Past Exhibitions

A Kaleidoscope of Color: American Indian Trade Blankets
July 16 – November 15, 2016

American Indian trade blankets are commercially-made wool blankets with bold geometric designs. 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 more than 20 pre-1925 blankets from a variety of historic manufacturers.

Click here to read the gallery guide for this exhibition.

Image: Oregon City Woolen Mills (Oregon City, OR, 1864–1932), Happy Hunting Ground blanket, c. 1920s, wool with cotton warp, 71½” x 54½”; Collection of Mark Pigott.

George E. Muehleck Jr. Gallery of International Chess Sets
March 15 – November 15, 2016

A new exhibition installation features 90 of the museum’s unique chess sets and chess-related works of art. Wall-mounted cases hold complete boards and sets, enabling easy viewing by visitors of all sizes, especially young people.

The gallery is named in honor of George E. Muehleck Jr. who loved the game of chess.

Image: Rajasthan, India, Figural Chess Set, 19th century, painted Ivory; Collection of Maryhill Museum of Art. Photograph by Mary Harrsch.

American Art Pottery from the Fred L. Mitchell Collection
March 15 – November 15, 2016

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.

Image: Roseville Pottery Company (Roseville, OH, 1890–1953), Pine Cone-design bowl, c. 1935, glazed ceramic, 11¼” wide; Fred L. Mitchell collection

Maryhill Favorites: Animal Kingdom
March 15 – November 15, 2016

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 common. The exhibition features a wide range of animal-centric works, including pastoral paintings and 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.

Image: Jakob Bogdani (British [b. Hungary], 1660–1724), The Thieving Monkey, c. 1710, oil on canvas, 30” x 26”; Collection of Maryhill Museum of Art

American Indian Painting: Twentieth-Century Masters
March 15–July 5, 2015

Allan C. Houser (Chiricahua Apache, 1914–1994), Buffalo Hunt, 1952, gouache on illustration board, 17¼” x 26½”; Arthur and Shifra Silberman Collection, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, OK

Allan C. Houser (Chiricahua Apache, 1914–1994), Buffalo Hunt, 1952, gouache on illustration board, 17¼” x 26½”; Arthur and Shifra Silberman Collection, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, OK

This exhibition brings to the Columbia River Gorge a collection of 35 paintings of a type seldom—if ever—exhibited in the Pacific Northwest. Curated by Maryhill’s Steve Grafe, the exhibition features some of the most important American Indian artists of the 20th century. The featured artists were residents of the Southern Plains and Southwest, and affiliated with the University of Oklahoma, Bacone College and the Santa Fe Studio; they include Stephen Mopope (Kiowa), Allan Houser (Chiricahua Apache), Fred Beaver (Creek/Seminole), Jerome Tiger (Creek/Seminole), Harrison Begay (Navajo) and Tony Da (San Ildefonso).

Download and read the gallery guide here.

All of the paintings are drawn from the collection of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

African Art from the Mary Johnston Collection
August 9 – November 15, 2014

Idoma (Nigeria), Idoma mask, 20th century, 15” x 6” x 6”, carved and painted wood; Collection of Mary Johnston, Florence, ORAfrican Art from the Mary Johnston Collection features traditional masks, sculptures and other objects created in West Africa by the Yoruba (Nigeria/Benin) the Bambara and Dogon (Mali), the Bobo (Burkina Faso) and others. Central to tribal life, these objects are intended to praise powerful kings and tribal chiefs, made for home altars and village shrines, or created for use during initiation rites, festivals, religious ceremonies, funerals, and masquerades.

Mary Johnston of Florence, Oregon, inherited the items from her brother, who acquired them in Berlin in the early 1970s. She has spent the last two decades of her life studying and sharing the collection.

Download and read the  gallery guide here.

The exhibition was sponsored by Laura and John Cheney and produced with curatorial assistance from the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.

Image: Idoma (Nigeria), Idoma mask, 20th century, 15” x 6” x 6”, carved and painted wood; Collection of Mary Johnston, Florence, OR

Angela Swedberg: Historicity
March 15 – November 15, 2014


Artist Angela Swedberg’s cast and blown glass pieces, in combination with other materials, are inspired by historic and traditional art forms. Swedberg is also a well-known restorer of antique American Indian art.  Sixteen of the artist’s works are featured.








