Art on Campus | University of Portland

Art on Campus

When the Library was designed for the University of Portland campus in 1958, the mission stated and space was set aside for the Library to serve as a repository and access point of visual fine art on campus. The original Italian Room was designated for the display of art objects and paintings in the Library itself.

Therefore, from 1958 onward, the Clark Library has had charge of the University’s holdings in paintings, prints, sculpture across the campus; including storage. The University Archives has the task of maintaining a collections inventory database, tracking the locations, history (provenance), and the values of materials in the collection.

In 2017, the Provost reconstituted the Art Advisory Committee, a consultative body to develop the display and presence of fine art in lecture halls, corridors, and other public space across the campus. The Committee solicits and vets donations and acquisitions. The acquisition, movement, and display of art pieces should always be referred to the Archives for purposes of tracking.

Access to art storage collection

Access to the art storage collection is through the University Archives. The display of art throughout the campus is the University’s purpose in owning this collection. Therefore, these materials are available to loan for display and decoration in administrative offices, reception areas, and other public spaces. The Archives serves as gatekeeper for the art storage room (Shiley 007A). Contact to arrange an appointment to view available art.

Procedure for processing new artwork

Acquisition by purchase (for example, decor for departmental office suites, etc.): Purchased art items should be referred to the Archives to be recorded and inventoried.

Acquisition by donation: Donated items are registered as gifts-in-kind and processed by the Development Office to establish title by recording and assessing market-value (replacement-value) and provenance. The title is then referred to the Archives for the art piece to be recorded and inventoried.

Database of University artwork

The Archives maintains a database of University art items for public display and office decoration. This database includes:

  • An item level catalogue (including description, provenance, artist, donor)
  • An item level insurance spread-sheet with description and values (reviewed annually, reported to the Financial VP)
  • Storage and location tracking (Shiley Hall room 007A, and the loan of materials for office decoration and public display across campus)

The Archivist maintains these records (FilemakerPro database), as well as photocopies of appraisals when available.