Hoffman Gallery

June Gallery Exhibition Opening Reception
June 1 | 3:00-5:00pm
Hoffman Center for the Arts | 594 Laneda Avenue | Manzanita
Free and open to the public



Runquist Brothers Exhibition

Northwest Washington/New York/ Neahkahnie

Arthur (1891 -1971) and Albert (1894 -1971) Runquist were children of Scandinavian immigrant parents who settled in Aberdeen, Washington at the end of the 19th century to farm and log. Their love for art, the natural environment, strong work ethic, and belief in social equality has gifted later generations with a powerful, thought-provoking body of drawings and paintings on view at the Hoffman Center for the Arts (HCA) in Manzanita from May 30th through June 29th.

Most of the brother’s art currently resides in private collections, so we are especially delighted to have had this opportunity to borrow a beautiful selection of pieces from a group of generous Runquist collectors. This mini-retrospective exhibit begins with early works done in the 1920s while studying at the Art Student’s League in New York City, moving through a significant, often controversial Depression Era body of work, (the brothers found employment as mural and easel painters with the Works Projects Administration (WPA) and in the Oregon shipyards,) to images that capture the wild beauty of the North Oregon coast. Their art, spanning five decades, defines a
transitional period of United States history.

During the 1920s, the Runquists studied art at the University of Oregon, the Art Students League in New York, and the Portland Museum Art School. There they studied with the head of the painting department, Henry Fredrick Wentz (Harry). Following their student years, time as WPA artists, and work in the shipyards, Wentz loaned them his Neahkahnie beach cottage for 18 years, from 1946 to 1963, providing a rustically ideal environment to pursue their painting.


Always chronicling their immediate surroundings, the charcoal, pencil, and ink drawings, watercolors and oil paintings in the exhibit capture industrial forces championed by WPA artists, while clearly illustrating the plight of the worker. Deeply involved in workers’ rights and advocating unionization, Arthur was severely beaten by a group of thugs, resulting in a long-term hospitalization. Viewed by many as socialist/communist sympathizers, they were ostracized from Portland’s art scene.Moving to Neahkahnie provided a refuge where the beautiful, but often harsh, coastal environment served as a metaphorical equivalent to the workers’ struggles. The Neahkahnie area paintings depict subtly colored, often expressionistic views of the landscape and people. Wind contorted trees, logged and burnt forests, and figures making a living from the land and sea become prime subjects. Their painting styles become more individually distinguishable and a fluid masterful use of the paint invigorates their canvas. The exhibit provides a rare opportunity to view an astonishing, historic art collection.

A few paintings and a number of drawings are available for sale.


  •  June 1, 2024
     3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

June 1–Gallery Exhibition Opening Reception


594 Laneda Avenue, Manzanita, Oregon, 97130


Situated on the main street in Manzanita just a few blocks west of Highway 101, the Hoffman Center Art Gallery is located across the street from the North Tillamook Library.