Portland, January 29th, 2016. Collectors, art enthusiasts, and Portland Art Museum supporters gathered for the Portland Fine Print Fair benefit preview. At the event, David O’Donoghue of Stoney Road Press explains a print to Museum Trustee Mark Frandsen and his wife, Katherine. The Fair featured thousands of prints from top North American and European galleries. Benefit preview proceeds support the activities of the Museum’s Graphic Arts department. Fair admission was also free to the public on January 30th and 31st. (photo credit, Nina Johnson)

Portland Art Museum  Portland Fine Print Fair benefit preview crowd.

Portland Art Museum Portland Fine Print Fair benefit preview crowd.

Preview benefit attendee browsing prints.

Preview benefit attendee browsing prints.

Portland Art Museum Curator of Asian Art, Maribeth Graybill with Pete Shinbach.

Portland Art Museum Curator of Asian Art, Maribeth Graybill with Pete Shinbach.

The oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest, the Portland Art Museum was founded in late 1892 when seven leaders from Portland’s business and cultural institutions created the Portland Art Association. The goal of the Association was to create a first-class art museum that would be accessible to all citizens.

The Museum purchased its first collection, approximately one hundred plaster casts of Greek and Roman sculptures, with a gift of $10,000 from prominent local citizen Henry Corbett. Two other local citizens, Winslow B. Ayer and his wife, selected the casts during a trip to Europe after receiving advice from professionals at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

This initial collection purchased by Ayer, named the Corbett Collection, went on display in the Portland Art Museum’s first location in a public library at SW 7th and Stark streets. It immediately became one of Portland’s most important and popular cultural resources, attracting art groups, school field trips, and large lecture audiences.

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