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Online Collections

Gordon W. Gilkey

American, 1912-2000

Occupation or Type



Northwest artist

Oregon artist


In August of 1988, Gordon Gilkey retired as Curator of Prints and Drawings, a position he held at the Portland Art Museum for ten and half years. During his tenure, Dr. Gilkey developed a comprehensive collection of prints and drawings that contains some of the best examples of both media. In little more than a decade, he increased the collection from 3,000 to 15,000 works. Some 8,000 of these originated in Vivian and Gordon Gilkey's personal collection, their gift to the Museum.

Gordon Gilkey collected works of art on paper since his early years as an artist-printmaker in the 1930's. Impressed by the work of his peers at the University of Oregon, he began a lifelong pratice of trading prints with colleagues.

World War II serendipitously provided the young Captain Gilkey with many of the gems of his collection. In his position as Head of the United States War Department Special Staff Art Projects in Europe, he participated in Allied efforts at recovery and restitution of artworks that had been confiscated or displaced by the Nazis.



Related People

son: Gordon Spencer Gilkey (American)

sister: Helen M. Gilkey (American, active 20th century)

Associate of: Sekino Jun'ichirō (Japanese, 1914-1988)

Melville T. Wire (American, 1877-1966)

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Related Artworks
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