Fifty Years of Pacific Northwest Sculpture on View at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art


“Shaping the Collection” is on view through September 4, 2016 and includes a lecture by Professor Emeritus Ken O’Connell


EUGENE, Ore. -- (February 3, 2016) – The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art showcases sculpture from Pacific Northwest artists in “Shaping the Collection: 50 Years of Pacific Northwest Sculpture at the JSMA,” on view through September 4, 2016.


On Wednesday, February 24, at 5:30pm, a lecture by Ken O’Connell, Professor Emeritus, UO Department of Art, will be held at the museum. His talk will highlight the artists represented in the exhibition and share stories from the history of the University of Oregon’s sculpture department.  His overview of Oregon artists’ work in private and public collections will include a discussion of materials ranging from wood and clay to computer-aided sculpture.


Curated by Danielle Knapp, McCosh Associate Curator, the works on display explore the variety of materials and artistic practices prominent in Oregon and Washington since the mid-twentieth century. Experimentation is a common thread in this exhibition with an emphasis on the fluidity between artistic disciplines.


Robert Sperry (1927-98) painted in the style of the Abstract Expressionists before embarking on an innovative career in ceramics. The bold three-dimensional forms of Mel Katz (born 1932), fabricated in steel, Formica, or other industrial materials, bring his line drawings into real space. Reinterpretations of the human figure and natural world are also present. For former UO professor Jan Zach (1914-86), the human condition, the female form, and plant life and natural phenomena inspired expressive wood and metal creations. Christine Bourdette (born 1952), whose early paintings engaged spatial concepts,  playfully abstracts or simplifies the human figure as a tool for political exploration and philosophical meditation in her sculptures and installations.


The exhibition includes selections from the Virginia Haseltine Collection of Pacific Northwest art, gifts from artists, new purchases and art acquired with the assistance of The Ford Family Foundation through a special grant program managed by the Oregon Arts Commission.


“The twenty-five artists represented in this exhibition reflect only a small cross-section of the JSMA’s collection of regional sculpture, but a gathering of their works pays homage to the legacy of Haseltine’s vision,” says Knapp. “All are considered artists of the Pacific Northwest due to their individual contributions to the regional arts ecology and their personal and professional ties to the area. Many spent significant portions of their lives here, but their works reflect their diverse backgrounds, educations, and lasting impacts in and beyond the region.”


Virginia Haseltine’s name is synonymous with the collection of Pacific Northwest art at the JSMA. A show of her impressive holdings, titled “Pacific Northwest Art: The Haseltine Collection,” was exhibited at the University of Oregon Museum of Art (now JSMA) in 1963. Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, she made generous gifts of contemporary works to the museum collection, and her endowment has provided additional support for acquisitions. The JSMA continues to follow her shining example of thoughtfully and enthusiastically recognizing the work of the finest artists of the region.



About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest museum for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public.  The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to art from China, Japan, Korea, the Americas and Europe as well as changing special exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is one of six museums in Oregon accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.


The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.


About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.


JSMA: Debbie Williamson Smith, 541-346-0942,


Links: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,