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?

March 26, 2019
Director of Communications
One of the first works you see when you enter the Albert Brenner Glickman Galleries to view Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago is Juana Valdes’ Under View of the World /El mundo desde abajo. In this deep, blue work, she uses objects such as porcelain figurines and bone china saucers—each one stamped with an identifying mark that often references the country of production—to highlight the global circulation of commodities as a metaphor for colonialism.

In the News

Portland Press Herald
March 28, 2019 |

The Portland Museum of Art is one of four Maine organizations to benefit from a round of federal grants announced Thursday and will use the $100,000 it is receiving from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support its upcoming exhibition about Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.

It’s the first time the museum has received NEH funding for an exhibition, said Graeme Kennedy, the museum’s director of communications. “We’ve received NEH money for special projects in the past, but never for an exhibition. We’re pretty excited,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, announced the funding Thursday morning. The Maine Humanities Council will receive $98,779 to support programming for war veterans, and the Maine State Museum will receive a $95,000 matching grant to help raise additional capital for a planned education center. Saint Joseph’s College in Standish gets $34,995 to support academic programming.

“These competitive grant awards speak to the quality of these organizations and Maine’s remarkable leadership in the arts and humanities,” Pingree said in a news release.

The grants are part of the NEH’s annual funding cycle. The Trump administration has proposed eliminating money for the NEH and National Endowment for the Arts in its budget proposals, Pingree noted. The Maine grants were among 233 humanities projects that received federal funding on Thursday.

Thursday’s announcement means Maine arts groups have received more than $500,000 in federal money since February, when the National Endowment for the Arts announced $205,000 in grants to 11 Maine arts groups. The largest grant in that batch was $40,000 for the Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston.

In addition, this week in Lewiston, the newly formed LA Public Art Working Group met for the first time since receiving a $75,000 Maine Arts Commission Creative Communities = Economic Development grant for the implementation of a regional cultural plan. Community leaders hope the money will help improve the image of Lewiston and Auburn with public art projects.

The Portland Museum of Art opens its Haystack exhibition May 24. “In the Vanguard” will explore the Deer Isle school’s early years and its influence on 20th-century crafts in America. It is organized by PMA curator Diana Greenwold and Rachael Arauz, an art historian and independent curator. The exhibition will include craft objects in a variety of material as well as correspondence, articles, posters, brochures and other items from the school’s archives.