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Colleen Schafroth, Executive Director
Laura Thayer Appointed Collections Manager
at Maryhill Museum of Art
(GOLDENDALE, Wash., October 15, 2012) – Maryhill Museum of Art has appointed Laura Thayer to collections manager. Thayer assumed the post October 1, 2012, and will oversee the storage, care and conservation of Maryhill’s diverse collections, which numbers nearly 20,000 objects.

“Laura’s range of experience makes her a great fit for Maryhill,” says Colleen Schafroth, the museum’s executive director. “We are delighted to welcome her to our team.”

Thayer’s background includes collections management, as well as curatorial and educational roles at a number of museums. Most recently, she worked for the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in Spokane, Washington, where she was the museum programs manager, and directed exhibits, collections and education programs. Previously at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture she served as senior curator of collections, curator of collections, and registrar. Before that she held the post of registrar at the Tacoma Museum of Art, worked as a classroom teacher in Korea, and art gallery coordinator at the North Central Washington Museum in Wenatchee.
Thayer, who grew up on a wheat farm in Lincoln County, Washington, says, “I’ve always had my eye on Maryhill. It is a very unique and interesting museum.”
Earlier this year Maryhill opened the 25,000 square foot Mary and Bruce Stevenson Wing, which contains a new storage facility that will eventually consolidate, for the first time, all of the museum’s collections.

“Moving into a new collections facility is a long process and there is still work to be done,” says Thayer. “When I was looking for a change, I was looking for an interesting job. This is a huge step forward in the history of Maryhill and a very significant undertaking for the museum. I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”
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Housed in a glorious Beaux Arts mansion on 5,300 acres high above the Columbia River, Maryhill Museum of Art opened to the public May 13, 1940 and today remains one of the Pacific Northwest’s most enchanting cultural destinations. The museum was founded by Northwest entrepreneur and visionary Sam Hill, who purchased the property and began building the house with dreams of establishing a Quaker farming community. When that goal proved untenable, Hill was encouraged by friends Loie Fuller, Queen Marie of Romania, and Alma de Bretteville Spreckles to establish a museum.

Maryhill Museum of Art boasts a world-class permanent collection, rotating exhibitions of the highest caliber, and dynamic educational programs that provide opportunities for further exploration by visitors of all ages. On view are more than 80 works by Auguste Rodin, European and American paintings, objects d'art from the palaces of the Queen of Romania, Orthodox icons, unique chess sets, and the renowned Théâtre de la Mode, featuring small-scale mannequins attired in designer fashions of post-World War II France. Baskets of the indigenous people of North America were a collecting interest of Hill; today the museum’s Native American collection represents nearly every tradition and style in North America, with works of art from prehistoric through contemporary.

Maryhill’s Outdoor Sculpture Garden features more than a dozen large-scale works by Northwest artists. The Maryhill Overlook is a site-specific sculpture by noted Portland architect Brad Cloepfil; nearby are Lewis and Clark interpretive panels. Four miles east of Maryhill is a life-sized replica of Stonehenge, Stonehenge Memorial, which Sam Hill built to memorialize local men who perished in World War I. Nearby, the Klickitat County War Memorial honors those who have died in the service of their country since World War I.

The museum was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. In 2001 the museum was listed as an official site of the National Historic Lewis and Clark Trail and in 2002 was accredited by the American Association of Museums. In 2012 the museum opened the Mary and Bruce Stevenson Wing, a 25, 500 square foot expansion that is the first in the museum's history. The new wing boasts the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust Education Center, a collections storage and research suite, a new cafe and terrace, and the Cannon Power Plaza with an installation of sculpture, and sweeping views of the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood in the distance.


Maryhill Museum of Art is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., March 15 to November 15. Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $3 for youth age 7-18 and free for children 6 and under. Admission to the Stonehenge Memorial is free; it is open from 7:00 a.m. to dusk daily.
Sandwiches, salads, espresso drinks, cold beverages, and freshly baked desserts and pastries, as well as a selection of local wines are available at the museum's cafe, Loie's, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily; the Museum Store features art and history books, jewelry, Native American crafts and other mementos.
Maryhill is located off Highway 97, 12 miles south of Goldendale, Washington. Drive times to the museum are 2 hours from Portland/Vancouver, 3.5 hours from Bend, 4 hours from Seattle, and 1.5 hours from Yakima. For further information, visit

Maryhill Museum of Art | 35 Maryhill Museum Drive | Goldendale, WA 98620 | 509-773-3733

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