Portland Art Museum has announced the biggest individual donation in its history: $10 million from philanthropist Arlene Schnitzer.
The money will go toward the Rothko Pavilion, which will connect the museum's two buildings and house a rotating collection of paintings by abstract expressionist Mark Rothko, who attended Lincoln High School.
The Schnitzer family has long had an outsized influence on the Oregon art world.
Along with the glitzy downtown concert hall the bears her name, Arlene Schnitzer, 91, has made major donations to organizations like Oregon Jewish Museum, Portland Japanese Garden and Oregon Symphony.
A few months ago, her son, Jordan Schnitzer, who has his name on three other university art museums in the region, opened a free museum on Portland State University's campus.
Groundbreaking for the Rothko Pavilion was initially estimated to begin in 2018, but the museum now says it hopes to begin construction in fall 2021, though it still has more funds to raise.
The delay is the result of changes to the project's costs. What was initially estimated to be a $50 million project is now estimated to coast $100 million. The institution changed the layout of the pavilion after it was criticized by disability, pedestrian and bicycling advocates.
In 2017, it was revealed that the museum had fundraised millions of dollars for plans that violated a city ordinance requiring the art institution to maintain an open-air walkway through the center of its campus.
The museum has revised its plans to include a walkway.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Portland Art Museum planned to use its endowment to help pay for the Rothko Pavilion.