Just the Ticket
Apr 2 - Aug 22 2021
Hop aboard for a journey through the history of railroad travel in Washington State! This exhibition of rail travel posters, schedules, tickets, and train-related objects provides a glimpse of how and why passengers traveled. Visit the History Museum for this new exhibition, and while you're here, see the state's largest model train layout on public view, too!
May 29 - Dec 10 2021
This exhibit highlights historical narratives of transgender people in the West and considers how westward migration provided opportunities for self-expression and fulfillment. Traversing unfamiliar territory, these individuals crossed both physical boundaries and the perceptual boundaries of their earlier lives. Join us in learning more about the history of gender, identity, and changing cultural perceptions in the West and the connections between transgender history and the LGBTQ+ community today.
IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts 2021
Jul 15 - Aug 29 2021
IN THE SPIRIT is an annual celebration of diverse Native arts and culture. It includes a juried art exhibition at the Washington State History Museum with a wide range of selected works on view during July and August.
As Grandmother Taught
Jul 23 - Nov 28 2021
This exhibition from the NWMAC in Spokane celebrates three contemporary Columbia River Plateau women alongside historic objects and images from the NWMAC’s collection. The art of these cultures reflects traditional lifeways borne of a time-honored and interdependent relationship with the natural world. Women have been the primary makers of the functional forms necessary to everyday life.
Great Hall of Washington History
Our largest exhibit is a walk through time, showcasing some of the state’s earliest history and a variety of artifacts from Native American civilizations and cultures.
This new long-term gallery at Washington State History Museum explores the intergenerational impacts and legacy of the incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry during World War II as a result of Executive Order 9066. Many of the letters, photographs, ephemera, and objects on view were contributed by people in our community who were incarcerated, or are the descendants of those who were incarcerated.
Washington: My Home
This permanent exhibit explores migration and immigration through the experiences of diverse individuals who, over time, have come to live in Washington.
360 – opening September 16, 2021
Why is it called 360, you may wonder? That's the distance in miles from the eastern flatland to the western shore, measuring between the boundaries drawn when Washington became a state in 1889. From mountain and prairie to river and sea, relationships to place have sustained and drawn people here, while shaping the lives of those who have always called this land home.
Aug 19 - Dec 10 2021
The WSHS and UW collaborated to provide a unique learning experience for students in the capstone course for the Public Health/Global Health major. This exhibition is the result of the student's work. By exploring poignant personal accounts of people in our community, you'll come away with a clearer, more diverse understanding of the reach and ramifications of this global crisis as it played out right here at home.
Sep 17 - Jan 24 2022
Looking across city blocks and quilt blocks, roadways and seams, one can see a visible kinship between quilt making and cartography. Both are built upon established systems that use color, pattern, and symbols to create whole compositions from a network of interlocked parts. Quilts and maps are also infused with history and memory—similarly living records of traditions, experiences, relationships, beliefs, and future aspirations.
A View From Above
Sep 17 - Jan 23 2022
See a selection of bird’s-eye view maps from the Historical Society's collections illustrating cities and towns from across Washington. Also called panoramic maps, they were drawn to give the viewer a sense of looking down at a city and its major features as if they were flying above it. Maps on view are from the late 1800s -early 1900s as well as more recently created maps inspired by the panoramic style. Also featuring historic surveying, mapmaking, and illustration tools.
The Fourth Grade Project
Jan 28 - May 25 2022
Over the past ten years, acclaimed artist Judy Gelles has interviewed and photographed more than 300 fourth-grade students from a wide range of economic and cultural backgrounds. These students’ stories capture the gamut of societal issues that we face today.
All the Sacrifices You’ve Made / Todos los sacrificios que has hecho
Jan 29 - Oct 16 2022
UW students are working with Borderland Collective to create work that explores migrant farmworker family life. Explore their photographs, documents, and objects, alongside items from the permanent collection of the Washington State Historical Society.
The Negro Motorist Green Book
Mar 19 - Jun 12 2022
Visitors are transported back to a time when, if you were Black, it took bravery and a Green-Book to cross the country safely. The exhibition includes film, photographs, art installations, interactives, oral histories from travelers and Green-Book business owners, and comparisons of Green-Book sites then and now. It also features historical objects from the Smithsonian and from Green-Book sites, including a rare example of a Green-Book, matchbooks, business signs, brochures, "sundown" signs, and historical documents.
Art of the Aloha Shirt
Jul 1 - Sep 11 2022
Explore the history, artistry, and production of Hawaii’s enduring fashion statement, the Aloha Shirt. This exhibition of sixty objects, including original textile artwork, production sketches and swatches, advertisements, and vintage shirts tells the story of an early innovator, John “Keoni” Meigs, in an industry that has left an indelible mark on fashion in the United States and the world. Meigs was a self-taught painter whose talent became known to the early shirt manufacturers in Honolulu. In 1938, he created his first designs, concentrating on Polynesian tapa patterns inspired by the originals he had studied at the local Bishop Museum.