Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

Image: Detail of Facade, by Lawrence, Holford, Allyn and Bean (1929). Source: Special Collections.

Architect, etc.: Lawrence, Holford, Allyn and Bean. Chief Designer: Ellis F. Lawrence. Engineers & Consultants: Sydney B. Hapslip, George S. Reed (Mech. Eng.), Arthur L. Peck (Oregon State College, landscaping). Contracts: Ross B. Hammond, Inc. (Portland), Eugene Foundry & Machine Co., Urban Heating Co. (Portland, Portland Heating and Plumbing, Willamina Pacific Brick Co., Ernest Thomas Cast Stone Co. Artists and Designers: I.K. Tuerck (Main doors & ironwork), Richard W. Bock (courtyard stone capitols & cast stone lunette panels), Oliver Barrett (courtyard stone sculpture).
Date: 1930 and later
Location: 1430 Johnson Lane. Google Maps location. Images of this building: Building Oregon


Original Structure (1930).

Design work began in January 1925 for this structure which was initially conceived to house the donated collection of Mrs. Murray Warner. Construction began in May 1929 and ended in August 1930. Mrs. Warner's concerns about security delayed its opening until 1932. Chief fundraiser Irene Gerlinger had intended the building to be named for former president Prince Lucien Campbell, but Mrs. Warner did not want the structure named for any single person. Instead, the interior courtyard was named for Campbell. During the planning stages, it was also known as the Murray Warner Art Museum, Prince Lucien Campbell Memorial, and the Fine Arts Building.

"One of Lawrence's finest buildings, the Museum of Art combines an exotic blend of Modernistic, oriental and European styles which is unique in Lawrence's work. (He refered to the meeting of eastern and western civilizations on the Pacirfic coast.) The plain and boldy massed rear resulted when only the 1st stage was built; Lawrence thought it would look "a fright" without the unbuilt wings, but Frank Lloyd Wright praised the rear during his visit to the campus in 1931. The peaceful courtyard, a memorial to PResident P. L. Campbell, assembles artwork by faculty & students of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts--including Richard Bock who created much of Frank Lloyd Wright's early architectural sculpture. The buliding is significant for its early use of innovative features which later became widely used in museums: the lack of exterior windows, and aritificial lighting and ventilation. The Museum of Art was built by public donations to house the Murray Warner colleciton of oriental art." -- "Museum of Art," v. 2 (Eugene), Ellis Lawrence Building Survey.

The Museum of Art was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 5, 1986.

Addition (2004).

Architects, etc.: SRG Architects with design consultants Hammond, Beeby, Rupert, and Ainge, Chicago. Construction Firm: Wildish Building Co. Project Planner: Chris Ramey. Project Manager: Alex Gordon.

The addition to the original 1929-30 museum nearly doubled its size and enabled expanded gallery space, an educational suite, an interactive discovery gallery, a café, an enlarged museum store, and a hall available for public rental. The original interior lobby was redesigned with the entrance stairwell eliminated.  In May 2004, the building was renamed the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in honor of the donor who has committed a multimillion dollar endowment in support of the renovation.


Archives & Drawings | Books | Journal Articles | Newspaper Articles | Websites


Consult the Guide to Architectural Materials in Special Collections for holdings on Ellis F. Lawrence.

Books & Parts of Books

"Museum of Art," Ellis Lawrence Building Survey. v.2 (Eugene). Compiled by the Historic Preservation Program, School of Architecture and Allied Arts, University of Oregon ; project directors, Michael Shellenbarger, Kimberly Lakin. [Salem, Or.] : State Historic Preservation Office, [1989].

Sheldon, Henry D. History of University of Oregon (Binford & Mort, 1940), 250-251.

Style and Vernacular; A Guide to the Architecture of Lane County, Oregon (Oregon Historical Society, 1983): 49.

Journal & Magazine Articles

"Art Museum Is Formally Dedicated." Old Oregon 4 no. 4 (June 1922): 7.
Refers to Gerlinger Hall, a temporary location for the Warner Collection.

