MAKING HISTORY: ART FROM THE ARCHIVE

September 1 – 30, 2017, Make.Shift Gallery, 306 Flora Street

Make.Shift Gallery and the Whatcom Museum have joined forces for a juried exhibition inspired by photos from the Museum’s archives. Original artworks in various media will be on display with a copy of the archive photo that inspired the work beside it. Make.Shift Gallery is open Tues. – Sat., noon – 5pm. Admission is by donation. Attend the opening on Fri., Sept. 1, 6-10pm during Downtown Art Walk.

WHATCOM ARTIST STUDIO TOUR EXHIBITION

August 4 – September 17, 2017, Old City Hall

In anticipation of the Whatcom Artist Studio Tour in October, we’re showcasing a variety of artwork in this exhibition featuring participating Studio Tour artists. Learn more about the Whatcom Artist Studio Tour at www.studiotour.net.

The Whatcom Artist Studio Tour is a FREE, juried event offering an opportunity to meet the region’s finest artists in their own creative spaces. In its twenty-third year, the Tour features 44 artists working in eleven different media, showing their work throughout Bellingham and Whatcom County.  Read more

PEOPLE OF THE SEA AND CEDAR: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE HISTORY AND CULTURES OF THE TRIBES OF THE NORTHWEST COAST

Photo by Kiser Photo Co., Whatcom Museum #1946.24.27

Ongoing, Lightcatcher

People of the Sea and Cedar, in the second floor gallery of the Lightcatcher building, shares the history and art of the Northwest Coast people, blending both historical and contemporary perspectives. This exhibit features artifacts from the Museum’s collection, such as Coast Salish artwork and carvings, woven blankets, hand-made tools, cedar hats, clothing, and baskets. The exhibit provides hands-on learning experiences, a Lummi and Nooksack language interactive, and videos showcasing Lummi and Nooksack weavers and carvers. Themes of cultural knowledge, art and symbolism, lifestyles, and community present the Northwest Coast tribes as vibrant, living cultures who honor their past while building cultural and economic futures for their people.

PARTY > Members see it first at the member reception! Friday, July 14, 5 – 7 PM at the Lightcatcher building.

OPENING DAY > Nooksack Storyteller Tamara Cooper-Woodrich will present a few stories from 1-1:30pm in the Lightcatcher.

DOCENT TOURS > Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 2:30pm beginning Thursday, July 20, 2017.

JOHN M. EDSON HALL OF BIRDS

The John M. Edson Hall of Birds includes an example of what amateur ornithologist Edson’s study would have looked like in the 1930s and ’40s.

Opened March 16, 2017; Ongoing; Old City Hall

This new exhibit in Old City Hall provides a glimpse into the local history and culture of the Victorian Era, when taxidermy flourished and mounted animals often decorated interior spaces. For the Museum, this collection of birds is also important to the building’s history. If it hadn’t been for John M. Edson, Old City Hall might not be standing here today. While city officials were considering demolishing it, Edson saw an opportunity to not only save the building, but also to create a public museum within its walls. He dreamed of having a permanent home for his bird specimen collection, and the museum became the perfect showcase.

Now, more than 75 years later, the Whatcom Museum has taking this important collection and reinterpreted it as an educational experience. Designed in collaboration with the North Cascades Audubon Society, the new exhibit provides opportunities to learn about bird migration, conservation success stories, birds in peril, and the importance of studying bird specimens today. Alongside the interpretive panels and the birds themselves, the Hall of Birds provides a variety of interactive opportunities, including video clips of birds in our local habitats, audio files of Puget Sound-area bird calls, and hands-on activities for children. We look forward to sharing this important collection with visitors for years to come.

 

KINSEYS IN COLOR

Foot logs provided by nature across fir-bordered trout brook, 1926. Photo by Darius Kinsey, Whatcom Museum #1981.53.10.

Ongoing, Old City Hall

Curated by Jeff Jewell, Photo Archives Historian

Before the development of color film, there was a way to make a color photograph — you painted it by hand! Known as tinting, it’s a meticulous, time-consuming process. The exhibition Kinseys In Color features fifteen examples of this art form by Darius and Tabitha Kinsey, whose half-century in commercial photography is renowned for views of the early Northwest timber industry. Kinseys In Color offers a different aspect of the Kinsey legacy, one focused on scenic views and Tabitha’s talent at hand-tinting prints.

HISTORY EXHIBITS AT OLD CITY HALL

Ongoing

The Museum’s 1892 Old City Hall building features a variety of exhibits that tell the stories of the building’s architecture, the city’s early days, logging history, and waterfront industry.

Visit our Maritime History Exhibit at Old City Hall to learn more about Bellingham's waterfront history.

Visit our Maritime History Exhibit at Old City Hall to learn more about Bellingham’s waterfront history.

THE BIG PICTURE (Opens September 27, 2017):
For those hoping to get a glimpse of the big picture, this variety of grandiose moments from the Whatcom Museum Photo Archives will be showing in Old City Hall’s Haggen Gallery. Some images are indeed quite large!

GREEN GOLD: LOGGING THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST (Opens October 28, 2017):
Relive the history of logging in our corner of the Pacific Northwest through photographs, artifacts, and stories documenting both the good and the bad of Bellingham’s timber era during the mid- to late- nineteenth century. Historic video footage takes you back to a time when only the sheer strength of the lumberjacks felled the enormous trees. Learn what it took to be a lumberjack, the long days and hard work. Find out what a “road monkey” and a “river rat” did for their jobs.

ORIENTATION THEATER:
Get a sense of place, and where we are in this fourth corner of the country, through an audio-visual journey of Old City Hall and the early days of Bellingham. Located on the main level of Old City Hall, in the gallery that was once the first mayor of Bellingham’s office in the late 1890s, you’ll learn a variety of historical facts and trivia.

MARITIME HISTORY GALLERY:
Walk into the second floor Allsop Gallery for a lesson on Bellingham’s maritime heritage. From early steam ships, to fisheries, to notable schooners plying the shores of Bellingham Bay, you’ll get a waterfront history overview through photographs, artifacts, interactives, and model ships while looking through the gallery windows to the Bay.

JOHN M. EDSON HALL OF BIRDS:
Partnering with the North Cascades Audubon Society, this exhibit features our founding collection of more than 500 mounted birds, with interpretation, videos, and hands-on activities highlighting Pacific Northwest flyway zones, migration patterns, habitats, nests, and more.

BACK AT THE PARK: VINTAGE VIEWS FROM THE PHOTO ARCHIVES

Ice skating in Broadway Park, December 5, 1909. Photo by J.W. Sandison. Whatcom Museum 3705.

Ice skating in Broadway Park, December 5, 1909. Photo by J.W. Sandison. Whatcom Museum 3705.

Ongoing, Old City Hall

Curated by Jeff Jewell, Photo Archives Historian

Bellingham’s parks have always been a locally loved and widely admired part of the city. This collection from the Whatcom Museum’s Photo Archives combines two previous photo exhibitions with a parks theme. The collection features historical views of Bellingham parks including images of Cornwall, Fairhaven, Whatcom Falls, and Elizabeth parks, among others. It’s a celebration of the community green in glorious black and white.