20th Anniversary Celebration


On the occasion of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art’s twentieth anniversary this fall, and in recognition of its extraordinary success as both Willamette University and Salem’s museum of art, the museum is pleased to invite you to enjoy our exhibitions with free museum admission October 2 through October 7, 2018, as well as special events including complimentary lectures and gallery talks. 

Special Anniversary Events

October 2 - 7 | Free Admission

Enjoy free museum admission throughout our anniversary week.

October 3 | Official Anniversary

  • Enjoy extended hours (10 a.m. - 8 p.m.)
  • Cake and refreshments throughout the day
  • Guided tours of the permanent collections 

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      11 am: 
      Join docent Sharon Rose for a thematic tour focusing on iconography throughout the permanent galleries
      | MORE INFORMATION |

    • Event Image
      1 pm: 
      Join docent Sharon Rose for a thematic tour focusing on the Carl Hall Gallery
      | MORE INFORMATION |

October 3 | Lecture 

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art: Looking Back, Looking Forward
John Olbrantz
The Maribeth Collins Director of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in the Roger Hull Lecture Hall
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 7 p.m.
Roger Hull Lecture Hall in the Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Free and open to the public

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October 10 | Lecture

A History of Collaboration:
Indigenous Art and Artists at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art
 
Rebecca Dobkins
Professor of Anthropology and Curator of Native American Art
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.
Roger Hull Lecture Hall in the Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Free and open to the public

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October 11 | Signature Fall Lecture 

University Museums: Doors that Open Both Ways
James Cuno
President and chief executive officer of the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles
Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Hudson Concert Hall in the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center at Willamette University
Free and open to the public

On the occasion of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art’s twentieth anniversary this fall, and in recognition of its extraordinary success as both Willamette University and Salem’s museum of art, James Cuno will examine the physical and institutional structures that distinguish university museums from all others.

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Exhibitions

 

Mickalene Thomas (American, born 1971), "I've Been Good to Me" (detail), 2015

Witness: Themes of Social Justice in Contemporary Printmaking and Photography from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation
September 15 – December 20, 2018
Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery
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Robert Von Neumann (American, 1888-1976), "The Six Net Menders" (detail), 1935

Strength and Dignity: Images of the Worker from the Permanent Collection
July 28 – October 20, 2018
Study Gallery and Print Study Center


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Enrique Chagoya, “Expresses Nothing But the Self” (detail), 2015

Enrique Chagoya: Reverse Anthropology
November 2, 2018 – January 27, 2019
Study Gallery and Print Study Center


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Additional Fall Lectures



LeRonn Brooks
Assistant Professor, African and African American Studies, Lehman College of the City University of New York 
September 29, 2018
5 pm, Paulus Lecture Hall, Willamette University College of Law
Free and open to the public
More information


Artist Lecture with Hung Liu

November 1, 2018
7:30 pm, Paulus Lecture Hall, Willamette University College of Law
Free and open to the public
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Artist Lecture with Alison Saar

November 15, 2018
7:30 pm, Paulus Lecture Hall, Willamette University College of Law
Free and open to the public
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Additional Fall Events

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Tuesday Gallery Talks
These complimentary docent guided talks take place every Tuesday starting Sept. 11 and continue through Dec. 18 and commence at 12:30 p.m.

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Family Activity Day |  October 13 | Noon - 4 p.m.
Families are invited to participate in various hands-on art activities that celebrate the Hallie Ford Museum of Art's Permanent Collections. 

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Anniversary Message from
Director John Olbrantz 



It’s hard for me to believe that it has been 20 years since we officially opened our doors at Willamette University on October 3, 1998. I remember the gala reception the evening before like it was yesterday. The Rev. Charlie Wallace gave the invocation. Professor John Peel wrote a special musical composition in honor of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art and performed it. Hallie Ford spoke. President Lee Pelton spoke. Roger Hull spoke. Our beloved patron Maribeth Collins was in attendance. I spoke and served as Master of Ceremonies. It was truly a joyous and celebratory evening that few will forget. Little did we know at the time that the Hallie Ford Museum of Art would emerge as one of the premiere academic museums in the region and nation in the short span of 20 years.

COLLECTIONS
As I look back on the past two decades, I am extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish, often with scant resources and a limited staff. Our permanent collection has grown from approximately 3,000 objects in 1998 to 9,000 objects in 2018. During the past 20 years, we have acquired superb examples of ancient art, European art, Asian art, Pacific Northwest art, Native American art, African art, and Oceanic art. In fact, we have what is arguably one of the finest small collections of Papua New Guinea art on the West Coast. The entire collection has been catalogued and most of the objects have been photographed. From 2005 to 2008, we went through a major redesign and renovation of our basement to transform it into “state-of-the-art” support space for collections and exhibitions. And, we recently completed a two-year process of updating our collection database.

