September 8, 2018 – January 6, 2019; Lightcatcher
Curated by Barbara Matilsky, Curator of Art
Endangered Species: Artists on the Front Line of Biodiversity presents 80 works of art in all media, from rare books to cutting-edge video, that span the 19th through 21st centuries. It highlights artists who celebrate biodiversity’s exquisite complexity, interpret natural and human-induced extinctions of plants and animals, and focus on endangered species from diverse ecosystems. The exhibition explores art’s historic role in raising public awareness about the human activities that threaten habitats.
Endangered Species highlights an international group of 52 artists who celebrate biodiversity’s beauty, interpret natural and human-induced extinctions of plants and animals, and focus on species from diverse ecosystems under stress. It also includes the work of artists who spotlight the human activities that threaten biodiversity alongside projects that revitalize habitats and reconnect people to the rich tapestry of life. Read more
September 8, 2018 – March 31, 2019; Old City Hall
In conjunction with our Lightcatcher exhibition, Endangered Species: Artists on the Front Line of Biodiversity, the Museum will explore the story of ivory from pre-history to modern times, featuring a selection of ivory from the Museum’s collection. The exhibition will cover areas of research in elephant communication, the devastating effects of ivory hunting, and highlight how organizations are trying to save these incredible animals around the world.
To highlight this exhibition, the Museum will be screening a short documentary, Return to the Forest, on the successful reintroduction of Asian elephants into the wild in Thailand followed by a behind-the-scenes discussion with director Patricia Sims. All ages are welcome to attend Sat., Oct. 6, 1pm in the Rotunda Room of Old City Hall. The program is included with admission and free to members.
This showcase highlights a variety of artwork from artists participating in the Whatcom Artist Studio Tour this coming October, and displays a wide range of artistic mediums. The Whatcom Artist Studio Tour takes place October 6–7 and 13–14, 2018, and offers the public an opportunity to visit artists’ working studios and gain insight into the creative process, work-life, and the work environment of local artists. The self-guided tour also provides an opportunity for people to purchase art directly from artists. Visit www.studiotour.net for more information about this year’s Studio Tour.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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. See messages visitors have placed in our “Message in a Bottle.” We hope you’ll visit our Maritime Gallery and leave your own message of encouragement.
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.