European Collection
The permanent collection of European art at the PMA includes primarily French and German art of the 19th and 20th centuries, with particular strengths in French Impressionism and German Expressionism. The Museum's holdings are generously augmented by long-term loans from individuals, which collectively provide a rich history of modern French art, including Impressionism through Surrealism. Works on paper are light sensitive, and therefore are exhibited occasionally for only brief periods of time. The Portland Museum of Art is the only institution in Maine to organize large-scale European exhibitions that bring to the state art from around the nation and abroad.

The Isabelle and Scott Black Collection
The Albert Otten Collection
The Joan Whitney Payson Collection

Isabelle and Scott Black Collection
Maine native and Boston resident Scott Black has developed an exceptional collection of impressionist, post-impressionist, and modernist works over the past 20 years, beginning with his purchase in 1985 of an Auguste Rodin sculpture. Since that time the collection has grown to include major examples of the work of Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, Fernand Leger, Joan Miro, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, and Paul Signac, among many others. The Museum is most fortunate to have the opportunity to exhibit many of these works, since they allow the Museum to tell the story of French 19th- and 20th-century painting, moving from Impressionism through Cubism to Surrealism.

View Collection

The Albert Otten Collection
On view at the Museum since 1993, the collection created by Albert Otten is on loan from his son, Leslie Otten. This collection surveys important developments in European art from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century, focusing especially on art from Germany. This unique collection includes paintings, sculptures, and works on paper and boasts a broad subject matter, ranging from landscapes and figure studies to still lifes. Among the artists included are Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Max Pechstein.

View Collection

The Joan Whitney Payson Collection
In 1991 the Museum received The Joan Whitney Payson Collection of works by such artists as Gustave Courbet, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley. The Payson collection has allowed visitors to discover, study, and enjoy Impressionist, post Impressionist, and Modernist paintings of a caliber seen nowhere else in Maine public collections. The Museum shares this collection with the Colby College Museum of Art at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.