Suitcase and car

Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II

Ongoing; Old City Hall

Righting a Wrong poster exhibition traces the story of Japanese national and Japanese American incarceration during World War II and the people who survived it. Young and old lived crowded together in hastily built camps, endured poor living conditions, and were under the constant watch of military guards for two and a half years. Meanwhile, […]

Man with cheetahs and mountain lions in circus act in 1910

Vintage Vaudevillians

Ongoing; Lightcatcher Second Floor Hallway

Vintage Vaudevillians is a new photographic exhibition, in the Lightcatcher building second floor hallway, highlighting a dozen vaudeville acts that performed in Bellingham in the early 20th century. Originally used to promote the acts, these publicity photos were saved by James Warwick, stage manager at downtown theaters during vaudeville’s heyday. Image credit: Arnold’s Performing Felines, […]

Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Shimizu. Manzanar Relocation Center, 1943

Two Views: Photographs by Ansel Adams and Leonard Frank

February 15 – May 17, 2020; Old City Hall

Two countries – two photographers. This compelling collection of photographs presents two views of internment and incarceration in the early 1940s. The 1942 incarceration of people of Japanese descent in the United States and Canada following the bombing of Pearl Harbor is portrayed through this stunning collection of black and white photographs. Ansel Adams and Leonard […]

Women holding signs

Moving Forward, Looking Back: Washington’s First Women in Government

February 15 – May 10, 2020; Old City Hall

This traveling exhibit from Legacy Washington honors the centennial celebration of women’s suffrage and the passage of the 19th Amendment, giving women in the United States the right to vote. Moving Forward, Looking Back: Washington’s First Women in Government follows the lives of 14 women who soared to some of the most coveted offices in Washington […]


Art of United States

Conversations Between Collections: The Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Whatcom Museum

February 1, 2020 - January 3, 2021; Lightcatcher building

The Whatcom Museum is pleased to kick off a five-year exhibition partnership with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as we present three masterworks from one of the nation’s most treasured collections of American art. Made possible through the support of Art Bridges and the Terra Foundation for American Art, two exhibitions titled Conversations Between Collections […]

docent tours

Take a docent-led tour Saturdays beginning February 1, 2:30–3:30pm and learn more about Conversations Between Collections, a partnership between the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) and the Whatcom Museum featuring three SAAM masterworks in “conversation” with the Whatcom Museum’s permanent collection. Our trained docents will provide insight into the themes of identity and place highlighted in the exhibition. Tours begin in the lobby of the Lightcatcher, last one hour, and are included with admission.

Feathered Kayapo/Mekranoti Headdress

The Global Language of Headwear: Cultural Identity, Rites of Passage, and Spirituality

February 1 - April 26, 2020, Lightcatcher building

The Global Language of Headwear: Cultural Identity, Rites of Passage, and Spirituality presents 87 hats and headdresses carefully selected from a private collection of more than 1300 extraordinary pieces of international headwear. This exhibition features hats from 42 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America, and is a tribute […]

docent tours

Take a docent-led tour beginning February 1st to learn more about The Global Language of Headwear. Our trained docents will provide insight into the cultures and headdresses featured. Tours take place Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 1:30-2:30pm and begin in the lobby of the Lightcatcher. Included with admission/Members free.


People looking at an exhibition at the Whatcom Museum

People of the Sea and Cedar: A Journey Through the Tribal Cultures and History of the Northwest Coast

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, […]

John M. Edson Hall of Birds

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 […]


History Exhibits at Old City Hall

Ongoing; Old City Hall 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. Green Gold: Logging the Pacific Northwest Relive the history of logging in our corner of the Pacific Northwest through photographs, artifacts, and […]