The Portland Art Museum announced today that it will expand, connecting the museum’s two freestanding buildings, and that it will begin a 20-year art lending partnership with Mark Rothko’s children, Christopher and Kate. The partnership will allow the museum to exhibit important Rothko paintings from his children’s private collection on a rotating basis.
As part of the expansion, the museum will construct an elaborate thoroughfare: a three-story glass pavilion named in honor of Rothko containing 9,840 square feet of gallery space. The pavilion and the partnership will honor Rothko’s longstanding association with Portland and the museum, where he attended art classes as a teenager and later received the first solo exhibition of his work.
In order to fund the expansion, which is scheduled to begin in 2018, the museum has launched a public endowment campaign. So far, they’ve raised $21.75 million of the $50 million required, and $5.4 million toward its $25 million endowment goal.
In a press statement, Brian Ferriso, the museum’s director and chief curator, elaborated on the plans for the Rothko Pavilion, noting that it will “bring together the elements of the Portland Art Museum’s mission: to present exceptional works of art, develop exhibitions that take new perspectives on human creativity, and increase public accessibility and inclusion.”