Portland, April 12th, 2013. The Portland Art Museum hosted the innovative event NEW FOR THE WALL: An Evening to Acquire Works for the Collection. Life Trustee Arlene Schnitzer and Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art, conversed at the novel affair. Each of the Museum’s seven curators selected a collection-worthy work of art that they wanted to see added to the permanent collection. Sponsorships and ticket sales for the dinner provided the funds to purchase two works selected from the curators’ choices. During the evening, guests viewed the seven works, heard spirited presentations from the curators, and voted on objects to become part of the Museum’s collection.
The event was filled with drama and suspense as each of the guests considered their choices. But before any votes were cast, there was a surprise announcement that Mia Hervin Moore had just stepped forward to purchase the Japanese painting by Itō Jakuchū—the choice of Curator Maribeth Graybill—for the Museum in honor of her late mother Maria Easterly Hervin.
“The evening brought the Museum’s collection to center stage and changed its history through the acquisition of these three important works. The event’s patrons have enriched our community through their choices,” observed Chief Curator Bruce Guenther.
After two tense rounds of voting, the attendees selected the exquisite 1518 engraving by Albrecht Durer—presented by Curator Mary Weaver Chapin—and Irving Penn’s iconic photographic portrait of artist Marcel Duchamp, which was offered by Curator Julia Dolan.
A Daughter Honors Her Mother with Gift of Art
At the NEW for the WALL event Mia Hervin Moore purchased the 18th- century Japanese painting Carp Ascending a Waterfall, presented by Curator Maribeth Graybill, will now become part of the Museum’s permanent collection.
Mia purchased the painting for the Museum in honor of her late mother Maria Easterly Hervin. According to Moore, her mother believed in the beauty and richness of life and her life embodied those convictions. A woman of grace, both inside and out, she loved art and the Museum. The simplicity and beauty of Japanese art and culture captured her heart and led her to join the Museum’s Asian Art Council in 1991.
Maria was an accomplished business woman in the 1950s and 60s. At a time when it was rare for a woman to lead a business venture – Maria opened and ran The Maria Easterly Studio, a highly respected modeling and finishing school. Maria is still remembered today by women who attended her school as the person who gave them poise, confidence, and the grace to succeed in life whatever their aspirations.
“When I saw this painting of a carp leaping up a waterfall I felt that it captured the indomitable spirit of my mother—a woman who struggled upstream for success and then went on to empower and encourage other women in their journeys,” said Moore. “This beautiful painting reflects the essence of my mother’s determination and achievements both personally and professionally.”
The Museum is grateful for this beautiful gift which will enrich the Asian art collection and honor a longtime supporter in perpetuity.
About the Portland Art Museum:
Founded in late 1892, the Portland Art Museum is the seventh oldest museum in the United States and the oldest in the Pacific Northwest. The Museum is internationally recognized for its permanent collection and ambitious special exhibitions, drawn from the Museum’s holdings and the world’s finest public and private collections.
The Museum’s collection of more than 42,000 objects, displayed in 112,000 square feet of galleries, reflects the history of art from ancient times to today. The collection is distinguished for its holdings of art of the native peoples of North America, English silver, and the graphic arts. An active collecting institution dedicated to preserving great art for the enrichment of future generations, the Museum devotes 90 percent of its gallery space to its permanent collection.
The Museum’s campus of landmark buildings, a cornerstone of Portland’s cultural district, includes the Jubitz Center for Modern and Contemporary Art, the Gilkey Center for Graphic Arts, and the Northwest Film Center. With a membership of over 23,000 households and serving more than 350,000 visitors annually, the Museum is a premier venue for education in the visual arts.