Entries by Christina Claassen

Five Women Artists in the Collection: Helen A. Loggie

The Whatcom Museum is featuring five women artists from its collection throughout the month of March—Women’s History Month—in conjunction with the #5WomenArtists campaign. The campaign is organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. This week we’re highlighting Helen A Loggie, whose work was last exhibited in the Whatcom Museum’s 2016 show, Just […]

Five Women Artists in the Collection: Gail Tremblay

The Whatcom Museum is featuring five women artists from its collection throughout the month of March—Women’s History Month—in conjunction with the #5WomenArtists campaign, organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. This week we highlight Gail Tremblay, whose work was last exhibited in the Whatcom Museum’s 2016 show, Just Women as well as […]

Five Women Artists in the Collection: Tabitha Kinsey

The Whatcom Museum is featuring five women artists from its collection throughout the month of March—Women’s History Month—in conjunction with the #5WomenArtists campaign. The campaign is organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. This week we highlight Tabitha Kinsey, whose original hand-tinted work is currently on display in the Old City Hall […]

Five Women Artists in the Collection: Lesley Dill

The Whatcom Museum is featuring five women artists from its collection throughout the month of March—Women’s History Month—in conjunction with the #5WomenArtists campaign, organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The Museum highlights women artists whose artwork spans a variety of media, genres, and eras. We hope you will share our #5WomenArtists […]

Whatcom’s Newspaper War  

The years from the 1890s to the 1910s were a turbulent time for America’s journalism industry. William Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer were in a fierce circulation war that had pushed the United States into the Spanish-American War. But journalism’s mighty waves weren’t a faraway thing. In fact, Bellingham was the scene for its own newspaper […]

5 Women Artists in the Whatcom Museum’s Collection: Mary Randlett

This is the final installment of #5WomenArtists, inspired by the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ challenge, “Can you name five women artists?” The Museum featured five female artists from its collection throughout the month of March—Women’s History Month. Share our posts with your followers on social media and tag your posts #5WomenArtists. Mary […]

5 Women Artists in the Whatcom Museum’s Collection: Ella Higginson

Inspired by the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ challenge, “Can you name five women artists?” the Whatcom Museum is highlighting five female artists whose work is featured in our collection throughout the month of March—Women’s History Month. Read on to learn about Ella Higginson. Ella Higginson Ella Higginson was a prominent Bellingham author […]

Long-time Educator, Mary Jo Maute, Retires After 21 Years

For 21 years, Mary Jo Maute taught the history of the Northwest Coast people to thousands of Whatcom County children, brought art to families experiencing homelessness, inspired high school students, and taught adults painting and art techniques through various workshops. Last month, Maute, an education and program coordinator at the Museum, retired from her position, […]

Partnership between Whatcom Museum and Bellingham Public Library Lets Anyone Enjoy Art, Nature, and Northwest History

The Whatcom Museum and Bellingham Public Library (BPL) have teamed up to offer complimentary Museum passes to library card holders. About free Museum passes The Museum passes are available for free to library patrons. A pass allows entry for up to four people into all of the Museum’s buildings. That includes Old City Hall, the […]

Community Partnership: Audubon Society

Sometimes two organizations come together to better achieve their missions. The Whatcom Museum and the North Cascades Audubon Society (NCAS) are an example of this. Through an ongoing partnership, the Museum and Audubon Society have produced a variety of events, and an exhibit, that have informed and inspired people throughout Whatcom County. Museum and Audubon […]

The History of Old City Hall

Reaching into the sky with its four spires and clock tower, Old City Hall is one of Bellingham’s most iconic landmarks. Most have seen the building and many have been inside during a visit to the Whatcom Museum. But fewer people know the history behind it — and the many secrets it holds. History of […]

Supporting Our History and Mission

If you’ve been thinking about supporting the Whatcom Museum this year, Tuesday, November 28th is a great time to do it! Non-profit and charitable organizations around the world, including the Whatcom Museum, are taking part in #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday is a global movement that celebrates generosity and kindness by giving financial support to nonprofit organizations across […]

