Social Practice & Community Art

Eighteen objects in the Native American galleries at the Portland Art Museum currently have Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) claims by the central council of the Alaskan Tlingit and Haida Tribes. 

“Several of the objects in question belonged to the Chief Shakes family and were held communally until US property law came into effect and disregarded traditional Tlingit law. When Chief Shakes VI passed away, the communal, clan property that should have been passed to Chief Shakes the VII was sold to Axel Rasmussen by the Anglo-Christian widow, Mary. Rasmussen’s collection was later purchased by a broker named Earl Stendahl who then sold it in 1948 to the Portland Art Museum “
             -Deana Dartt, curator of the Native American Galleries, Portland Art Museum.

Karaoking the Museum uses the form of popular songs to tell the material and social history of art through the participatory form of karaoke. Popular songs have been paired with artworks in the Portland Art Museum and have had their lyrics altered to reveal the context in which the artworks were made. 

Weird Allan Kaprow is an American critic, assemblage artist, parodist, and pioneer in the development of conceptual karaoke. WAK is Guestwork, Sharita Towne, Zachary Gough, with help from Riley King

For more videos, visit the Weird Allan Kaprow website:

When art collectors make large out of state purchases, they are often charged a “use tax” in their home state. Graham Bowley and Patricia Cohen recently disclosed a loophole in this tax system in their article in the New York times. Art collectors can avoid this use-tax by showing their recent purchases at a public arts institution in one of five states, Delaware, Oregon, Alaska, New Hampshire and Montana, before bringing their purchases home. The most expensive painting ever sold at auction, “Three Studies of Lucien Freud” by Francis Bacon was recently on display at the Portland Art Museum. According to Bowley and Cohen, the Portland Art Museum has a long history of displaying expensive works on loan.