The Schneider Museum of Art at Southern Oregon University in Ashland opened its doors to the public in the fall of 1986. The establishment of a museum was a community and university effort made possible by a gift from Ashland residents Bill and Florence Schneider. The museum is named in honor of Bill's parents, Samuel and May Schneider.
The building that houses the Schneider Museum of Art was designed by Portland architect Willard Martin. Using elements of color and shape, he captured the essence of other campus buildings and the surrounding landscape. The SMA was Martin’s last project. Soon after the groundbreaking, he and his son died in a plane crash over the Grand Canyon.
In 2000, Southern Oregon University completed construction of new art department facilities, adjacent to the museum, providing students and faculty with easy access to exhibitions and the collection.
The museum’s permanent collection is focused on works on paper from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and includes artists Mark Tobey, David Siqueiros, Jack McLarty, George Inness, Andy Warhol, and Alexander Calder. Recent acquisitions include work by Oregon artists Tannaz Farsi, Ellen Lesperance, and Malia Jensen as well as national artists Nat Meade, Loren Munk, Adam Bateman, and Nancy Friedemann-Sánchez. Other works in the collection include lithographs by William Hogarth, Pre-Columbian ceramics from Costa Rica, Native American baskets, and woven artifacts from New Guinea.
The museum, which is open year-round, features rotating exhibitions focused on historical perspectives of art and progressive contemporary work by regional and nationally recognized artists.
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Sherry O'Sullivan. "Will Martin: A Renaissance Man." KSOR Guide (February 1985): 12-15.