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 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

When I first started at the Portland Museum of Art in 2009, one of my major goals was to reinstall the collection. I knew it would be a long-term project and would require the efforts of many talented and generous people—but I also knew it was vital to bringing the PMA into this current moment in time. As Portland has emerged from one of the east coast’s best-kept secrets to a real player on the national and global stage, Portland’s museum needed to make a similar transition alongside it, opening itself up to welcome as wide a range of people as possible. It needed to not only be a safe space for personal moments with exceptional works of art, but also a brave space, that champions freedom of expression. The museum needed to be reimagined.

After years of preparation, we have spent all of January reinstalling our entire collection—essentially, we built a new building, only without the building. Now that it’s finished, I am so proud and excited to share it with you. From the moment you check into the new Konkel Family Welcome Center, you’ll enjoy an experience unlike any we’ve offered. You’ll find more art on view than ever before. You’re going to see old favorites in new places, and presented in new ways. If you’re a first-time visitor, you’re going to want to come back, and you’ve been a lifelong member, you’re going to fall in love all over again.

It couldn’t happen without the generosity of countless people, businesses, organizations, and government agencies; tireless work from our incredibly gifted staff members and volunteers; and of course, a tremendous Board of Trustees. I hope when you visit, you read the full list of donors and sponsors here and take pride in the fact that your community recognizes the importance in what we do—that art brings us together, is what makes us us, and needs to be supported now more than ever. I’m extremely grateful to live in such a community.

The most exciting thing about the completion of Your Museum, Reimagined is that it’s now out of our hands, and into yours. I can’t wait to learn what stories you tell with the collection, and what discoveries you make. As I’ve said for years, the key word was never “reimagined,” but “your.”

Welcome to your new PMA.

Thank you,

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

February 15, 2018
Director of Communications

In the News

The Forecaster
February 19, 2018 |

PORTLAND — Some people have their noses out of joint because the 2018 Portland Museum of Art Biennial (through May 30) prominently features minority artists and a lot of socially engaged art.

But contemporary art is a progressive cultural force, so it should come as no surprise that the art community in Maine, like the art community world-wide, has been mobilized by the election of President Donald J. Trump and the triumph of ignorance and prejudice that it represents.