The Portland Art Museum in Oregon has received a landmark gift of $10 million from collector and philanthropist Arlene Schnitzer, making it the largest donation from an individual in the institution’s 127-year history and one of the biggest investments in arts and culture in the region.
“We are so grateful to the Schnitzer family for their leadership in continually reinforcing that the arts are essential for vibrant, equitable communities,” said Brian Ferriso, the museum’s director and chief curator. “This gift, and the gifts it will inspire, will shape the future of the arts in this community in ways we cannot foresee today.”
Schnitzer, a former student of the Museum Art School, and her family are longtime supporters of the museum. They have provided financial support of important acquisitions, exhibitions, and capital campaigns, funded scholarships and the curatorial team through endowments, and gifted their collection of works from China’s Han Dynasty to the museum’s permanent collection.
In recognition of their generosity Arlene and her late husband, Harold Schnitzer, were named the first ever life trustees of the museum in 2007, and the institution opened the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Northwest Art. When asked about what drives her philanthropy, Schnitzer said, “Enough is never enough giving back. And Harold felt it as strongly as I do. And that’s it.”