PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s about to be a long, rainy fall and winter for Portland’s iconic “Allow Me” statue after the statue’s umbrella was found to be missing Sunday morning.
Keith Lachowicz, public art collections manager for the Regional Arts & Culture Council, said the umbrella was vandalized in late October and RACC removed it for repairs.
Lachowicz said the repairs will include the installation of a stiffer umbrella shaft and a more secure attachment at the umbrella’s second anchor point, where the canopy touches the back of the figure’s head.
He said due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a high volume of fabricator repair requests, it’s unlikely the umbrella will be re-installed until after Jan. 1, 2021.
Lachowicz said this is not the first time the umbrella has been damaged and repaired.
“All in all it, and the rest of the well-loved sculpture, has worn and endured very well since it was installed in the square in 1984,” he said.
Many people know him as “The Umbrella Man,” but the bronze statue at Pioneer Courthouse Square is actually titled “Allow Me.” In one hand, he holds an umbrella. With the other, he’s pointing a finger to hail a cab.
The sculpture was an anonymous gift to the city in 1984 in the name of Harry Schwartz, a New York department store Magnate with family ties in Portland.
Artist J. Seward Johnson created 7 versions all from the same casting, and they live all over, from Chicago to Los Angeles. Portland’s is most iconic.
“Allow Me” got a makeover in the summer of 2017 when the Square was renovated. The 460 pound sculpture was removed for 6 months while art caretakers cleaned, repainted it and put a protective coating on it.