The Rental Sales Gallery of the Portland Art Museum was originated in 1959 by what was then the Women's Council. Run entirely by volunteers and a gallery board appointed by the Council, the mission of the gallery was, and still is, multi-faceted: the gallery serves to promote the arts in Oregon, providing a showcase for Oregon artists, while increasing public awareness of the art community and what it has to offer. The fees generated by the gallery help support Oregon artists and provide revenue for the Museum from gallery commissions.
The original gallery was located in the Museum basement, where the Vivian and Gordon Gilkey Center for Graphic Arts is now. The seventeen original artists included Louis Bunce, Byron Gardner, Salley Haley, Manuel Izquierdo, George Johanson, Carl Morris, and Michele Russo. Following three moves, the gallery is now behind the Museum in the Eliot Tower at 1237 SW 10th Avenue.
Membership in the Portland Art Museum is a prerequisite for renting artwork. All artwork in the gallery is on consignment, and prices are set by the artist, with corresponding rental fees on a sliding scale. The Gallery hosts three artist shows a year, highlighting new works by current and new members.
Currently, the Rental Sales Gallery represents 253 Oregon and southwest Washington artists and houses approximately 2,000 works of art, reaching some 3,000 clients. Artwork media include oil and acrylic painting, watercolor, photography, prints, sculpture, encaustic, and mixed media. All artwork is original and juried.
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"Demystifying Art Collecting." Oregon Home, January/February 2001, 58.
"Frame Work." Commerce Magazine, November 2006.