VHA has collaborated with the Portland Art Museum on the design of several special exhibitions. Utilizing the museum's existing re-usable wall modules, we transform the two-level temporary exhibition galleries into a dynamic new experience tailored to the individual show. Four exhibitions are featured below.
Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945
This traveling exhibition was organized by London's Victoria and Albert Museum and first displayed there in 2014. Subsequently, the show traveled to Minneapolis, Portland and Nashville. VHA adapted the original design by London's UrbanSalon for Portland's two-level gallery space.
The show traces the rise of Italian fashion design from its modest post-war roots through its industrialization and the rise of the celebrity designer. The show culminates in a double height runway installation featuring contemporary masterpieces.
The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece
Working closely with the museum’s curators, VHA designed the installation for this traveling exhibition featuring more than 120 priceless objects from the British Museum’s famed collection of Greek and Roman art.
Iconic marble and bronze sculptures, vessels, funerary objects, and jewelry are among the treasures that explore the human form. VHA designed the gallery layout and numerous bespoke casework items featuring a dark palette with occasional pops of color.
The exhibition subsequently traveled to the Dallas Museum of Art, where VHA consulted on the installation design, adapting the show for its new setting while reusing much of the custom casework designed for Portland.
Wild Beauty: Photography of the Columbia River Gorge, 1867-1957
VHA designed the installation of this 90-year photographic survey of the Columbia River Gorge. The exhibition presents more than 200 photographs depicting this unique section of river, exploring the breathtaking geography, climate, and ecosystems that have inspired professional and amateur photographers alike for nearly 150 years. VHA’s spare and elegant installation allows the photographs to speak for themselves, while highlighting selected historic objects such as books, cameras and maps.
The Dancer: Degas, Forain, and Toulouse-Lautrec
This exhibition explored the complex image of the dancer in the work of three artists intrigued by various manifestations of dance in fin-de-siècle Paris: Edgar Degas, Jean-Louis Forain, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The exhibition presented an international roster of more than 110 works of art, including rarely seen paintings, pastels, drawings, prints, and sculptures from collections in Europe and the United States.
Working closely with the museum's curators, VHA designed this special exhibition, including gallery layout and circulation, painting arrangement, and wall color scheme. A timeline of the artists' lives and work, measuring nearly 43 feet, was installed in the exhibition's entry hall.
Photographer: Robert DiFranco and Portland Art Museum