A Closer Look at Art of the American West

When you first walk into Art of the American West: Highlights of the Haub Family Collection from the Tacoma Art Museum at the Lightcatcher building, you’re met with a brilliant, colorful painting depicting a Native American man. Next, your gaze falls upon a portrait of another Native American man painted in 1851 by Paul Kane. […]

Transcending Boundaries: Becoming Helmi

The Whatcom Museum recently uploaded a new virtual gallery that showcases a sampling of artwork by Helmi Juvonen (1903-1985). It can be viewed HERE. Scroll down to learn more about the life Helmi. Transcending Boundaries: Becoming Helmi Helmi Dagmar Juvonen (1903-1985) was a Seattle-based artist who found success capturing the culture of Native American tribes […]

Dow Walling and the Comic World Of Skeets

The Whatcom Museum recently uploaded new virtual galleries, which can be viewed HERE. Visit the virtual galleries to learn more about an exhibit featuring the comics of local talent Dow Walling.      Dow Walling and the Comic World Of Skeets Dow Walling (1902-1987) was a self-taught comic creator and illustrator. His full-page color strip “Skeets” […]

Drawing Practice: Bellingham National Juried Art Exhibition and Awards

Bellingham National article reposted from June 20, 2017, Seattle Art Museum Blog Bellingham National Catharina Manchanda, the Seattle Art Museum’s (SAM) Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, juried this year’s Bellingham National Juried Art Exhibition and Awards, on view in the Lightcatcher building. Barbara Matilsky, Curator of Art at the Whatcom […]

5 Women Artists in the Whatcom Museum’s Collection: 3. Elizabeth Colborne

The Whatcom Museum is highlighting five female artists whose artwork is in our collection throughout the month of March (Women’s History Month). Artist number four is Elizabeth Colborne. Follow us on social media and share our posts with your followers, or tell us your favorite women artists. Don’t forget to tag your posts #5WomenArtists. Elizabeth […]

Affirming Culture and Resisting Oppression: Selected Works of Chicana/o Art

The exhibition Images of Resilience: Chicana/o Art and its Mexican Roots has its foundation in the Chicano Art Movement known as “El Movimiento.”  From the 1960s on, the Chicana/o Movement of both political and cultural development galvanized a generation of Mexican-American youth committed to civil rights. The Chicana/o Movement was at its deepest level a […]

Vibrant Hues Color the Lightcatcher for One More Week

Essay excerpted from Colorfast: Vivid Installations Make Their Mark exhibition catalog by guest curator Amy Chaloupka. The exhibition closes Sept. 18, 2016. Artists Ashley V. Blalock (California), Elizabeth R. Gahan (Washington), Damien Gilley (Oregon), and Katy Stone (Washington) understand the elemental impact of color and wield it in their work with striking effect for the […]

Introducing the Lightcatcher’s Newest Docents

If you’ve visited the museum recently you’ve probably noticed some new faces leading gallery tours.  In November seven trainees joined the docent ranks and are eager to share information, ask and answer questions, and provide insights into Lightcatcher exhibitions. These accomplished docents come from diverse backgrounds and careers, from teaching to neuroscience to design work, […]

Be My Historic Valentine

Valentine’s Day is nearing and as we shop for gifts and cards, it’s fun to reflect on the traditions of the past. The custom of making and sending cards for this holiday has been around for more than 150 years. The Museum’s own collection features more than 65 unique handmade and vintage Valentine’s Day cards […]

Tom Sherwood Tells Us More About His Life & Artwork

On May 14th, local artist Tom Sherwood spoke about his artwork in a retrospective and walk-through of the exhibition, Tom Sherwood: A Golden Perspective, at the Lightcatcher building. If you missed the chance to participate, here’s another opportunity to learn more about Sherwood, his background, and his artwork. Whatcom Museum (WM): When and how did […]

