On view: March 15–November 15, 2024

The Columbia River: Wallula to the Sea featuring works by Thomas Jefferson Kitts and Erik Sandgren 

The Columbia River is a significant feature in the regional landscape. It is a companion for those who travel east and west between Astoria, Portland, and the mouth of the Snake River, and it is a destination for countless fishermen, water sports aficionados, and outdoor enthusiasts. The Columbia River: Wallula to the Sea is being organized to celebrate the active and diverse ways in which humans have interacted with the river, its beauty, and its bounty. The interpretive goal of the display is to provide the public with an opportunity to reflect on the many facets of the river’s identity and to visually chronicle some of the human behaviors that shape its daily life—past and present. Within these parameters, we encourage visitors to think critically about the diverse—and sometimes competing—economic enterprises at the forefront of the exhibition. 

Approximately 70 historic and contemporary paintings and photographs showing Middle and Lower Columbia River landscapes, peoples, ideas, and structures are on display, among them 20 works commissioned by prominent Portland-area artists Thomas Jefferson Kitts and Erik Sandgren. The exhibition also contains select examples of regional material culture by Indigenous artists. The works are drawn from the museum’s permanent collection and borrowed from public collections, private collectors, and local artists.  

Visit our event calendar for lectures, concerts, and public programs related to this exhibition. 

Featured image (above): Erik Sandgren (American, b. 1952), Hat Rock, 2022, acrylic on panel, 11” x 14”