A memorial service for longtime Portland art dealer Laura Russo will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, Feburary 17 at 3:00 PM in the Portland Art Museum’s Sunken Ballroom. All are welcome to attend.
Laura Russo graduated from the Museum Art School (now PNCA) where she had met Arlene Schnitzer. She worked for Schnitzer at her Fountain Gallery, arguably Portland’s first serious contemporary art gallery selling work by Northwest artists. Russo eventually bought the Fountain and over the next decades built on Schnitzer’s comprehensive stable of venerable Northwest artists including Mel Katz, Jay Backstrand, Lucinda Parker, Michael Brophy, and too many more to name including the estates of Carl and Hilda Morris, Louis Bunce, and of course, her uncle, Michele Russo. A visit to the Laura Russo Gallery, in other words, is an art history lesson in mid to late 20th century Northwest art. According to a press release jointly issued by the family and the Laura Russo Gallery, the gallery, "will remain open under the able direction of her trusted and longtime manager, Martha Lee, who is dedicated to carry on the legacy that Laura has left behind."
Russo died Thursday, February 11 after a brief bout with cancer.
D.K. Row wrote this considered piece on Russo in the Oregonian,