News

Installation Honors Donation to Hallie Ford Museum of Art

Boats on the Shore by C.S. Price, c. 1938A new installation at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University celebrates promised gifts to the museum's permanent collection. The installation features the work of C.S. Price, Charles Heaney, Amanda Snyder and Harry Wentz. The art has been donated from the collection of Frances Price Cook, a niece of C.S. Price who lives in Portland, Oregon, and Ruth West, of Longview, Washington.

"Price was a legend in Oregon modern art," said Museum Director John Olbrantz. "He was an inspiration to his younger contemporaries, Heaney and Snyder."

Born in 1874 in Iowa, C.S. Price worked as a cowhand in Wyoming, where he drew range animals. He attended the St. Louis School of Art for one year, met the legendary Montana artist Charles Russell, and developed skills as a Western illustrator. Some of his early illustrations are represented in the exhibition, including those he drew for the Pacific Monthly magazine.

Price saw modern European painting for the first time at the 1915 exposition in San Francisco and his artistic interests shifted from illustration to expressionism. He settled in Portland in 1929 and was befriended by Snyder, Heaney and other artists interested in European modernism.

"Although Price never entirely abandoned representational form, his later work focused on the texture of paint, the expressive power of color and the arrangement of flat shapes," said Roger Hull, professor of art history at Willamette University.

The Cook collection features paintings, prints and illustrations from throughout Price's career, culminating in an untitled mountain abstraction painted two years before his death. In addition to paintings, prints and drawings, visitors can view Price's carvings of farm animals, including a wooden rocking horse made for his grandnephew.

"Animals were central to Price's vision as an artist," Hull said. "They embodied calmness, endurance and connectedness to universal forces."

"The promised gifts from Frances Price Cook are of enormous significance to the Hallie Ford Museum of Art," said Olbrantz. "Until recently, the work of C.S. Price has been absent from our collection. This generous donation fills a major gap."

The exhibition includes paintings and prints by Charles Heaney donated by Ruth West. She and her late husband, Rex West, were friends of Heaney and were avid collectors of his work. The exhibition also includes work by Harry Wentz, an Oregon painter and teacher at the Museum Art School (now the Pacific Northwest College of Art), donated earlier by Dan and Nancy Schneider of Chicago, Illinois, and Bill Rhoades of Madras, Oregon.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State Street (corner of State and Cottage Streets) in downtown Salem near the Willamette University campus. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Children under 12 are admitted free, and Tuesday is an admission-free day. For more information call 503-370-6855 or visit www.willamette.edu/museum_of_art/.

08-16-2005