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Monday 03.31.08

« Portland Funbook 3 | Main | CAP Auction »

Cauduro scholarship for PNCA, Portland invests in the future but loses a Warhol

Oregon's single best art collector, Ed Cauduro... and arguably the best eye north of San Francisco has given PNCA a 1 million dollar scholarship endowment. When he was active he tended to collect early and presciently and his collection has included the likes of Warhol, Judd, Schnabel, Terry Winters, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons and Basquiat (who even did a portrait of the elusive collector). Cauduro has given many important works to PAM (like the Peter Young etc.) but none of the listed heavy hitters are currently in PAM's gap-filled collection. Cauduro also owns Short Stop, John Chamberlain's first crushed car sculpture... something every art museum on the planet is interested in (Cauduro is 81 and must be slightly annoyed with the dynamic sets up). In response he's been setting up a lot of charities, including this incredibly generous scholarship endowment for PNCA. I've known about this for a while and it's a major benefit for the college and the art community. PNCA is on a roll with its 511 building, Hallie Ford gift (FIVE program) and MK Guth in the 2008 Whitney Biennial and is the fastest growing art school in the country.

The Ed Cauduro Fund for Pacific Northwest College of Art of The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) will provide up to four $10,000 annual scholarships, beginning with two scholarships for the 2008-2009 school year and one in each of the following two years. The endowment will also provide approximately $5,000 annually for students to use in purchasing art supplies and materials they would otherwise be unable to afford. Having a scholarship like this helps PNCA compete with other schools for particularly promising students... many might not realize this but it is a competitive advantage they have been lacking.

Scholarship recipients will be selected by an advisory committee of PNCA faculty and staff and will be reviewed for renewal each year. In addition to a requirement that they have financial need, Ed Cauduro Scholars must maintain a 3.0 GPA and must demonstrate exceptional creative promise.

"We are extremely grateful to receive this endowment from Ed Cauduro, a man who has shown enormous creativity in his life as an art collector," said Tom Manley, president of PNCA. "With the establishment of scholarships for talented students who might not otherwise have an opportunity to pursue a college degree, Mr. Cauduro continues to serve what he loves: the creative life and creative people.

Warhol: Four Jackies (formerly part of Cauduro's collection, exhibited at PAM in 2004)

Here's a little bit of further analysis that I feel must be tabled (Im probably the only arts writer in Portland that noticed):

Cauduro's gift is extremely generous but as with any decision there was a trade off that had to be made (the collector isn't a billionaire so something had to give, literally). Last November Cauduro auctioned off a few important works at Sotheby's including an incredibly good Four Jackies by Warhol and an equally excellent Basquiat.... presumably to make this important gift (and others) possible. I waited until this gift was announced so this wouldn't just be seen as a collector doing some profit taking, because it's not. The Warhol fetched 5.2 million.

Now obviously, these were Cauduro's and it was his right to do anything he wanted with them... no question there. At the same time it's a punch to the gut as the Warhol and Basquiat were two the best pieces in the Pacific Northwest and had been exhibited at the Portland Art Museum in 2004. They are now lost to Oregon (PNCA was not in on this decision, it's purely the collector's prerogative). Still, it is also important to note that there are other Basquiats (Like the ultra-personal Valentine on long term loan to PAM from Cauduro's friend Paige Powell) and Warhols in Portland so the loss isn't total. My question for Mr. Cauduro is academic but has to be asked, "because you are in a unique position as the greatest art collector of 20th century art in the Pacific Northwest... and the Portland Art Museum has such gaps that would take possibly billions of dollars to filled this begs the question...what do you intend to do? Admittedly your singular position probably isn't a fair one (we should have more collectors like you) but you are in the drivers seat... leaving those who love museums to ask a question that I hardly expect an answer for... but I feel duty bound to put out there (obviously we both care for this community)."

This is definitely a tough call but I think a good one. Cauduro's decision can be seen this way... he's investing in the young and the ongoing development of Portland as a serious art city and ultimately this might have more impact than the enshrinement of art in our local museum. The fact is this collector felt strongly enough to trade in some very valuable chips when the market was insanely high to invest in more speculative prospects... then again Cauduro has a knack for that. There are still further opportunities to build up the PAM and PNCA.. This isn't an either or situation... we need both and it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Till then congratulations to PNCA and great thanks to a man of foresight.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 31, 2008 at 11:49 | Comments (12)


Jeffs last paragraphs bring up important questions and not just for Portlanders. Tons of gratitude should be poured on Cauduro and all he's done but I have to question this recent generous gift. Having attended PNCA and also constantly visiting PAM, the museum is where my real education happens (I realize great shows and talks are part of what happens at PNCA). Needing to view great art is not debatable, aiding present day art education IS.