EXHIBITIONS
Over the past two decades, we have mounted a dazzling array of temporary exhibitions intended to inform, instruct, and delight. In keeping with our mission to support the liberal arts curriculum of the college, we have organized major art historical exhibitions over the years that have supported various courses and departments on campus. These have included exhibitions of Greek and Roman art, Egyptian art, Maori weaving, Chinese bronzes, Renaissance drawings, ancient Near Eastern art, and contemporary American folk art. Similarly, in keeping with our emphasis on the art and artists of the Pacific Northwest, we have organized a wide variety of group and solo exhibitions for some of the foremost artists of our region, including Carl Hall, Rick Bartow (Wiyot), Alfredo Arreguin, and Marie Watt (Seneca), among others.

PUBLICATIONS
What I think is particularly significant is the fact that we have published 28 books and monographs since 2001, making the Hallie Ford Museum of Art one of the most active publishers in the Pacific Northwest.

SPECIAL EVENTS
Over the years, we have brought some of the foremost scholars, writers, artists, and thinkers to campus to lecture and teach. These have included Brian Fagan, author and editor of 46 books on the history of archaeology; John James Audubon scholar and writer Bill Souder; Asian American painter and printmaker Roger Shimomura; folk art specialist Jo Farb Hernández; Native American artist and activist Wendy Red Star (Apsáalooka); and Robert Edsel, New York Times bestselling author and founder of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art. In addition, we’ve organized film series, panel discussions, artist demonstrations, dance performances, and family activity days that have enhanced the quality of life in Salem and the mid-Willamette Valley and helped make it a great place to live, work, and most importantly, stay. Moreover, for the past 13 years, our 16 active docents (volunteer guides) have provided tours of collections and exhibitions to more than 2,500 K-12 students, homeschoolers, college students, adults, seniors, and other groups each year.

FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS
In addition to collections, exhibitions, and programs, we have continued to improve and upgrade our facility, which was originally designed as an office building in the mid-1960s. After we initially opened our doors in 1998, we added the Hallie Ford Museum of Art exterior sign and lamp post in 2001; undertook the redesign and renovation of our basement from 2005 to 2008; installed Dick Elliott reflector panels in the 46 windows on the second floor of our building in 2008; added up-lighting to the facades of our building to illuminate it at night and refinished and capped our exterior wall in 2010; reinstalled and reinterpreted our three permanent collection galleries in 2009, 2010, and 2011; installed LED lighting throughout our building in 2013; acquired new furniture and fixtures to upgrade our museum store in 2014; made our bathrooms on both floors completely ADA accessible in 2016; and undertook a number of other, smaller capital projects to maximize the footprint of our building.

FUNDING
I’ve always believed in the importance of endowment, and since we opened 20 years ago, we have built a $7.5 million dollar endowment fund, with specific endowment funds earmarked to support art acquisitions, various types of exhibitions (art historical, regional, Native American), staff salaries (director, curator, education curator), professional development, art conservation, and general operating support. In addition, we have been extremely successful in obtaining grants from the City of Salem, the Oregon Arts Commission, the Oregon Cultural Trust, The Ford Family Foundation, The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and numerous private individuals who are keenly interested in Pacific Northwest art, among others.

OUR GROWING FAMILY
Staff has continued to grow slowly and strategically over the years (although we are currently down 1.5 FTEs), and since 2012, we have seen a slow but steady rise in membership, from our original membership base of approximately 200 members in the late 1990s and early 2000s to our current level of close to 700 members, with a goal of 750 members by this fall and 1,000 general and business members by the end of the decade.

A NOT-TO-BE-MISSED DESTINATION
In addition, we’ve continued to witness an increase in attendance over the past two decades, from 10,000 visitors per year in the late 1990s to our current level of 24,000-30,000 visitors per year for the past few years. Attendance is always driven by exhibitions and programs, and with a number of exciting exhibitions and programs planned for the future, I believe these numbers will continue to rise.

As the founding director of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, it has been my honor and pleasure to serve you for the past two decades, and I look forward to seeing you this fall as we celebrate 20 exciting, remarkable, and for me personally, immensely rewarding years. Thank you, as always, for your commitment and support.

John Olbrantz
The Maribeth Collins Director