Portlandia (statue)

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Portlandia sculpture.jpg
Portlandia is located in Portland, Oregon
Location in Portland, Oregon
Artist Raymond Kaskey
Year 1985
Type Copper repoussé
Dimensions 10.62 m (34 ft 10 in)
Location Portland, Oregon, United States
Coordinates 45°30′56.7″N 122°40′44.5″W / 45.515750°N 122.679028°W / 45.515750; -122.679028Coordinates: 45°30′56.7″N 122°40′44.5″W / 45.515750°N 122.679028°W / 45.515750; -122.679028

Portlandia is a sculpture by Raymond Kaskey located above the entrance of the Portland Building, in downtown Portland, Oregon, at 1120 SW 5th Avenue. It is the second-largest copper repoussé statue in the United States, after the Statue of Liberty.[1]

The statue is based on the design of the city seal. It depicts a woman dressed in classical clothes, holding a trident in the left hand and reaching down with the right hand. The statue is above street level and faces a relatively narrow, tree-lined street. An accompanying plaque contains a poem by Portland resident Ronald Talney.


The Seal of Portland, which was the inspiration for Portlandia

Portlandia was a product of Portland's Public Art Program.[2] Kaskey was paid $228,000 in public funds (the equivalent of $500,000 in today's dollars) and reportedly an additional $100,000 in private donations.[3]

Raymond Kaskey and Michael Lasell built sections of the statue in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., and sent the parts to Portland by ship. It was assembled at a barge-building facility, Gunderson, Inc. It was installed on October 6, 1985,[4] after being floated up the Willamette River on a barge.[5]


The statue is 34 feet 10 inches (10.62 m) high[4] and weighs 6.5 short tons (5,900 kg).[3] If standing, the woman would be about 50 feet (15 m) tall.


It has been claimed that Portlandia's relatively low profile results from sculptor Kaskey's close guarding of his intellectual property.[3] Unlike the Statue of Liberty, Portlandia may not be reproduced for any commercial purpose without permission from the artist. The rights to the image of Portlandia remain Kaskey's sole property.[6]

The statue appears in the title sequence of the TV series Portlandia, the result of "lengthy" negotiations with Kaskey that required the statue not be used "in a disparaging way".[3] In 2012, Laurelwood Brewing used an illustration of the statue on the label of Portlandia Pils, a beer it introduced; the brewery later found out about Kaskey's copyright and reached a cash settlement with Kaskey.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Warren, Stuart & Ted Ishikawa. Oregon Handbook. Moon Publications, 1991.
  2. ^ Portlandia in Portland, Oregon
  3. ^ a b c d e Locamthi, John (September 10, 2014). "So Sue Us: Why the Portlandia statue failed to become an icon". Willamette Week. pp. 15–17. Retrieved 2014-09-12. 
  4. ^ a b Crick, Rolla J. (October 7, 1985). "Thousands bid ‘Portlandia’ warm welcome: Statue lifted successfully to final spot". The Oregonian, p. A1.
  5. ^ Ota, Alan K. (October 7, 1985). "‘Portlandia’ wends way along river, city streets to delight of onlookers". The Oregonian, p. B3.
  6. ^ Bancud, Michaela (May 27, 2003). "Your best shot at a perfectly sculpted figure". Portland Tribune. Retrieved 2014-09-12. 

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