|The Hallie Ford Museum of Art was
established with funds provided by the Ford Family Foundation
and Hallie Ford, by Mrs. Truman W. Collins, by Melvin Henderson-Rubio
and by others who have endowed particular galleries and the
art history lecture room.
The Art Museum is located at 700 State Street, one block
west of the Willamette University Art Building in Salem. Redesigned
as the museum in 1997-98, the International Style building
was constructed in 1965 as the offices for Pacific Northwest
Bell. The structure contains some 27,000 square feet on three
levels ( including basement); it features marble cladding
on its second story and, at ground level, a screen wall of
brown brick that encloses a garden surrounding the building.
Originally designed by Salem architect James L. Payne, its
interior has been entirely redesigned as a museum by Soderstrom
Architects of Portland.
Establishing the museum sets the stage for developing
the art collection over time. The current collection is based
on objects collected throughout the 20th century (the Byrd
and Polanski collections of Native American Art, acquired
in the 1940s, for example), works purchased with funds provided
by Elmer Young, Mrs. Truman Collins and Hallie Ford, and the
major gift of the Mark and Janeth Hogue Sponenburgh Study
Collection of Art, donated in 1990. Dan and Nancy Schneider
have donated American paintings and sculptures as well as
numerous European and American prints beginning in 1994. In
addition, collections of the work by a particular artist have
been donated in recent years by Ruth Dennis Grover, Jack and
Barbara McLarty and the families of the artists Constance
Fowler, Jeanne Moment, Stella Douglas, Donald Bunse, Mark
Morrison and others. Many additional donors have given or
agreed to give in the future a particular individual work.
A major future gift is the Leo Michelson collection of contemporary
art - several hundred paintings, prints and sculptures mostly
by Pacific Northwest artists.
The Museum Galleries
The Hallie Ford Museum of Art contains six galleries reflecting
the range of the developing art collection and mission of
the museum. Exhibitions will present works from the permanent
collections as well as pieces loaned to the museum.
· The Carl Hall Gallery of Pacific Northwest and American
Art features historical and contemporary art of this region
and beyond. The nucleus of this collection is the work of
the painter Carl Hall, who taught at Willamette from 1947-86
and was a mayor interpreter of the terrain of the Willamette
Valley and Oregon coast, and the work of his predecessor,
Constancy E. Fowler, who established the Willamette art department
in its current form in 1935.
· The Native American Gallery presents the University's
long-time holdings of Pacific Northwest and Southwest basketry,
together with new acquisitions of contemporary and traditional
Native arts. The gallery also hosts traveling exhibitions
of Native American art from within and beyond the Pacific
· The Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery will present traveling
exhibitions, one-person shows by regional artists, including
those on the Willamette faculty, the annual World Views exhibition
and the Senior Art Majors exhibition each Spring.
· The General Collections Gallery features a range
of European and Asian art, including the Ancient, European,
Middle Eastern and Asian portions of the Sponenburgh Collection.
Willamette's collection of French Barbizon paintings is also
exhibited in the gallery.
· The Print Study Room houses and displays works on
paper, including prints, drawings and photographs.
· The Study Gallery provides the setting for cameo
exhibits of a small number of works related to a particular
course or assignment or exhibitions curated by students.
· In addition to the galleries, the museum will house
the Roger P. Hull Art History Lecture Room (endowed by an
anonymous alumnus), a spacious lobby, executive offices and
storage and curatorial rooms in the basement.
The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is intended as a resources for
the entire Willamette campus and the Salem and Willamette
Valley community at large. Located one block from campus,
across the street from the State Capitol, near Salem's downtown
business district and on the city bus route, the Museum is
positioned to reach out to a variety of constituencies. It
addresses the scholarly and aesthetic needs of the University
while offering the Oregon community access to regional, contemporary
and art historical collections - with all the opportunities
for learning, reflecting and enjoying that such collections
can provide. The Museum is particularly committed to reaching
out to school children and providing opportunities for them,
their parents and teachers to view original works of art in
a well-designed museum setting. The mission of this museum
is educational - for individuals of all ages.
Compiled by Virginia Green
Brochure, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University.
No date indicated.
Photo by David Goodson, 2001