at the Architectural Heritage Center

Parting Shots: Minor White’s Images of Portland,

1938 – 1942

March 3 – December 23, 2017

Meyer Memorial Trust Gallery at the Architectural Heritage Center

Minor White (1908 – 1976) was one of the most important American photographers of the 20th century. Originally from Minnesota, White’s professional career as a photographer began in Portland. Between 1938 – 1942 White was commissioned to document what amounted to the end of an era for some of the city’s most important early architecture. Downtown commercial buildings along and near Front Avenue (now Naito Parkway) were soon to be demolished, while not far away, some of the city’s most opulent 19th-century mansions were also targets of the wrecking ball. Working first with the New Deal-sponsored Oregon Art Project, and later the Portland Art Museum, the images White captured of grand-yet-dilapidated Portland buildings are both beautiful and haunting. They highlight the amazing craftsmanship and artistic merit of architecture from an era that was by that time, considered out of vogue and long past its prime.

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Minor White photo, Demolition of Opitz Building, SW Pine St. and First Ave., Portland, Oregon, 1939, Oregon Historical Society Research Library, OrHi 9312.

Selling Beauty: Historic Sales Tools for Home Remodeling

Imagine a time about 50 years ago, when you might have walked into your old neighborhood hardware store and found items that spanned the decades. There would be new products like vinyl flooring or the latest in hardware for your kitchen cabinets, but you’d also find other items that harken back to an earlier era. In this new exhibit, you’ll see displays and product samples of paint, hardware, and other home improvement items. In fact, just about any aspect of home improvement is represented, from roof to floor, electrical, hardware, wood, tile, wallpaper, linoleum, and more. You’ll see an interesting variety of new-yet-old items and sales displays, some of which (for obvious reasons) are for products that are no longer sold.

The exhibit setting in Liz’s Antique Hardware Gallery on the Grand Avenue street front recalls the earliest days of our 1883 building, West’s Block, when Nathaniel West and family operated a general store here.  The items on display come from several collections donated to the AHC in recent years, as well as a few items from our founders Jerry Bosco and Ben Milligan, and others on loan for this exhibit.