Posted by: JDavid [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 31, 2008 04:18 PM

We need both investment in the young and important works that enrich the museum experience. I dont want kids in Oregon to have to go to Seattle to see a Warhol.

Granted, there is a very nice Warhol at PAM right now, but it's on loan. PAM has a huge gap in pop and 80's work.

Still, part of the reason Portland is such an interesting art city is the fact that living artists here overshadow the dead ones... not so in Seattle.

p.s. Lavadour is better than Tobey

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 31, 2008 11:16 PM

First of all, may I humbly request that you proofread your posts before putting them up on PORT; you frequently leave out words or write grammatically questionable sentences which undermine the professionalism of your website.

Secondly, I have noticed that recently you have made it a habit of repeatedly mentioning what you perceive as "gaps" in PAM's permanent collection. I see that you have even gone so far as to make a little "shopping list" of artists whom you think should be represented in the museum. Aside from the fact that your list seems completely arbitrary and personal, I wonder about the attitude expressed here, i.e. that you value names over actual pieces of quality work. You seem to imply that you would rather have a lousy Warhol (for example) than a good painting by an artist who is not a household name. I think this is a dangerous attitude, to be frank, one which values personality over quality. Sure, Warhol was important and it would be great to have one of his pieces around to look at all the time. But when a museum's collection just becomes a mishmash of mediocre works by big name artists (as has happened at PAM, and which habit you seem to be in favor of perpetuating), I think it's time to question why we are looking at art and if we ARE even looking at the art at all instead of merely reading the placards on the wall.

Posted by: Mierenneuker [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 3, 2008 12:06 PM

First off, sorry... this was sprung on me when I have a lot less time than usual (I filled in many things though I like the run ons, they serve a purpose and have a more conversational tone). I frequently proof things after they up as I see it as an interesting attribute of the web. Which brings up another issue, I thinkwriting on the web has a different feel and can stand a less grammatically correct treatment. (diversion) This stems from my love of Elizabethan English, everythinc was phonetic and there were no standardized rules (about 60% of the English language was created during that time and I feel readers today are a great deal less because of the standardization).

Second, my list is not arbitrary and are educated suggestions... those are all major artists that have aesthestic and ideological properties that would greatly enhance the collection the in context of what it already has. The simple fact is that first-rate museum level international work is rare in Portland collections and PAM needs these works to be a better encyclopedic institution. Your comment is somewaht shortsighted as we need to add museum quality works of historical relevance, both local and international. It isnt an either or situation. BTW. that's a pretty good Warhol, the Jackies and the electric chairs are some of his strongest works.

Lastly, PORT will have a proofreader when the new version of the site is launched. This is the only publication Ive ever written for that didnt have an editor but I find it interesting... Im not a grammar slut but know Turabian inside and out, Im often breaking rules on purpose when it isn't some kind of cut and paste editing flub.

We plan to publish a book of our reviews and interviews in the next year and that will give us another chance at editing some of what you see. The point is, the blog format for us is a very honest first draft at local and national art history. PORT's mission is interesting, informed and authoritative arts writing... a branch of writing that frequently bends the rules under the burden of discussing a visual experience.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 3, 2008 12:37 PM

PORT has the potential to be a valuable art resource for the Portland area, which is why I find it so frustrating to read article after article of substandard writing. By not taking a few moments to proof what you're about to post, you give the impression that you really don't care about your product. Having a "love of Elizabethan English" is a poor excuse for not bothering to read one's own writing.

I'm curious as to your definition of an "encyclopedic institution". What does that mean, and why do you consider it important that PAM try to become one? Are you saying that you think that the purpose of the institution is to serve as a linear time line of modern art history? If so, I find the names on your "shopping list" all the more curious.

Posted by: Mierenneuker [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 3, 2008 01:43 PM

"Encyclopedic" isn't my definition it's an industry standard term. PAM is an encyclopedic institution... in the same mode as the Met and the MFABoston (who were consulted directly in the creation of PAM). maybe read about the history of PAM, its on their website.

PORT: is already a valuable resource, if you cant see that there isnt much more to discuss.

Also, I did proof it and made numerous changes on Monday because I do care... but its different if you dont have an editor. Anyone who has written much knows that.

Furthermore, I dont think its poor writing at all and many have remarked at what a good post it was... it simply is written in a very conversational form...with things that make grammar sluts crazy. I can write in standard academic forms too but Im interested in the looser language on the internet... there are major shifts in language because of it and yes the Elizabethan idea is very germane to the issue. The internet is shifting the written word in profound ways.

