolley system nearly as extensive as San Francisco's. A Willamette shoreline and a handful of cars that roll through downtown are all that are left of the late 19th Century line. They are restored now and provide a unique tour of the city. The two-line ride is free in downtown and hits the MAX stops every half-hour. Take the time to ride one instead of walking for a while. It is a nostalgic trip.
Get a glimpse of the oriental culture right in the heart of Portland at Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center. Established in 2004, this center works towards conserving and promoting the glorious history of Japanese immigrants in the city. The museum has a vast space dedicated entirely to 'Issei immigration' (first generation). Named after the Japanese term meaning 'descendants', this museum traces the origins and cultural changes that the community has seen through the years. Thriving on donations and the meager admission fee, this museum has maintained its exhibits with great care.
That The Faux Museum was the first museum in the world is what they would like you to believe: do not fall for it! That little fib is just the beginning of an extremely entertaining day filled with little fabrications that are sure to make even the most straight-faced among us crack a smile. The curator's story about the migration of his ancestors across the Beringia land bridge is a rather humorous tale, and the claim that the museum houses the world's last woolly ant ups the humor quotient even more.
Another testament to Portland's cultural diversity, this museum has quite a collection of interesting historical material relating to Oregon Jews. Exhibits focus on Judaism in the state and around the world, featuring groups like "The Chinese Jews." Once a part of the Oregon History Center, this attraction gradually grew into a two-room museum. Still, because the museum is so small, only one exhibit is shown at a time. Admission is free.
After taking a tour through First Avenue Gallery, be sure to cross the street to this gallery, owned by the same people. Since opening its doors in an attic space in 1973, the attic gallery has become the oldest and largest gallery in the downtown area. The impressive art collection features sculptures, original work by local artists and much more. Sharon Engel, Earl Hamilton and Sandra Jones Campbell are just a few of the artists represented here.
Portlandia flows to the sea as you visit this piece of Rip City's past. Step on board the only remaining operational steam sternwheel tug in the country to learn all about boating while admiring all of the artifacts and exhibits. Take the tugboat tour and hear how old seafarers battled the river currents. If you want to learn more visit their library, the cheerful staff will give provide some interesting bits of information. Visit the gift store and check out the books and nautical themed gifts.
Portland is a sternwheel steam tug, built for the Port of Portland in 1947. The tug is now docked at the Williamette River near downtown Portland and also houses the Oregon Maritime Museum. This historic tug uses paddlewheels to provide propulsion, one of the last few boats built with such a system. Tours of the tug and the museum within are available and the tug also has a library, a gift shop and a children's corner.
This gallery, which opened in 1988, contains unique and beautiful artwork from both local and international artisans. The gallery is family owned and run and has become known in the area as a well-respected place for paintings, glasswork, metal sculptures, prints and more. Each piece is exquisitely displayed without color or other objects distracting your view. A walk through the gallery allows a quiet and reflective time. Displays are ever changing, as each month the gallery chooses a new artist's work to exhibit. One trip is never enough to enjoy Butters Gallery.
Denoted only by the statement "Viva l'Arte" as signage, this young space caters to art of all kinds: live music, performance and installation art, DJs and a surprising array of vegetarian gastronomy. In addition to the edgy mix of entertainment, a selection of good, stiff drinks and a relaxed loft atmosphere await visitors. The crowd harmoniously mixes PSU students and avant-garde gallery sets on any given night. Get there between 4-8pm for appetizer and cocktail specials. Nightly shows (usually with a modest cover) don't begin until 9pm. The kitchen and bar are both open late.
This beautiful, open floor-plan gallery leads immediately downstairs to crisp white walls. With no distraction you can easily browse for quite some time over exquisite artwork and sculptures. Subtle lighting brings out the beauty in each piece of work. Highlighting the colors of oil paintings are details of metal sculptures. Exhibits are held often for new artists or those presenting new work. Details of schedules can be obtained by calling the gallery directly.
Spread across 4500 square feet (418 square meters), the Museum of Contemporary Craft is housed inside a beautiful two story building which is fully equipped with state-of-the-art studios and spaces. Multiple exhibitions are on at any given point of time, and they include all facets of contemporary craft like metal, fiber, glass, ceramics and mixed media. Artists frequently hold interactive discussions and organize events here so check website for details on those.