In Search of Portland

The Elk Statue

The Elk Statue

For 120 years it stood downtown between two park blocks. In 1991 it made a cameo in one of the most acclaimed films by Portland's favorite-son movie director, Gus Van Sant. In 2020, it was removed from its base and stored in a warehouse. Though it's just a tiny little statue on a traffic median, the "Elk" statue may be the city's most beloved public artwork. And whenever it returns, this circa-1900 statue by the internationally renowned sculptor Roland Hinton Perry, a French-trained classicist called upon to evoke Native American symbolism, shows us a way to move beyond the divisive hero-worship of human statuary.

Duration: 1 hr 20 min

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