Ill take informed and informal to standardized and flat any day. There are always things to imporove upon but I dont want to give up the informal/informed voice.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 3, 2008 02:23 PM

I have not seen so much rationalization since my art school days! It seems that you are using the internet's dumbing down of English as an excuse to write quickly and carelessly without proofreading. Perhaps the site would also benefit from the use of emoticons! ;)

But seriously, I'm not here to heckle you. If you don't find it valuable to write in something that at least approaches decent English, hey, that's your business. It's not my website. I do check out PORT because I'm interested in the art community here in Portland, and I thought that you might welcome some constructive criticism about making the site seem like less of a blog and more of an online arts magazine. Perhaps I've misjudged your ambitions though.

I do have quite a bit of knowledge about PAM's history, by the way; I was more curious about your own definition of what constitutes an "encyclopedic institution", as well as why you think it valuable for PAM to try to emulate one. Thought it might make for an interesting discussion.

Posted by: Mierenneuker [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 4, 2008 01:39 PM

Technically it isn't a rationalization if it was conceptually built into the publication before we even started posting... it's a an M.O. Our reviews tend to be more formal and our news bits more conversational, like an eye witness account.

Also, I doubt we are guilty of dumbing anything down... we simply aren't interested in having one standardized style of writing. There is no editorial voice here at PORT and we have very academic pieces right next to very chatty, conversational ones. We trust our readers and challenge them to recalibrate according to the various voices here. Overall our ambitions are no less than allowing a kind of pluralistic language to grow, fester or evolve (take your pick).

Specifically, my point is no other publication made the connection between the auctions and the PNCA scholarship... no other portland publication has writers who walk the art scene beat with the same depth, background and understanding. I dont expect generalist publications to have that skill set at their disposal but I welcome the day it materializes itself in Portland.

Also, not to quibble but PAM isnt "emulating" an encylopedic institution...it is one already and it happens to gaps in pop and 80's art. I dont think you are heckling, just burking up the wrong tree... for example If you knew more about PAM you'd realize I'm not making arbitrary judgements. Ellsworh Kelly, Donald Judd and Jessica Stockholder fit into the particular character of the collection which has some depth of focus on formalist and assemblage strategies.

Lastly, we could use a Warhol, Rothko and a Picasso because they are key exemlars of their times... not because of group think, vanity or for the sake of name dropping but because at the end of the day those artists spoke about their times in a definitive way that still speak to us today.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 4, 2008 05:07 PM

Correct me if I am mistaken, Mierenneuker, but what I see here is not so much a complaint about the content of PORT, but the grammer and punctuation. And I for one agree with that bit.

If I encounter one sentence after another which gives me Im instead of I'm, it's a lot of work I need to do - which the writer has not taken the time to do instead. Someone needs to take that time. To leave out valuable punctuation and spelling is not reinventing language, I am sorry, and it surely is not changing (or improving) content.

Maybe someday we won't need any of that, but in the meantime, I would like to be able to enjoy the content. It's difficult when I get a tiny stop-sign in every sentence and yes, bad punctuation especially feels like that.

Posted by: lsd [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 5, 2008 09:12 AM

The "I'm" issue in particular come from the the way Microsoft word and the internet hypertext don't work together. The new version of Moveable type should help fix that issue. A lot of bloggers have intimate experience with the problem.

Personally I can read just fine without standardized punctuation ... then again I can read Olde English nearly as well as modern English.... there are things gained and lost in each way. Ill take Shakespeare over Bede Rundle any day.

Overall, If you want perfect punctuation there are other places... if you want to know things that you can't find anywhere else you have PORT. I'm prone to favor content over form... and yes not being Kate Turabian's dutiful slave is a way to evolve language

I guess I'm amused by this. What part about PORT being a blog dont you understand? Many of our readers mention how they like the esoteric grammar. Like Joyce it's sometimes nice to adapt to the writer's particular structural interpretations. There is intention at work in my conversational run-ons.

The point is news bits will be more conversational and reviews will be more formal. When we publish our first book we might fix the " ' "'s... maybe we wont, it's an interseting decision.

Overall, the language is in flux and blogs are an interesting experiment in informal first hand voices and until there is some sort of editorial mechanism (in the updated version of PORT) it just aint gonna change. If an apostrophe's absence breaks your heart, may Francis de Sales protect you from my heretical keyboard. It simply comes with the unedited blog format... its up to each of our writers to use the voice they feel comfortable with, considering our readership it seems like it has a following. We don't pretend to be anything we are not.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 5, 2008 06:07 PM

There are much more interesting things to debate about on PORT. Why worry about a few grammatical issues on a blog?

I think the debate about why we need important pieces by Warhol, Rothko and a Picasso (amongst others) is considerably more important regarding our Portland art scene. If PAM wants to play in the big leagues, it has to have a collection that represents that want.

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 6, 2008 11:37 AM


...and Cauduro's collection is the single most important one in the state. To not get key works would be an incredibly tragic loss.

The guy even has a good Schnabel,... who knew that such a thing ever existed???! It's from Schnabel's first solo show.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 6, 2008 04:35 PM

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