white, gold, brown, and white historic heeled shoes with beads and lace

All Dressed Up

May 29 - October 31, 2021; Old City Hall

Curated by Maria Coltharp, Collections Curator When one thinks about the Whatcom Museum collections, many things may come to mind: The John M. Edson Hall of Birds, the contemporary masterpieces in the art collection, the Photo Archives, or the treasures in the history collection. Perhaps lesser known is the incredible clothing collection that includes hundreds […]

Detail shot of dress with lace

Silk for Suffragettes and Schoolchildren: The Impact of Kimono on European and American Design Practices, c. 1890-1930

May 29 – August 29, 2021; Old City Hall

Curated by Julia Sapin, Ph.D., Professor of Art History, Western Washington University Americans and Europeans were crazy for kimono, and garments based on kimono, beginning in mid-nineteenth century, including fashionistas in Whatcom County. This exhibition focuses on kimono-inspired objects that have come into the Whatcom Museum’s collection over the last fifty years. Primarily from Bellingham […]

Celebrating our Matriarchs

This virtual exhibition is part of our collaborative Community Photo Project tied to Matika Wilbur’s exhibition Seeds of Culture: The Portraits and Stories of Native American Women.

We all know women who have inspired and influenced us, taught us, raised and cared for us, mentored and encouraged us to become better people. From the past to our shared present, matriarchal figures have an enduring importance. 

As part of the project, we invited community members to share a photo of a matriarch important to them. Submissions were accepted during March and are now displayed below. We’re excited to share these photographs with you, along with words from the photographers. 

Do you see your photo and would like to add more information? Contact us at info@whatcommuseum.org.

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Female identified person with a black shirt and a white and blue skirt wearing a woven headband and standing near a body of water

Seeds of Culture: The Portraits and Stories of Native American Women

March 13 – June 13, 2021; Lightcatcher building

Exhibition by Matika Wilbur In 2012, critically acclaimed photographer and social documentarian Matika Wilbur (Tulalip & Swinomish) sold her belongings and set out on the road to launch Project 562, a crowd-funded initiative to visit, engage, and photograph people from 562+ sovereign Tribal Nations in the United States. Seeds of Culture: The Portraits and Stories of […]

Blue and neon green squiggle designs on a detail of a blown glass bowl.

Fluid Formations: The Legacy of Glass in the Pacific Northwest

April 10 – October 10, 2021; Lightcatcher building

Organized by Amy Chaloupka, Whatcom Museum Curator of Art Celebrating a rich legacy unique to our region, Fluid Formations features the art of fifty-seven contemporary artists working in glass. The Pacific Northwest is the epicenter of glass, spurred by the establishment of Pilchuck Glass School on a remote tree farm in Stanwood, Washington in 1971. […]

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Photography by Jac Trautman

Jac Trautman: The Specter of the Young and Indigenous

January 28 - June 13, 2021; Lightcatcher Courtyard

Jac Trautman is a photographer and artist from Seattle and a member of the Duwamish tribe. With this series of seven photographs, Trautman takes a single exposure with multiple projected images contained within and draws attention to the concepts of splitting and projection and their role in the history of interactions with the colonizer and […]

Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence

January 1 – July 3, 2021; Old City Hall

The story of women’s suffrage is a story of voting rights, of inclusion in and exclusion from the franchise, and of our civic development as a nation. In 2020, the Smithsonian celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment with Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence. This dynamic poster exhibition explores the complexity of […]

Sonia Delaunay, Abstract Composition with Semicircles

Geometry and Color: Sonia Delaunay and Bellingham Public School Students

Virtual Exhibit; Ongoing

As part of their distance learning materials, local students were asked to make artwork in the style of influential, Paris-based artists Robert and Sonia Delaunay. While the Delaunays’ works have been displayed in exhibitions at museums around the world, it turns out that Sonia Delaunay’s work can be found closer to home. The Whatcom Museum […]

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 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 […]

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