The Portland Museum of Art recently mounted a major exhibition featuring 39 carefully selected masterpieces drawn from Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen’s family collection.
Although best known for his philanthropy and co-development of tech giant Microsoft, Paul G. Allen has also been diligently amassing an impressive art collection, selections from which are now on view at the Portland Art Museum. “Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection” will feature 39 paintings spanning nearly 400 years. Moreover, the styles of the works are diverse, offering art lovers the chance to view the full spectrum of landscape’s capabilities.

Claude Monet, “En Paysage dans lile Saint-Martin,” 1881, oil on canvas, 28 13/16 x 23 5/8 in.
(c) Paul G. Allen Family Collection 2015

Some of the blockbuster names include Canaletto, Joseph Mallord William Turner, Gustav Klimt, David Hockney, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Edward Hopper. Museum director Brian Ferriso remarked, “‘Seeing Nature’ offers an extraordinary opportunity to perceive the world through the gaze of some of the most important artists in history. These masterpieces have never before been on display together. Paul Allen is one of the Northwest’s most significant art collectors and philanthropists, and his willingness to share his landscape masterpieces with our visitors offers an unprecedented chance to be inspired by works of art.”

Thomas Moran, “Grand Canyon of Arizona at Sunset,” 1909, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 in.
(c) Paul G. Allen Family Collection 2015

Equally exciting is the exhibition’s availability, as it will travel across the country to several esteemed locations over the next two years. After its run at the Portland Art Museum, the collection will move to the Philips Collection in Washington, D.C., the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the New Orleans Museum of Art, and will finally close at the Seattle Art Museum in early 2017.

Georgia O’Keeffe, “Black Iris VI,” 1936, oil on canvas, 36 x 24 in. (c) Paul G. Allen Family Collection 2015

“Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection” opened on October 10 and will be on view in Portland through January 10.
To learn more, visit the Portland Art Museum.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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