Large-Scale Paintings, American Indian Trade Blankets and New Chess Set Installation headline Maryhill’s 2016 Season

(GOLDENDALE, Wash., December 14, 2015) – When Maryhill Museum of Art opens for the season on March 15, 2016, visitors will be able to enjoy a special exhibition featuring large-scale paintings from the museum’s collection, a small show of American Art Pottery, and nearly 100 new objects in the Native American gallery. The museum’s International Chess Sets Gallery will be relocated and reinstalled with new interpretation and better accessibility, giving visitors a fresh perspective on this popular exhibit.Later in the season, the exhibition A Kaleidoscope of Color: American Indian Trade Blankets will explore commercially produced trade blankets as an important facet of Indian culture; the exhibit will showcase 20 historic blankets from well-known makers such as J. Capps & Sons, Racine, Oregon City and Pendleton.

In 2016 Maryhill also will mark the 100-year anniversary of the opening of the Historic Columbia River Highway. Inspired by scenic roadways he saw in Europe, Sam Hill was a key figure in the conceptualization of the project and a major force in its completion. The museum will also commemorate the 90-year anniversary of Queen Marie of Romania’s visit to Maryhill.  Queen Marie’s US tour in 1926 was marked by lavish luncheons and formal dinners as she crisscrossed the country visiting historic sites and cultural performances, her every move chronicled by the international media. She arrived at Maryhill with 15 crates of artwork and artifacts that she presented to Sam Hill for his future museum. On her arrival along the Columbia, Queen Marie dedicated Maryhill Museum of Art on November 3, 1926 in a ceremony that received national attention and was attended by more than 2,000 people.

SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS IN 2016

March 15 – November 15, 2016
George E. Muehleck Jr. Gallery of International Chess Sets
A new exhibition installation will feature a global historical overview of chess, anecdotes and stories of chess, and over 80 of the museum’s unique chess sets and chess-related works of art. Wall-mounted cases will hold complete boards as well as sets, and the height of the displays will allow for easy viewing by people of all sizes, especially young people.

March 15-July 4, 2016
The Big Painting Show
Drawn from the museum’s permanent collection, The Big Painting Show features approximately two dozen works that are seldom shown because of their unusual size. Included are William McGregor Paxton’s The Red Fan, The Wedding Feast by Gillis van Tilborch, Henk Pander’s Columbia River at Stonehenge and select works from Gammell’s The Hound of Heaven series. Solitude, by Lord Frederic Leighton will also be on view.

March 15 – November 15, 2016
American Art Pottery from the Fred L. Mitchell Collection
The art pottery movement, exemplified by simple, decorative or utilitarian ceramics, began roughly in tandem with the Arts and Crafts movement in America and Britain during the late 19th century.  The pottery was usually hand-decorated, produced in limited numbers, and signed by the artists; many designs showed the influence of Asian and Art Nouveau styles.  This small exhibition features ceramics from makers such as Roseville, Rookwood, and Weller – companies established in the American Midwest during the height of the movement. All of the pieces are drawn from the collection of Fred L. Mitchell.

March 15 – November 15, 2016
Maryhill Favorites: Animal Kingdom
Maryhill Museum of Art’s painting collection contains more than 250 works, most created during the 19th and 20th centuries in America and Europe. Included among these are a number of works with animals as subjects. During the 19th century, it was common for European and American artists to include domesticated livestock in their pastoral landscapes; some artists specialized in painting specific animals, others created domestic exteriors with barnyard animals or indoor genre scenes that included cats, dogs and other species. As modern life has distanced us from animals, they have disappeared from daily view and likewise have become largely invisible in the world of art. Animal Kingdom looks back to a not-so-distant past when human interaction with animals was commonplace. The exhibition features a wide range of animal-centric works, including pastoral paintings, equestrian scenes, along with exotic birds, sheep and man’s best friend, the domesticated canine. Among the artists included are Jakob Bogdani, François Pieter ter Meulen, George Bernier, George Wright and Edwin James Douglas.

March 15 – November 15, 2016
Sam Hill and the Columbia River Highway
The centennial celebration of the Columbia River Highway takes place in 2016, and this exhibition features black and white prints showing both construction photos of the highway and early scenic views of the Columbia River Gorge. Most of the images are drawn from Sam Hill’s personal photo collection, which is housed at Maryhill Museum of Art. Look for accompanying programs at Maryhill as part of the Columbia River Highway centennial festivities.

July 16 – November 15, 2016
A Kaleidoscope of Color: American Indian Trade Blankets
American Indian trade blankets are commercially-made wool blankets with bold geometric designs; the first such blankets were the striped “point” blankets imported from England by the Hudson’s Bay Company. Between 1780 and 1890, point blankets were a staple of the fur trade and many thousands made their way into Indian hands. In the late nineteenth century, enterprising American woolen mills—J. Capps & Sons, Racine, Oregon City and Pendleton among them—began making brightly colored blankets for sale to Native peoples. Trade blankets soon became an important part of Native culture; by the 1940s, Pendleton-brand blankets had assumed most-favored blanket status, while all other American woolen mills had ceased operations. The exhibition features approximately 20 pre-1925 blankets from a variety of historic manufacturers.

Native American Gallery Update
The museum’s Native American Gallery will see an update, with many new objects. The majority were recently donated to Maryhill by Jan Wyers and Teunis J. Wyers, Jr. The collection was originally amassed by their grandfather, John G. Wyers (1870–1960) of White Salmon, Washington, who managed the Columbia Fruit Union, a hardware and general merchandise co-op serving Mid-Columbia growers.Among the new objects on view are Columbia River baskets (berry baskets, sally bags and cornhusk bags) and beaded bags. The collection is especially unique because many of the baskets’ makers are known. Most of them were created by members of the Hunt, Cayuse and Thomas families from the Husum, Washington area. A selection of Arctic material, donated by John and Jan Nelson, including masks and miniature items, will also go on view in the Native American Gallery in 2016.

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