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Object Stories

An exploration of the relationships between people and objects, Object Stories is a chance to hear multiple voices and perspectives drawn together to respond to a single theme.

Hear the Object Stories at


#captureParklandia: Experiments in Green Space

From June 28 though October 19, 2014, the Object Stories gallery will feature #captureParklandia: Experiments in Green Space, an exhibition developed in conjunction with the current special exhibition The Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden (on view June 14 - September 21) and the Instagram project #captureParklandia.

About the exhibit:

“Cities have the capacity of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everyone.” —Jane Jacobs, 20th-century urban studies author and activist

A city’s identity is cast in its public green spaces. Portland’s spaces, like the Tuileries Garden in Paris, are vital for art, political movements, and social experimentation. Here, grass-roots green space experiments blanket the metro region, from Star Trek episode reenactments founded in the city’s NE quadrant to an urban goat sanctuary in the SE industrial area. These experiments, and others, create a unique description of the city: a Parklandia.

Portlanders’ kaleidoscopic use of these spaces reflects a healthy city responsive to adaptation and growth. This exhibition tells the stories of a select few Portlanders and their green space experiments. We hope you are inspired to share with us your vision of Portland’s public green spaces. Capture these experiences in a photo and post them to Instagram with the hashtag #captureParklandia. Visit old favorites or explore new ones, and capture Parklandia.


Past Exhibitions

Revival/Remix: Portland’s Period Music Scene

From March 12 through June 22, 2014, the Object Stories gallery will feature Revival/Remix: Portland’s Period Music Scene, an exhibition developed in conjunction with the current special exhibition Venice: The Golden Age of Art and Music.

Nestled among Portland's many artistic communities is an assembly of players, instrument builders, and composers who make up the city’s Renaissance and Baroque music scene. Spanning large-scale orchestras to intimate quartets, their goal is to revive period music and to remix this tradition to craft innovative sounds. The Object Stories gallery offers you a peek into the musical process and its personal significance for this creative community of friends, peers, and students. To listen to these stories, visit and type “Venice” into the Search field.

As you listen to these stories from Portland's period music community, we invite you to think about how you might remix tradition and history in your own life.


Listening to the Ancestors

Naya students selecting objectsIn the fall of 2013, the Portland Art Museum launched a partnership with the Native American Youth Association (NAYA) Family Center’s Early College Academy to connect urban Indian, high school-aged youth and the art from the Museum’s widely recognized Native American collections.

Research has shown that engagement with cultural objects affirms Native American youth's sense of identity, which has been linked to better performance in school and a broad range of other personal positive effects. With nearly 40,000 Native Americans living in the Portland metropolitan area—over half of them under the age of 18—the Museum created an opportunity for a group of NAYA youth to explore their sense of identity and cultural pride through the Museum’s community-based interpretive platform of Object Stories.

Each participating student was asked to choose an object from the Museum’s Native American collection that resonated with them in some meaningful way, conduct research on the work, and then record their personal narratives about the artwork. The stories created by Native youth are being presented along with their selected artworks in the Museum’s Object Stories gallery as well as online at

In addition to the student stories, three Oregon native mentors—including NAYA Cultural Arts Instructors and an elder from the Native community—recorded stories connected to objects in the collection, accessible to visitors via a new iPad listening station in the permanent collection galleries where these objects are on view.

The experiences and stories that are part of the "Listening to the Ancestors" project offer an alternative perspective on these beautiful works of Native American art and provide an avenue for understanding historic Native art in the context of the modern urban, Indian experience.

You can find the stories for this project by entering “NAYA” into the Search field at

Portland Art Museum

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10 a.m.-5 p.m.
10 a.m.-8 p.m.
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10 a.m.-5 p.m.
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The Museum will be closed on Labor Day (Monday, September 1).

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