John Edson, His Birds, and His Museum

At the end of the 19th century, the art of taxidermy was a fad. Mounted birds and other animals were used as home decor and most naturalists, amateur and pro­fessional alike, collected and mounted specimens. As such, the Whatcom Museum’s Edson-Edson-Booth Bird Col­lection of over 600 mounted birds is an important cultural and historical artifact. […]

How Your Museum Protects the Collections

Thirty thousand objects.  170,000 photographs.  16,000 archival items. These numbers make up the Whatcom Museum Collection and Curator of Collections, Becky Hutchins, is in charge of protecting each piece from harm. Threats are as small as the powderpost beetle and as large as a fire or flood. For the smallest variety of threat, Hutchins employs […]

Sneak Peek at Famous Peak

HOORAY! The manuscript for the Vanishing Ice catalogue was emailed to the editor thirty minutes ago. Here is a sneak peek at one of my favorite artworks in the exhibition: Thomas Hart Benton’s (American, 1889-1975) journey to the Canadian Rockies inspired Trail Riders, a sweeping, cinematic view of Mount Assiniboine. The artist faithfully documents the […]

The Bell Show: Bellingham’s First Movie House

The Bell Show opened at 111 E. Holly in July 1908 as Bellingham’s first theater dedicated exclusively to the showing of motion pictures. Located in what had been Edward Gott’s pharmacy, the Bell was what came to be known as a “store show” or storefront theater. A five-cent “nickelodeon” ticket got you a triple-feature of […]

McNeil Wedding Dress, Whatcom Museum Collection

Delicate and graceful, this wedding dress is composed of cream-colored lace with peach satin-covered buttons extending down its back. The gathered skirt and flared sleeves create a medieval silhouette—a style likely inspired by Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923 when she married HRH the Duke of York. Hallmarks of the era include the scalloped, dropped waist […]

Lake Whatcom Washington, Elizabeth Colborne

At the intersection of art, nature, and history, Elizabeth Colborne divided her time between New York and Washington state during the 1920s, but work waned after the 1929 stock market crash. She came back to Bellingham and spent from May through October of 1933 in a cabin on Lake Whatcom to paint. From her journals […]

Small Curtain, Michael Brophy

Art is a visual means of communication, but often what is not seen is as important as what is seen. Michael Brophy’s painting Small Curtain is an excellent example of how artists often suggest a narrative but leave the meaning ambiguous or hidden. Brophy sets up a mysterious scene that asks more questions than it […]

Union, Diem Chau

Clearly the smallest piece in the New Gifts and Acquisitions exhibition, Diem Chau’s Union, a tiny (just over 2 inches high) tea bowl holds its own amid much larger, bolder and more colorful works. Perhaps its minute size and simplicity is part of the attraction. Attached atop the rim of the porcelain bowl, clay from […]

David Ireland, Untitled

What makes it art? That’s the first question one might have when seeing this untitled sculpture by David Ireland. How can a vintage book with rough lumpy concrete bookends possibly be art? David Ireland is presenting us with intriguing questions. What does the book contain? Where did it come from? What are the world’s greatest […]

An Iroquois Dreams That the Tribes of the Middle East Will Take the Message of Deganawida to Heart and Make Peace, Gail Tremblay

Gail Tremblay’s sculpture featured in Show of Hands: Northwest Women Artists 1880-2010 and a recent addition to the Whatcom Museum collection, interprets diverse cultural influences with results that are both striking and complex. The artist, also a writer and activist of Onondaga and Mi’kmaq ancestry who teaches at Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA), cleverly recycles […]

Angle, Drizzle and Dot, Margie Livingston

When lines and colors come together in unexpected ways, the mind often recognizes something unique. In this case, what’s surprising is not only the composition itself — which is quite intricate — but the way in which it was formulated and the fact that the artist did so outside the confines of a traditional canvas. […]