The JSMA’s collection of Art from the Americas is broad and diverse, ranging from works on paper to paintings, sculpture, ceramics, new and mixed media. Work by 20th and 21st century nationally and internationally recognized U.S. artists includes pieces by Leonard Baskin, George de Forest Brush, William Merritt Chase, Arthur Wesley Dow, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, and Robert Rauschenberg. The collection is especially strong in Pacific Northwest art thanks to generous gifts from arts patron and collector Virginia Haseltine, during the 1970s, and a continued commitment since that time to supporting and showcasing the art produced in and by artists from the Northwest. Works by Morris Graves, Sally Haley, Charles Heaney, Maude Kerns, David McCosh, Carl Morris, C.S. Price, and Mark Tobey are among the highlights of that collection. The JSMA is also the repository for nearly 300 WPA works allocated by the U.S. Government that were commissioned through the New Deal art projects.The museum also collects and presents Latin American art and is developing a strong collection of contemporary Cuban and Mexican art that reflects academic and community interests. The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Gallery of Art from the Americas displays works from the permanent collection as well as select loans. The influences of local, regional, national and international ideas and cultures, the growing importance of technology, response to demographic change, and the professional training of artists are particularly relevant to the work on view.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is the single largest repository of art works and related archival materials on David McCosh. This important collection contains almost two thousand paintings, watercolors, drawings, and sketches that are presently available for research.