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

The Portland Museum of Art creates outstanding exhibitions and educational programs to inspire our audiences. We embrace our rich past, dynamic present, and vibrant future to be a vital arts center for the city, region, and nation. Leveraging the strength of our collection, scholarship, and geographic location, we will excel in these distinct areas:

The ongoing exploration of the creative culture of the state of Maine within the context of American art and culture.
The interpretation of European modernism through our collection and programs.
The presentation of progressive exhibitions beyond our collection that address local and global issues.
The integration of our unique architectural campus into the fabric of Portland and the state of Maine.

The Portland Museum of Art strives to engage our audiences in a dialogue about the relevance of art and culture to our lives. Aspiring to facilitate this conversation through exhibitions, programs, and partnerships, we dedicate ourselves to serving and supporting our local and national community. In order to provide a learning environment for our audiences, we commit ourselves to good governance, professional development, and fiscal responsibility.

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

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?

June 29, 2016
Director of PMA Store
The PMA Store offers a number of books and crafts that can help people of all ages find creative inspiration in the outdoors—discover some of them here!

In the News

Portland Press Herald
June 12, 2016 |

This summer, the Portland Museum of Art presents three separate exhibitions that, collectively, examine Modernism from the perspective of home and abroad, as well as Maine’s role in the post-modern art world and its continued influence. The exhibitions tell us something about how we lived, how we changed and how Modernist ideas hatched a century ago present themselves today.