Louise Bourgeois is widely considered one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, and her work has been exhibited in every major modern art museum in the world. In March, the Pendleton Center for the Arts in Pendleton, Oregon will be added to that list, allowing the 17,000 residents of the small rural town a first-hand experience with prints by the contemporary master.

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) was born in Paris on Christmas Day. As a young girl she worked in her family’s busy tapestry restoration studio. She began making prints in the late 1930s, around the time she emigrated to New York, buying her own small press. When she turned to sculpture later in the 1940s, Bourgeois abandoned printmaking, taking it up again only in the late 1980s, when it then became integral to her work. Her work explores a fascination with textiles, architecture, spiders, and the body. She also used her art to tell the stories of her childhood, including difficult subjects like the First World War, her mother’s illness, and her parents’ troubled marriage. The Museum of Modern Art in New York recently presented a major exhibit of her work and maintains educational resources on her life and work at https://www.moma.org/artists/710?locale=en.

The prints in the Pendleton exhibit are on loan from Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation. Schnitzer is well known to Pendleton, having attended the Pendleton Round Up for almost 40 years. He grew up in Portland where his mother operated the Fountain Gallery of Art for 25 years, and he and his family are widely known for their support of local contemporary artists. In addition to his collection of contemporary Northwest artists, in 1988 he began collecting contemporary prints and multiples of the most important artists in America. Over the last 25 years, he and his staff have helped facilitate over 100 exhibitions and 80 museums throughout the country. These exhibitions are loaned for free and his program is recognized for funding outreach programs to make sure that everyone in every community, regardless of age, is able to experience amazing art by the best artists of our time.

Professionally, Jordan is President of Harsch Investment Properties, a privately owned real estate investment company based in Portland, Oregon, which owns and operates real estate properties in six western states, including the former Wells Fargo bank branch on Main Street in Pendleton. For almost 20 years, Jordan has been a major sponsor of the Pendleton Round Up and has also funded a college scholarship program for the Round Up Court and the Happy Canyon Indian Princesses.

“I attended my first Round Up in 1981 and since then have been so appreciative of the wonderful hospitality of everyone in Pendleton and have cherished the wonderful friendships that I have made with people in Pendleton. I feel like it’s my second home!” he said.  “We helped support the founding of the Pendleton Center for the Arts and are thrilled this is our third exhibition at the Center. I hope that everyone in the community visits to understand why Louise Bourgeois is recognized as one of the most important artists of our time.”

Thanks to the support of Schnitzer, Wildhorse Foundation and the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, admission to the Pendleton Center for the Arts is free. Pendleton’s downtown is a magnet for cultural tourism, and the Pendleton Center for the Arts, located on the banks of the Umatilla River, is within four blocks of several other galleries and maker spaces where everything from boots to hats to belts and more are custom made.

The Center is open Tuesday through Friday 10:00 – 4:00 PM and Saturday noon – 4:00 PM, but groups may contact the staff for special after-hours visits during the Bourgeois exhibit. More information is available by calling 541-278-9201 or visiting online, http://www.pendletonarts.org .