About the PMA

The Portland Museum of Art strives to enrich the lives of people through acquisition, preservation, and interpretation of the visual arts and the Museum's architecturally significant buildings.

The Portland Museum of Art is a place where centuries of American and European art merge with cutting-edge contemporary exhibitions and innovative educational programs. Housed in a modern building on the coast of Maine and in the cultural heart of Portland, the PMA boasts a permanent collection that includes masters of Realism, Impressionism, and Surrealism such as Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Andrew Wyeth, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and many more. The PMA’s commitment to Maine’s vibrant creative community extends to the renovated Winslow Homer Studio in Prouts Neck, the PMA store, the PMA Café, and a wide range of special events.

Our Vision

The Portland Museum of Art will create outstanding exhibitions and educational programs to inspire our audiences. We embrace our rich past, dynamic present, and vibrant future to be a vital arts center for the city, region, and nation. Leveraging the strength of our collection, scholarship, and geographic location, we will excel in these distinct areas:

    The ongoing exploration of the creative culture of the state of Maine within the
        context of American art and culture.
    The interpretation of European modernism through our collection and programs.
    The presentation of progressive exhibitions beyond our collection that address local and global issues.
    The integration of our unique architectural campus into the fabric of Portland and the state of Maine. 

The Portland Museum of Art strives to engage our audiences in a dialogue about the relevance of art and culture to our lives. Aspiring to facilitate this conversation through exhibitions, programs, and partnerships, we dedicate ourselves to serving and supporting our local and national community. In order to provide a learning environment for our audiences, we commit ourselves to good governance, professional development, and fiscal responsibility.

A Message From Our Director

It’s been a remarkable fall at the PMA with big developments for the museum, the runaway success of #ThirdThursPMA, and of course a lot of incredible art!

We began with the purchase and preservation of the land around the Winslow Homer Studio. Working together with the Scarborough Land Trust and the Prouts Neck Association, the PMA successfully conserved the land in perpetuity as open, undeveloped space. This is an exciting success story for the museum, Prouts Neck, and the state of Maine—but most importantly the public, as this preserves the views that inspired Homer for generations to come.

We’ve also significantly enhanced the PMA’s campus with the purchase and installation of Robert Indiana’s SEVEN—a modern and massive sculpture that will immediately become one of Portland’s most famous landmarks. As a longtime Vinalhaven resident, Indiana is a beloved part of Maine’s artistic heritage, and so it makes sense for this iconic artist to have a prominent home at the PMA. With SEVEN, the museum is not only affirming its physical location in the city—at Seven Congress Square—but outwardly demonstrating its commitment to adding iconic artworks to its collection.

All of these changes are designed to support the stunning art within our galleries, and there are some truly special exhibitions happening at the PMA right now. Treasures of British Art 1400-2000: The Berger Collection has exceeded every expectation we had for it. People have come to the PMA from around the world to see the artworks in this collection and revel in one of the most significant private collections of British art in the United States. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ve still got time. Aaron T Stephan: To Borrow, Cut, Copy, and Steal has also been a wild success for the PMA. As the latest installment of our Circa series, Stephan’s work has raised the bar for contemporary and modern art in Maine.

And we’ve got even more for you as we look to 2015. The Coast & the Sea: Marine and Maritime Art in America will provide rich and in-depth perspective into our shared history as Americans, and the unifying power of our coastline. It’s moving, contemplative, and simply beautiful, so be sure to see it in person. The exhibition kicks off what is sure to be the best year yet at the PMA, as we will present exhibitions throughout 2015 that emphasize Maine's artistic and cultural heritage. This narrative culminates at our grand reopening in 2016, when the PMA reintroduces itself and its collection to the world.

It’s a historic time for the museum, and your support makes it happen.

 Mark H. C. Bessire, Director

Become a Member

Members enable the PMA to provide spectacular programming, unique exhibitions, and remarkable events. They believe in the transformative power of the arts. They value community. If this sounds like you, we invite you to explore the many levels of membership available at the PMA and become a part of something special.

Museum History & Architecture

Photo by Craig Becker

Originally founded as the Portland Society of Art, the Museum used a variety of exhibition spaces until 1908. That year Mrs. Margaret Jane Mussey Sweat bequeathed her three-story mansion, now known as the McLellan House, and sufficient funds to create a gallery in memory of her late husband, Lorenzo de Medici Sweat. Noted New England architect John Calvin Stevens designed the L. D. M. Sweat Memorial Galleries, which opened to the public in 1911.

Contact Us

Portland Museum of Art
Seven Congress Square
Portland, Maine 04101
(207) 775-6148
(207) 773-7324 Fax

Key Facts & Stats

Founded in 1882

Located in the downtown arts district in Portland, Maine

Maine's largest and oldest public art institution, founded in 1882

With more than 8,000 members, the PMA boasts a strong base of loyal support both locally and regionally

Recognized as "one of the best medium-size museums in New England," by Boston Globe

Largest collection of European art north of Boston

Comprehensive collection of Winslow Homer's graphics

140,000 visitors per year

Nearly 6,000 schoolchildren per year

More than 18,000 objects of fine and decorative arts in the collection, dating from the 18th-century to the present

Approximately 10 changing exhibitions per year

What's Going on at the PMA?

March 6, 2015
Director of Brand Management
Let's face it—this winter has been a beast in New England. Boston has been flirting with record snowfall for weeks, and here in Portland...well...let's just say that even though we're Mainers, this winter's got all of us on the ropes a little.

In the News

The New York Times
March 16, 2015 |

PORTLAND, ME. “Rose Marasco: index.” Featuring a range of subjects, from domestic objects to cityscapes, this exhibition documents the four-decade career of this Maine-based photographer. April 24 through Dec. 6. Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Square; 207-775-6148, portlandmuseum.org.