Upon entry through the mezzanine of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, many attendees are taken back by the architecture and attention to detail in the building. Following the art-lined stairway to the second level of the museum a maze of rooms is found. In the corner of the Asian art exhibit sits a towering Maitreya Buddha, fashioned in marble — missing a nose.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, located on the University of Oregon campus,
has invited the public to visit since 1933.
Prince Lucien Campbell, president of the university from 1902-1925, believed a university should be influenced by the culture which surrounds it. President Campbell spearheaded the campaign to build the museum on campus along with then Dean of Architecture, Ellis F. Lawrence, who was responsible for the building’s design.
As a memorial for her late husband, Gertrude Bass Warner donated over 3,700 pieces of Asian art to the University of Oregon in 1933. In order to house the art, Lawrence was commissioned by the university to design the museum. The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art opened its doors later that year.
From 2002 to 2005 the university rallied to gain the financial backing to expand the museum. The museum expansion created more room for the gallery to display art. Spectators are given the opportunity to view masterworks on loan from private collectors, specific expeditions, and over 13,000 pieces of American, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian iconic artwork.
One of six art museums in Oregon, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum –– named after its largest financial donor — is the only university museum to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
Karen McCowan and her five-year-old granddaughter Josie, recently attended the museum’s open house. “Last year we came and Josie enjoyed the museum. She asked to come back today,” McCowan said.
The many rooms of mixed media artwork sample from around the world. The museum is visited by members of the public, university classes and students from across America on field trips.
“The most rewarding thing about the museum, and working here is seeing the generations come through, experiencing their energy. Introducing the culture of art to students and the public is exciting.” Anne Rose Kitagawa, Chief Curator of Collections said.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is open to the public Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.