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Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Willamette University Salem, Oregon
 
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 Building
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.

The Collection
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 Northwest.

· 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 Mission
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

Bibliography:
Brochure, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University. No date indicated.

Photo by David Goodson, 2001

 

 
Hallie Ford Art Museum
Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University
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