The Flip Side: Comic Art by New Yorker Cartoonists
March 15 – November 15, 2014

The Flip Side presents work by a half-dozen artists whose cartoons regularly appear in The New Yorker magazine. The exhibition contains examples of published cartoons along with other, less well-known examples of the artists’ comic output. The show is guest-curated by Shannon Wheeler, a Portland-based New Yorker cartoonist and author of the critically acclaimed Too Much Coffee Man.

Image: Shannon Wheeler (Portland, OR), Untitled, 2012, ink on Bristol board, 6” x 9”.


Maryhill Favorites: The Female Form
March 15 – November 15, 2014

William McGregor Paxton (American, 1869–1941), The Red Fan, 1906, oil on canvas, 72” x 48”; Gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Paxton, Collection of Maryhill Museum of Art

Maryhill Museum of Art’s permanent collection includes approximately 250 paintings by European and American artists. Ten or more of these works are shown each year in the Maryhill Favorites Gallery. During 2014, the gallery will feature works that highlight the use of the female form in composition. Included will be Solitude by Frederic, 1st Baron Leighton of Stretton and William McGregor Paxton’s The Red Fan, among others.

Image: William McGregor Paxton (American, 1869–1941), The Red Fan, 1906, oil on canvas, 72” x 48”; Gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Paxton, Collection of Maryhill Museum of Art


The Confluence Project: Gifts From Our Ancestors
August 1 – September 15, 2014

Gifts From Our Ancestors is a collaborative program between school classrooms, indigenous artists and tradition keepers, and community. This project-based learning program brings together Native American artists and students through story sharing and art. Together, they explore ideas of homeland, culture and ecology.

This special exhibition includes Spirit Masks created with the guidance of artist Lillian Pitt, by students from Mosier Community School (Mosier, OR) and Dallesport Elementary School (Dallesport, OR).

This program was made possible by the generous support of Brot and Mary Bishop, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, Roundhouse Foundation, Oregon Cultural Trust, BNSF Railway Foundation and Mid-Columbia Medical Center.

James Lee Hansen: Sculpture
March 15 – July 27, 2014

James Lee Hansen (American, b. 1925), Naga Stand Head, 1971, bronze, 1971, 16¾” x 9” x 9” x 9½”; Photo courtesy of the artist

James Lee Hansen is a noted Modernist sculptor from Washington State whose work is included in many public and private collections. James Lee Hansen: Sculpture features more than thirty of the artist’s maquettes and small sculptures and includes works produced from the 1960s to the present. They are accompanied by photo panels showing Hansen’s larger sculptures and architectural commissions.

Download the 24-page booklet about Hansen, written by Maryhill Curator of Art Steven L. Grafe.

This exhibition and its associated programs and publication were produced with assistance from James Lee and Jane Elizabeth Hansen, and sponsored by Art Dodd and Diane Plumridge, Broughton and Mary Bishop Family Advised Fund of the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission/National Endowment for the Arts.

Image: James Lee Hansen (American, b. 1925), Naga Stand Head, 1971, bronze, 1971, 16¾” x 9” x 9” x 9½”; Photo courtesy of the artist

The Hound of Heaven
March 15–May 27, 2013

R.H. Ives Gammell’s A Pictorial Sequence Painted by R. H. Ives Gammell Based on The Hound of Heaven series is based on “The Hound of Heaven,” a 182-line religious poem by English poet Francis Thompson (1859–1907). Gammell began making plans to execute the pictorial sequence during World War II and completed it in 1956. The 23 large paintings incorporate symbols drawn from C.G. Jung, primitive and medieval cultures and biblical and mythological sources.

Download the gallery guide here.

The Hound of Heaven exhibit and related programs was supported by the R.H. Gammell Trust Fund. The fund was established in 2000 to support the care and conservation, exhibits and education of the public concerning the series “The Hound” by R.H. Ives Gammell. 

