Arlene Director Schnitzer passed away Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 2:12 p.m. at home, surrounded by family. She was 91 years old.
Arlene transformed the Northwest art scene in the 1960s and 1970s and championed the work of local artists. Arlene and her husband of 62 years, the late Harold Schnitzer, were among Oregon’s most generous philanthropists. They donated more than $150 million to various causes.
A native Oregonian, Arlene opened the legendary Fountain Gallery of Art from 1961 to 1986. Through the Fountain Gallery, Arlene pioneered a nationwide appreciation for art produced in the Pacific Northwest and left an indelible impact on the Portland arts community.
In 1994, Arlene and Harold co-founded The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation. The Schnitzers gave to hundreds of institutions in Oregon, including Oregon Health & Sciences University, the Boys and Girls Club and the Portland Center for the Performing Arts.
“She was a role model certainly for me and others,” her son, Jordan Schnitzer said. “If there’s a lesson from her life, what she said to me was, ‘Don’t stop caring about the community.’”
To read more about her life and legacy, please click here.