About the PMA

The Portland Museum of Art strives to engage audiences in a dialogue about the relevance of art and culture to our everyday lives and is committed to the stewardship and growth of the collection.

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 events, family activities, and community conversations to PMA Films, curator talks, and tours of the Winslow Homer Studio—it’s all happening at the PMA.

About "Art for All"

Art for All is an initiative that supports the PMA's dedication to being an open, accessible, inclusive, and welcoming museum for all, through exhibitions and programs that reflect our community and create experiences with art that strengthen our bonds and bring us together.

Exhibitions in 2018 that are supported by Art for All include the 2018 Portland Museum of Art Biennial and Painter and Poet: The Art of Ashley Bryan.

If you would like to be a sponsor or donor for Art for All, please email our Philanthropy department or call it at (207) 699-7148.

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

Along with all of the incredible exhibitions, programs, and special events at the PMA, there is another thing that makes your museum among the best in the country: our staff and volunteers.

What you experience at this museum is a direct result of the dedication and passion of our staff and volunteers. Programs such as Art in Bloom, exhibitions such as the 2018 PMA Biennial, and initiatives such as the Susie Konkel Pass are created by this exceptionally creative and collaborative team, which cares deeply about our mission and the role of the PMA within our community, in our state, and across the nation.

Their work is on full display with a full slate of exhibitions that collectively offer robust and well-rounded arts experiences: Beyond the Pedestal: Isamu Noguchi and the Borders of Sculpture, Painter and Poet: The Art of Ashley Bryan, and Americans Abroad: 1860-1915. It’s reflected in the wide-ranging programming and events we are offering, from the Beautiful Blackbird play to the exceptional PMA Films slate. It can be seen in the care put into the latest Workshop installation, Objects in Space, which invites you to add your voice to the museum.

Most important, it’s seen in their interaction with you, our members. I wanted to share my pride in our staff with you because they represent what the PMA is all about: a vibrant and energetic group with varying perspectives who are passionate about building a culture that enables this institution and Maine to grow. No matter who you are, how you live, or what you believe in, there’s always been a place for you at the PMA, and that principle holds true in our offices, boardrooms, call centers, and galleries alike.

Thank you,

 Mark H. C. Bessire, Judy and Leonard Lauder Director


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 Maine's rich arts community, as well as the region's diversity and the wide range of perspectives you find in the community and at the museum. They appreciate the freedom to visit the PMA anytime, and the ability to share the museum with friends and loved ones.

If this sounds like you, we invite you to explore the many levels of membership available at the PMA and become a part of everything we do.

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

Portland Museum of Art
99 Spring Street
Portland, ME 04101

(207) 775-6148
(207) 773-7324 Fax

What's Going on at the PMA?

October 4, 2018
Brand Manager
Now in the PMA Store: the Akari light sculptures of Isamu Noguchi, available as part of "Beyond the Pedestal: Isamu Noguchi and the Borders of Sculpture." But what are they? Learn here.

In the News

October 17, 2018 |

In the 1950s, when Ashley Bryan first came by boat to summer on Maine’s Great Cranberry Island, he recalled, “I had my boxes and things, someone reached for it and passed it to another and then to another till it reached the dock at the top. And I said, ‘Oh my, it’s a chain of hands, just as it is at home.’ So I was immediately at home.”

By home, the celebrated African American children’s book author and illustrator was thinking of the Bronx, New York, where he grew up during the Depression. Born in 1923, he was the second of six children of immigrant parents from Antigua who taught him “never let anything stop you.” They lived in tenement apartments “in which we knew everyone on the four or five stories. And everyone looked after everyone.”