About the PMA

The Portland Museum of Art strives to enrich the lives of people through acquisition, preservation, and interpretation of the visual arts and the museum's architecturally significant buildings.

With an extensive collection and nationally renowned exhibitions, the Portland Museum of Art is the cultural heart of Portland, Maine. The PMA boasts significant holdings of American, European, and contemporary art, as well as iconic works from Maine—highlighting the rich artistic tradition of the state and its artists. The museum brings it all to life with unparalleled programming. From special members-only events, Free School Tours, and a commitment to family activities to PMA Films, curator talks, and exclusive tours of the Winslow Homer Studio—it’s all happening at the PMA.

Our Vision Statement

The Portland Museum of Art is an institution steeped in rich cultural history and alert to the opportunities of the future. Our collection guides our exhibitions and educational programs and gives shape to our institutional identity. As a vibrant art institution in the heart of a great American city, we also maintain a steadfast commitment to our community and to our region. PMA audiences can experience the richness of Maine’s artistic legacy and our region’s cultural history, while enlarging their worlds through bridges that extend beyond the borders of Maine and New England. We believe that art can help us understand the vital relationship between the local and the global, and can anchor us as we seek to interpret the most pressing issues of our time.

Across every department, our work at the PMA is informed by our respect for artwork and art makers; by our high level of attention to the complexity of art and history; and by our engagement with our audiences and community, in the past, present, and future.

A Message From Our Director

Dear Members,

Have you explored all there is to do at the PMA right now, and seen everything there is to see?

There are more ways to take control of your PMA experience than ever before—and the beauty of being a member is that you can return as often as you like, knowing that every time you come back, you can explore the museum in all-new ways.

You can bring the kids and create art in the new installation in The Workshop, and take them to see the animal kingdom in Modern Menagerie. You can meet friends for a PMA360 or PMA Film, and let our guests and collaborators surprise you with the possibilities of all that can happen at your museum. You can bask in Maine’s cultural heritage with a special discussion in conjunction with our exhibition Skowhegan at Seventy. Or you can simply stroll through the galleries with loved ones or alone, discovering art in new nooks and crannies, and letting the PMA collection inspire you.

However you make your PMA experience, make sure to visit our summer exhibition. O’Keeffe, Stettheimer, Torr, Zorach: Women Modernists in New York is a rare opportunity to see four renowned artists alongside one another and explore their practices individually and together. Ever since our 2013 exhibition The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste of Modernism, our members have asked for another major exhibition of modernist painting. We’ve listened, and this is one you will remember.

Your loyalty and support mean everything to us, and as always, we thank you for your membership. The spring has been a smash, the summer is going to be spectacular—and it’s all because of you.

 Mark H. C. Bessire, Director

In June 2015, the PMA was awarded an Assessment Grant from the Grants to Green Maine program, a partnership between the Maine Development Foundation’s Maine Downtown Center, Efficiency Maine and the Maine Community Foundation.

The Grants to Green Maine program provides environmentally focused knowledge and funding to strengthen nonprofits located in historic buildings in downtowns in Maine, and has helped the PMA commission an Energy Audit, from local engineering firm Sparhawk Group. This assessment is identifying opportunities for the Museum to institute energy conservation measures, furthering its commitment to being a sustainable organization and allowing more of its resources to be directed to its core mission.

Grants to Green Maine is a partnership between the Maine Development Foundation’s Maine Downtown Center, Efficiency Maine and the Maine Community Foundation and is funded by Kendeda Fund of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

Become a Member

Members enable the PMA to provide spectacular programming, unique exhibitions, and remarkable events. They believe in the transformative power of the arts. They value community. If this sounds like you, we invite you to explore the many levels of membership available at the PMA and become a part of something special.

Museum History & Architecture

Photo by Craig Becker

Originally founded as the Portland Society of Art, the Museum used a variety of exhibition spaces until 1908. That year Mrs. Margaret Jane Mussey Sweat bequeathed her three-story mansion, now known as the McLellan House, and sufficient funds to create a gallery in memory of her late husband, Lorenzo de Medici Sweat. Noted New England architect John Calvin Stevens designed the L. D. M. Sweat Memorial Galleries, which opened to the public in 1911.

Contact Us

Portland Museum of Art
Seven Congress Square
Portland, Maine 04101
(207) 775-6148
(207) 773-7324 Fax
info@portlandmuseum.org

Key Facts & Stats

Founded in 1882

Located in the downtown arts district in Portland, Maine

Maine's largest and oldest public art institution, founded in 1882

With more than 8,000 members, the PMA boasts a strong base of loyal support both locally and regionally

Recognized as "one of the best medium-size museums in New England," by Boston Globe

Largest collection of European art north of Boston

Comprehensive collection of Winslow Homer's graphics

140,000 visitors per year

Nearly 6,000 schoolchildren per year

More than 18,000 objects of fine and decorative arts in the collection, dating from the 18th-century to the present

Approximately 10 changing exhibitions per year

What's Going on at the PMA?

July 14, 2016
Susan Donnell and Harry W. Konkel Assistant Curator of European Art
Curator Andrew Eschelbacher describes what makes "Georges Braque: Surface and Space" such a unique focus installation.

In the News

National Museum of Women in the Arts Magazine
July 21, 2016 |

The intersecting careers of Georgia O'Keeffe, Florine Stettheimer, Helen Torr, and Marguerite Zorach coincided with new conceptions of femininity and womanhood in American society. This exhibition showcases sixty works by these pioneering American modernists working in New York between 1910 and 1935.