Oregon’s Treasures: A room of historical artwork

Special Reports

The Oregon Historical Society safeguards paintings, drawings, sculptures and architectural blueprints

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Historical Society’s vault is home to many precious artifacts and an impressive collection of historical artwork.

About 4,000 pieces of art are housed in the vault’s art gallery, including architectural blueprints, sculptures, drawings and paintings. One of the largest paintings depicts the New Carissa by Henk Pander. Another features members of the Pittock family of the Pittock Mansion.

Another painting in the OHS’s vault was commissioned by Serge D’Rovencourt and once hung in the coffee shop at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Portland. It includes some famous Oregon faces, such as Vera Katz, Phil Knight, Gert Boyle and Arlene Schnitzer.

“The great story is that Serge would use this to kind of reward some of his friends and punish some of his enemies,” said OHS Director Kerry Tymchuk. “And if someone got involved in a scandal or did something embarrassing, he would have them painted out.”

There’s also a parchment dating back to around the 1840s created by missionaries who wanted to share Biblical stories with Native Americans using pictures.

A diorama of Oregon history made in the 1950s can also be found in the vault. It celebrates the 150th anniversary of Lewis and Clarke.

Where We Live: Experience Oregon at OHS
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