Image: R.H. Ives Gammell (American, 1893–1981), The Hound of Heaven, Panel VI: “…and under running laughter,” c. 1950, oil on board, 33½” x 84¾”; Gift of the R.H. Ives Gammell Studios Trust, Collection of Maryhill Museum of Art.


Eanger Irving Couse on the Columbia River
June 8–September 2, 2013

Art student Eanger Irving Couse married Virginia Walker in Paris in 1889. Two years later, the couple spent a season living with Virginia’s parents at the Walker Ranch in Klickitat County, where Couse first painted Indian subjects. The couple returned to the area in 1896–1898 and during those years the artist created more works featuring local Indians. The exhibit will showcase approximately 20 original paintings and related artifacts and archival material.

This exhibition is made possible by the generous support of BNSF Railway Foundation, Puget Sound Energy,  The Brim Family, Kate Mills, Coburn L. Grabenhorst, Jr., Sayler’s Old Country Kitchen, Mary Dodds Schlick, JD Fulwiler & Co. Insurance and the Wheelhouse Family.

Image: Eanger Irving Couse, (American, 1866–1936), Klikitat Medicine Man, 1898, oil on canvas, 45” x 31”. Collection of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Used with permission.

Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition
May 18–October 6, 2013

During 2013, the grounds surrounding Maryhill Museum will feature three works by Portland sculptor Mike Suri. Among these will be the popular Brushing, which was first installed at the museum in 2009. An additional 15 works by other Pacific Northwest artists will also be on view.


Image: Mike Suri (Portland, Oregon), Peer,  2011, steel with zinc patina, 125” x 60” x 36”; Photo courtesy of Deborah Hollister.

Windows to Heaven: Treasures from
the Museum of Russian Icons
September 14–November 15, 2013

Smolensk Mother of God, c. 1750 Egg tempera on wood with metal basma (possibly tin), 11½” x 13½”. Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton, Mass.
This exhibition features a group of historically significant Russian icons dating from 1590 to the present, all drawn from the collection of The Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, MA.

Visitors are invited to explore the historical context in which the icons were created, the definition of an icon, and how icons are made—both in the past and today. The exhibition also looks at Russian history and culture, and the systematic destruction of holy images, or the practice of iconoclasm.

Windows to Heaven: Treasures from the Museum of Russian Icons beautifully complements Maryhill Museum of Art’s own collection of Russian icons, a portion of which is on permanent view. Much of Maryhill’s Russian icon collection once belonged to Queen Marie of Romania. Queen Marie’s mother was devoutly Russian Orthodox and, as a result, despite being raised as a Protestant herself, Marie retained a lifelong interest in the symbolism and ceremony associated with Orthodox icons.

The Museum of Russian Icons was founded by collector Gordon Lankton, who, after 40 trips to the former Soviet Union amassed more than 340 icons dating from the 15th to the 21st century. Located in central Massachusetts, it is the only museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to Russian icons.

Image: Smolensk Mother of God, c. 1750, Egg tempera on wood with metal basma (possibly tin), 11½” x 13½”. Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton, MA.

Kenneth Standhardt: Impressions
March 15–November 15, 2013

Kenneth Standhardt is a Eugene, Oregon-based ceramic artist who creates diverse stoneware vessels that are remarkable for their exterior patterning—all of which is created with everyday kitchen tools.

Image: Kenneth Standhardt (American, b. 1961), Gourd Set, 2012, stoneware, Large vessel: 12” x 8”; Medium vessel: 7” x 5”; Small vessel: 5” x 4”. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Arthur Higgins: Prints
March 15–November 15, 2013

The late Arthur Higgins (1942–2011) was a prolific sculptor, painter and printmaker. He spent much of his career in Alaska, where he completed more than 40 public art commissions. Higgins moved to Mosier, Oregon, in 1986, and there produced many kinetic sculptures, two of which are the collection of Maryhill Museum of Art. This exhibition features 20 of Higgins’ lithographs and woodblock prints—many of which reproduce Pacific Northwest landscapes, plants and bird species.

Image: Arthur Higgins (American, 1942–2011), Saw-Whet Owl, c. 1980, woodblock print (Edition: 11/33), 14” x 11”; Gift of the Seniors of Mosier Valley; Collection of Maryhill Museum of Art.