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Oregon's State Capitol Art Collection:
Art for the Time

Lithograph from the Oregon Art CollectionIn keeping with the centuries-long tradition of art in civic spaces, the construction of the Oregon State Capitol building (1936-1938) included original murals by Barry Faulkner and Frank H. Schwarz which captured the state's heritage and pioneering spirit.  The artistic legacy of Oregon can also be seen in our federal post offices, national park lodges, municipal libraries, university buildings and public schools.

In 1975, the Oregon Legislature created the Percent for Art program, which sets aside 1% of state construction budgets for acquisition of art.  That year, the State Capitol played a role as a cultural pioneer with art included in its planned expansion, the construction of the Capitol Wings. 

The selection process for the Capitol Art Collection took over a year.  All Oregon artists were invited to submit and advisors to the selection committee visited artists studios, galleries and museums throughout the state.

The result of this broad-based approach formed an art collection representing almost every type of artwork - a tribute to the range and vivacity of creative minds.  Painting, sculpture and ceramics are found alongside prints, drawings, textiles and photography.  Landscapes, portraits and figurative artworks are the most common in the collection, while large-scale abstract work in several mediums, ranging from oils on canvas, to fibers, metals, ceramics, and wood, documents a period of artistic and material freedom.

View the Art of the Time publication and visit your Oregon State Capitol to view this wonderful collection in person.

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