Founded in 1892, PAM is the oldest museum in the Pacific Northwest. Known for its extensive collections of Native American and First Nations artwork, ornate English silver and graphic art, the present 240,000 square-foot building, designed by Portland architect Pietro Belluschi, houses over 42,000 objects.
Also notable at the museum is a comprehensive archive of Impressionist paintings from Europe, including Vincent Van Gogh's The Ox Cart, and a varied collection of paintings and objects from across Asia; artwork like pre-Han Dynasty calligraphy from China and prints from Japan's Edo era reflect Portland's large local populations from both of these countries.
Since 2008, winners of the Contemporary Northwest Art Awards, a fierce biennial competition for artists from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, have had their artwork displayed at PAM. The grand prize of $10,000 is Portland's version of London's famous Turner Prize. The museum is closed on Mondays.