First Advisor

Carmen Ripollés

Date of Award

Summer 8-13-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Art History and University Honors


Art + Design




art history, museums, diversity, Portland Oregon, Portland Art Museum


This thesis is an analysis on the diversity of the exhibits held at the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon over a near ten year period, spanning from 2013 to 2022. By analyzing the ways in which the Portland Art Museum has increased the diversity of its exhibitions over the past ten years, this thesis will focus on four specific examples:

  1. Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video,
  2. Constructing Identity: Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African-American Art,
  3. Contemporary Native Photographers and the Edward Curtis Legacy, and
  4. Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism.

By situating this analysis within a broader context of the history of Oregon, as well as the art history surrounding museums as western institutions, this thesis will shed light on how history continues to influence the practices of modern day museums to this day. This thesis will shed light into the ways in which exhibits are curated and received by both critics and the general public alike. This analysis is through a study of the process and influences of how art reaches the public, not an analysis of the art itself. By focusing on how the museum's exhibits have changed over the course of ten years as well as how the museum presents these exhibits, the focus will then look to shift into a deeper presentation and curation of these exhibits.

Persistent Identifier