The Pacific Northwest College of Art is dissolving Portland’s 79-year-old Museum of Contemporary Craft.
Founded in 1937, the museum has been part of the art school since 2009. Its collection houses everything from traditional native baskets and bowls to high-end modern glass and metalwork.
The collection will be moved over to the college as part of a new Center for Contemporary Art and Culture. Most of the museum’s staff will lose their jobs.
In a statement, the college’s interim president Casey Mills said, “Relieving [PNCA of] the obligations of the … space will enable [us] to refocus those resources on programs and assets that truly engage our students, alumni, and faculty.”
The museum has had a rocky financial history but commands respect in craft circles as one of the few places in the United States programming robust shows on the relationship between art and craft. Recent shows explored craft through works by Ai Weiwei and riot grrl artists as well as many regional makers.
The college intends to put its portion of the building, which is owned co-operatively, up for sale. It is located in Portland’s North Park blocks, a sought-after residential area in the city’s core.