The Hallie Ford Museum of Art, established in 1998, is a key resource for Art studies at Willamette University. The museum contains six exhibition galleries and a state-of-the-art Art History classroom. Four of the galleries present works from the University’s extensive permanent collections of American, Native American, European, and Asian art, while two are devoted to changing exhibitions of extraordinary quality that often come from major collections beyond Willamette. In recent years, these have included shows of Egyptian art borrowed from a variety of American collections and ancient Roman art from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
In addition, the Pacific Northwest Art and Artists Archive (PNAAA) resides at Willamette University's Hatfield Library, and is an excellent resource for archival research projects by students. The PNAAA is a collection of artists' letters, exhibition catalogues, news clippings, and other materials related to their careers in the Pacific Northwest. Artists represented in the PNAAA include the following individuals among others: Glen Alps, Constance Fowler, Ruth Grover, Carl Hall, Charles Heaney, Betty LaDuke, Jack McLarty, C.S. Price, Mark Sponenburgh, and Jan Zach.
The Hallie Ford Museum, a beautifully redesigned International Style building originally constructed in the 1960s, is a calm retreat for contemplation and study. Works in the collection and changing exhibitions are the subjects of course assignments as well as advanced independent research by students. Those interested in the possibility of careers in museum work can work as interns with professional staff members for a semester or longer.
The annual Art History Senior Dinner is held in the museum's elegant lobby each April.