Richard Estes at Portland Museum of Art

In a town of Portland’s size, it’s rare to have an art museum that is as well curated as the Portland Museum of Art. We find ourselves continually impressed with both the exhibitions and the events the museum sponsors. In the last month alone, we’ve been wowed by the photorealist paintings of Richard Estes and even had the chance to hear Alex Katz speak in person.

Coming off the heels of last night’s fantastic midsummer party with the museum’s Contemporaries group, we thought we’d share another PMA summer highlight – Third Thursdays. We attended last month’s Third Thursday garden party and took advantage of the museum’s extended hours by roaming the galleries, which we essentially had to ourselves. Tonight’s festivities will feature bluegrass music by Darlin’ Corey and a lecture by director, Mark Bessire, on the role of the museum in the 21st century.

If you’re looking for a slight change of pace from your typical Thursday evenings, or haven’t had the opportunity to visit the museum and see its newest collections, we highly recommend that you take advantage of tonight’s event and keep an eye open for the upcoming Third Thursdays this summer!

Third Thursdays at the Portland Museum of Art

Portland Museum of Art

Portland Maine Museum of Art

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Edgar Degas Portland Museum of Art

Over the weekend, Mere and I made time to do something we regretfully haven’t done in quite a while, and spent an afternoon at the Portland Museum of Art. Meredith had been really interested in catching the Making Faces photography exhibit before it left next week, and we’d both heard great things about the Edgar Degas exhibit, so we made sure to set aside a few hours on Saturday to get in touch with our sophisticated sides.

I’m pretty sure that Impressionism brought us to the museum the last time we visited, and yet again, it left us wowed. The collection of works by Degas and some of his closest friends and fellow artists was a beautiful presentation of impressionist drawings, prints, and pastels on paper.

The Making Faces exhibit upstairs will only be around until April 8th, but is definitely worth a visit if you can find the time before then (don’t forget that admission is always free on Friday’s between 5-9pm). The sizable collection of photographs of famous artists and actors is impressive, and seeing the pairings of many of the artist’s portraits beside their own works, lent a sense of personality and familiarity with the artist behind the work, instead of just the work itself.

While the temporary exhibits might have been the reason to get us through the door on this trip, it’s hard to ignore the museum’s incredible permanent collection. Monet, Renoir, Kandinsky, Picasso, Calder, and many, many more – names you’d expect to see at much bigger institutions – can be found on the walls (and from the ceiling), around every corner. Portland never ceases to amaze me in it’s size-defying manner of major city offerings. Spend a day, or afternoon, at the museum (so much easier now that the Museum Café by Aurora Provisions can be found downstairs), and I guarantee that you’ll feel the same way.

Portland Museum of Art

Doisneau at PMA

Making Faces Making Art


Monet at Portland Museum of Art

Portland Maine Museum of Art

Calder at Portland Museum of Art

Tanja Hollander

Aurora Provisions Museum Cafe

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