Museum Features Prominent Portland Painter

An exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Harry Widman, a highly regarded Portland painter and teacher, will be on display Jan. 31 through March 29 at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University.

Organized by Willamette art history Professor Roger Hull, Harry Widman: Image, Myth, and Modernism surveys the career of Widman over the past 60 years, from his college days to his most recent work. Widman taught for 36 years at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (formerly the Portland Art Museum School) and served as interim dean during a critical period in the college's history.

As a special feature, Hull will deliver a free lecture on Widman's career Jan. 30 from 5 to 6 p.m. in Cone Chapel, on the second floor of Waller Hall. A preview reception will follow from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. In addition, a 30-minute film on Widman, produced by Portland Community College, will be shown March 1 at 2:30 p.m. in the Roger Hull Lecture Hall at the museum. The film will be followed by a presentation from producers Mark Andres, Prudence Roberts and Michael Annus about how the project was made and why such documents of Oregon artists are important. Admission is free.

The exhibition will feature 38 paintings and 17 works on paper drawn from public and private collections throughout the region, and will be accompanied by a full-color, 112-page book by Hull that attempts to place Widman and his artwork within the context of his times.

Born in Englewood, N.J., in 1929, Widman received his bachelor of fine arts degree from Syracuse University in 1951, and earned his master of fine arts degree from the University of Oregon in 1956. Responding to the work of artists as diverse as Wassily Kandinsky and Robert Motherwell, Widman forged a mature style that combined an abstract vocabulary and sensibility with social and political commentary.

Harry Widman: Image, Myth, and Modernism is supported in part by grants from the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State St. (corner of State and Cottage streets) in downtown Salem near the campus of Willamette University. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed Mondays. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Children younger than 12 are admitted free, and Tuesday is an admission-free day. For more information, call (503) 370-6855.