"All-Oregon 1925 Exposition Benefits Art Museum." Old Oregon 8 no.1 (Oct. 1925): 10.

Lawrence, Raymond. "When Art and Industry Met." Old Oregon 8 no.2 (Nov. 1925): 6.
About the All-Oregon 1925 Exposition (Oct. 5-10, 1925), held at the Portland Civic Auditorium, and organized to raise funds for a proposed Fine Arts building at UO. Mrs. George T. Gerlinger was generally in charge of this event.

Newspaper Articles (Arranged by Date)


"Arts building fund solicited," Daily Emerald, 11/19/1924, 1.

"Cash pledges for building exceed $7,000," Daily Emerald, 10/07/1925, 1.

"Club formed to raise art building funds," Daily Emerald, 10/21/1925, 3.

"Arts building money asked. Postal-card drive nets $10,000 for edifice," Daily Emerald, 11/17/1925, 4.

"Cornerstone of Fine Arts home to be laid in Fall," Daily Emerald, 05/28/1926, 1.

"Art Building to be memorial to Campbell. $160,000 structure to be dedicated Thursday.," Daily Emerald, 10/19/1926, 3.

"Memorial site dedicated to P.L. Campbell," Daily Emerald, 10/22/1926, 1.

"Student drive will support new memoir," Daily Emerald, 12/08/1926, 1.

"Fine arts building gains $375 during Christmas holidays," Daily Emerald, 01/11/1927, 1.

"Sculpture students to cast models for Campbell memorial," Daily Emerald, 11/16/1927, 1.

"Barker sees early start on building," Daily Emerald, 01/31/1929, 1.

"Art Museum construction starts May 1," Daily Emerald, 04/03/1929, 1.

"Delta Gamma donates $1000 for building," Daily Emerald, 04/09/1929, 1.

"Initial unit of Fine Arts Building will be masterpiece of architecture," Daily Emerald, 04/13/1929, 4.

"Regents call for bids on art museum ," Daily Emerald, 05/25/1929, 1.

"Arts museum to be ready this spring," Daily Emerald, 10/08/1929, 1.

"Concrete work progresses on art memorial," Daily Emerald, 11/08/1929, 1.


"Campbell memorial cornerstone placed," Daily Emerald, 05/03/1930, 1.

"Prince Campbell art museum will soon be finished," Daily Emerald, 05/10/1930, 2.

"Bust of President Campbell arrives for memorial court," Daily Emerald, 10/30/1930, 1.

"Museum grounds to be embellished by 1930 class gift," Daily Emerald, 01/30/1932, 1.

"Drive planned for art museum," Daily Emerald, 03/12/1935, 1.


"Scribe gains entrance to Campbell Memorial," Daily Emerald, 05/04/1946, 1.


""Windowless" building draws student comment, curiosity," Daily Emerald, 01/13/1950, 7.

"Oregon's oriental art museum pattern of Japan's national building, ...Building (info. Disclosed in lecture by Jiro Harada)," Daily Emerald, 05/09/1951, 6.

"Japanese Buddha sculptures shown at Art Museum tour," Summer Sun, 07/27/1955, 4.

"Buddhist sculpture given to museum," Daily Emerald, 10/30/1957, 8.

"Art museum gets rare sculpture," Daily Emerald, 11/04/1957, 3.

"Museum features rugs, sculptures," Daily Emerald, 11/12/1959, 3.


"Tri Delts donate Hardy sculpture of Museum of Art," Daily Emerald, 10/26/1960, 6.

"Art museum exhibits sculpture of Pegasus," Daily Emerald, 11/15/1962, 3.

"Sculpture given to UO museum, by A. P. Proctor," Daily Emerald, 11/27/1962, 1.

"Art Museum recieves gift of two African sculptures," Daily Emerald, 08/03/1965, 4.

"Indian sculpture graces museum," Daily Emerald, 11/20/1969, 1.


About the architect: Hammond Beeby Rupert Ainge Architects.

About the architect: SRG Partnership

"Projects Underway or Anticipated to Begin Soon," UO Campus Planning Office. Accessed 20 Sept. 2004.

Page author:  Edward H. Teague