3D Center of Art and Photography – Portland, Oregon - Atlas Obscura

Portland, Oregon

3D Center of Art and Photography

Taking the 3D art experience far beyond blue and red glasses. 

Sorry, 3D Center of Art and Photography is permanently closed.

Update: We are sad to say that as of 3/5/12, the 3D Center of Art and Photography is no longer open for business.

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In 1994, the fledgling Cascade Stereoscopic Club began dreaming of a shared space where their passion for the history and art of three-dimensional photography could reach the public. As the years progressed, the members were able to establish the 3D Center of Art and Photography, which remains the only museum in the United States dedicated solely to historic and contemporary 3D art.

Inside the museum and gallery space, cabinets bearing stereographic technology spanning 160 years line the walls. Plastic ViewMaster® toys butt up against equipment used to document the US Civil War, and tables are lined with books of 3D images, along with a variety of glasses through which to view the art. For the more timid visitors, a browse-able reference library provides answers to common and in-depth questions about 3D photography, though friendly staff members are happy to help out.

A constantly changing selection of works by contemporary stereo photographers from around the world are featured on the gallery walls. In the viewing room, curators play an automated slideshow of international artists, while viewers regard the pieces wearing newer, fantastic black plastic-rimmed 3D glasses. Images range from entrancing to the occasional oddball grotesque image of dental work. Each new photograph is a surprise!

The primary objective of the Center is teaching. Workshops and classes in a variety of subject matter relating to three-dimensional imaging are regularly offered. Additionally, the Center partners with local independent movie theaters to host screenings of 3D classics like “It Came From Outer Space.” Proceeds from the (excellent) gift shop and admission fees keep the center up and running for future generations.

Obscura Day location: April 9, 2011.

Know Before You Go

Located on NW Lovejoy between NW 20th and NW 19th Avenues. On-street, metered parking is available. The Center is also easily accessible by the Portland Streetcar, which runs along NW Lovejoy.

  • Personal experiences, supported by:
  • http://www.3dcenter.us/
  • Rhoda, Mary Anne. "3D Center of Art and Photography," PSA Journal. August, 2005.