|If Sculptures Could Talk . . .|
By Raymond Kaskey, 1943 -
Located: Portland Building
1120 SW 5th Avenue
Portlandia is based on a figure in Portland's city seal of a woman, dressed in classical clothes, who welcomes traders into the port of the city. The sculpture is placed on the a landing on the third floor of the Portland Building. The sculpture is 36 feet tall but if Portlandia was magically to stand up, she would be over 50 feet tall. Portlandia is the second largest hammered copper statue in America (the largest is the Statue of Liberty).
Before being installed at the Portland Building, Portlandia was floated down the river on a barge and then transported through the city on a large truck. People lined up on the streets to see it. When it reached the building, the people crowded around the sculpture for a chance to touch it before it was installed out of reach.
Raymond Kaskey was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1943. He studied architecture and graduated from the Yale School of Architecture. He then became a professor and sculpted part-time. His earlier art was mostly abstract. His current art is figurative (depicting recognizable people and things). Kaskey now lives in Washington, DC, and is a full-time sculptor.