Announcing the David E. Shaw and Family Sculpture Park


Graeme Kennedy
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Seven Congress Square
Portland, Maine 04101
(207) 699-4887

August 5, 2016

Thanks to a generous donation by local business leader, philanthropist, and arts advocate David E. Shaw, the PMA will open the David E. Shaw and Family Sculpture Park in the summer of 2017.

It has long been a wish of the PMA to make the Joan B. Burns Garden—located on High Street and currently closed to the public except for specific museum programming—an outdoor sculpture park available for the entire Portland community to enjoy and explore. Through the Shaw family’s donation, the David E. Shaw and Family Sculpture Park will be accessible to all through a gate on High Street, free to the public, and open year-round during museum hours beginning in summer 2017.

“The Shaw family is pleased to play a leadership role in creating a public sculpture park at the Portland Museum of Art,” shares Shaw. “We do this with great appreciation of the benefit of art to society. This park will provide public access to an artistic oasis in a cultural center of our community.”

Inspired by the upcoming culmination of Your Museum, Reimagined, the PMA’s multiyear project based on improved experiences with the collection, Shaw—an avid collector of sculpture—saw an opportunity to support the museum and permanently impact the greater Portland community. His donation aligns with the direction of the PMA under its new five-year Strategic Plan, which seeks to actively find ways to make the museum’s collection, historic buildings, and campus accessible to all, and to be “a leader in the growth and vibrancy of Portland’s urban and cultural transformation, including the revitalization of the Congress Square neighborhood”.

Through this generosity, the Shaws provide a gift that enables Portland and its surrounding communities to enjoy and to engage with art in a truly unique, intimate, and beautiful setting free of charge—one of the only green spaces in the heart of the arts district. His gift also accelerates the PMA’s plans for more artwork in the park, including acquisitions to be announced later, which will be installed in the park prior to its opening in 2017.

“By sharing his love of sculpture and commitment to Maine,” says PMA Director Mark Bessire, “David has brought art and public access to our community through a vibrant sculpture park in the heart of Portland. In life and business, David's creative thinking and care for people has made him an incredible collector, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. We are extremely thankful for this gift to our museum and city from the Shaw family.”


David Evans Shaw is Managing Partner of Black Point Group with wide-ranging interests in technology companies and public service. His business creation, leadership, investment, and board experience includes more than a dozen technology companies, including IDEXX Laboratories. Shaw’s public service has included the State of Maine executive department, the faculty of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Treasurer of AAAS, the world’s largest general science society, chair of The Jackson Laboratory and trustee of the National Park Foundation. He has travelled extensively around the world and has produced dozens of films on his experiences including a feature film for the National Park Centennial.


Your Museum, Reimagined is a multiyear project based around improved experiences with the PMA collection. The project has included the construction of a new participatory space, The Workshop, the publication of the museum’s first-ever collection catalogue, the launch of The Collection Online, and the opening of the Peggy L. Osher Art Study and Collection Committee Conference Room. This January, the PMA will close for nearly five weeks, reinstalling the collection throughout the entire museum, gallery by gallery. On February 3, 2017, the PMA will welcome visitors back into the museum and unveil the collection in stunning new ways—including new interpretive and educational materials, self-guided tours and multimedia stations, the Harry W. Konkel and Family Welcome Center, and nearly 40% more of the collection on view.

Enhancing the PMA campus 
The PMA campus comprises several architecturally and historically significant buildings in the heart of downtown Portland. One of the elements of Your Museum, Reimagined is to upgrade and preserve these tremendous cultural assets and consider new ways to present these buildings to the public. The PMA will achieve this by instituting processes for infrastructure investment; preparing for already-identified improvement projects and further campus development opportunities; and fostering a “greener” profile in our programs and physical resources. The improvements will include everything from fresh coats of paint and new lighting in the galleries to substantial upgrades to the roof to a more energy-efficient HVAC system. In addition to the buildings themselves, the PMA will rethink its outdoor and public spaces, improving public access and eco-friendliness, and installing art from the collection in new ways. To further these goals, in the summer of 2016 the PMA transitioned to natural fertilizer and organic herbicide in its lawn maintenance, and installed John Bisbee’s sculpture Hearsay in the Joan B. Burns Garden.

PMA Information

With an extensive collection and nationally renowned exhibitions, the Portland Museum of Art is the cultural heart of 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.

The museum is located at Seven Congress Square in downtown Portland.

Summer Hours (beginning May 30): Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Winter Hours (through May 29): Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $15 for students  Everyone age 21 and under is free, through the generosity of Susie Konkel. Admission is free every Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. No admission is required to visit the PMA Café and PMA Store.

Winslow Homer Studio tours are available by reservation. For more information, call (207) 775-6148 or visit For more information on Your Museum, Reimagined, the PMA’s multiyear project focused on improved access to the museum’s collection, visit


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