The Beautiful Faces of the Portland Art Museum

The Beautiful Faces of the Portland Art Museum

Assignment headshot photography for the Portland Art Museum

Location:  Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon

SettingTrustee Room, looking out on the Fall landscape of the Park Blocks

Models:  open staff call for headshots

Highlights It’s the one place in Portland where sunlight illuminates the faces in portraits even on the gloomiest winter days.  I do love the Portland Art Museum.   Now in the midst of a major remodeling, its permanent collections are closed until 2025, offering instead a series of rotating exhibits (currently featuring Africa Fashion).  When the full museum reopens, the new Rothko Pavilion will highlight a community common space in a 3-story high, Louvre-like glass atrium, along with 90,000 added or remodeled square feet of museum space.

The dramatic remodeling will breathe new energy into an ailing downtown.  Beset by three years of pandemic, rising homelessness, drug use, crime and the attrition of shops and businesses, Portland is struggling to change course.  The Portland Art Museum will help.

On a cloudy November day, Kerri Garfield and I photographed almost half the Portland Art Museum staff:   curators,  archivists, security staff, exhibit hangers, the Chief Financial Officer, the Director of Learning and Community Partnerships, and a lighting technician.  They were inspiring.  Sincere.  Funny.  Animated.…. as if emerging from the sunlit portraits on the walls and making jokes about appearing awkward in front of a camera.  

The camera didn’t see it that way.   They are among the most beautiful faces I’ve ever photographed.

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