(Goldendale, Wash., January 6, 2015) – When Maryhill Museum of Art opened to the public in 1940, Time magazine called it “the world’s most isolated art museum.” While the surrounding population has grown, Maryhill Museum of Art remains a rural anomaly – a robust cultural institution with an outstanding art collection, vibrant educational programming and an abundance of charm.
To open the museum’s 75th Anniversary Season, American Indian Painting:Twentieth-Century Masters will bring 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, which features some of the most important American Indian artists of the 20th century, will be on view March 15, 2015 through July 5, 2015.
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). All of the paintings are drawn from the collections of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
In addition to American Indian Painting: Twentieth-Century Masters, the museum will mount a full season of special exhibitions in 2015. These include:
March 15–November 15, 2015
Raven Skyriver: Submerge
Raven Skyriver began his glass art career at the age of sixteen, blowing glass in a studio that he built himself and learning techniques under the tutelage of his mentor Lark Dalton. He later traveled to Italy to train in Venetian technique, returned to the Northwest and worked at Pilchuck Glass School, and subsequently joined William Morris’ production team for seven years; it was there that Skyriver honed his skill in Morris’ unique techniques and learned to create sculptural glass. Drawing inspiration from nature, specifically the San Juan Islands where he grew up, Skyriver primarily sculpts marine creatures, exploring the connections between humans, animals and the environment that binds us.
March 15–November 15, 2015
Native Peoples of The Dalles Region
The exhibition features twenty-plus photo prints, the majority of which are from Maryhill Museum of Art’s own archives. These little-known images are the work of various Wasco County photographers who captured images of the landscape and people who lived in and around The Dalles during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Included in the exhibition are photos by Fred Andrew “F.A.” Young (Shaniko, OR), Fannie Wright Van Duyn (Tygh Valley, OR), Benjamin A. Gifford (The Dalles, OR), and Benjamin C. Markham (The Dalles, OR).
March 15–November 15, 2015
Maryhill Favorites: R.H. Gammell and His Students
The ongoing vitality of American Realist painting owes much to R.H. Ives Gammell, who shared his love for the Classical Realist tradition with his students, Richard Lack, Robert Hunter and Samuel Rose. Maryhill Museum of Art’s permanent collection contains numerous works by these four artists and this exhibition showcases a dozen of their paintings.
March 15–November 15, 2015
Sam Hill and the Columbia River Highway
In anticipation of the 2016 centennial celebration of the historic Columbia River Highway, the Sam Hill Room will host a temporary exhibition of black and white prints showing both construction 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.
July 11–November 15, 2015
An Abundance of Riches: Woodcuts of Andrea Rich
Featuring 40 prints by internationally-recognized printmaker Andrea Rich, whose work explores the worlds of both art and nature. Rich draws on print traditions as diverse as Albrecht Dürer and Japanese Ukiyo-e to produce work that is distinctly her own, carving from six to twenty blocks for one final image; the resulting works are strong, clear impressions of life in all its diversity. During three decades of travel, the Santa Cruz, California-based artist has observed common and exotic species of birds and animals and used first-hand experiences to show her subjects in their natural habitats. Some of the flora and fauna found in the prints are also found on the 5,300-acre grounds of Maryhill. All of the works on view are drawn from the collection of the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin.
Three Théâtre de la Mode sets will leave storage and rotate onto view in 2015. La Rue de la Paix en la Place Vendôme by Louis Touchagues, L’Île de la Cité by Georges Douking and portions of Le Théâtre by Christian Bérard will be on exhibit. Finally, eight historic Russian icons associated with Queen Marie and her 1926 donation to the museum will be on display throughout the 2015 season.
About Maryhill’s 75th Anniversary
Housed in a 1912 Beaux Arts mansion on a parched plateau high above the Columbia River Gorge, Maryhill Museum of Art remains one the Northwest’s most fascinating cultural destinations. With its 87 works by Rodin (the second largest collection on the West coast), outstanding American Indian art collection, and early European works, the museum is an unexpected delight.
The museum’s storied past begins in 1907, when Northwest entrepreneur Sam Hill purchased land along the Columbia River with dreams of building a Quaker farming community. When that dream proved unsound, Hill’s friend Loie Fuller, a pioneer of modern dance living in Paris, persuaded him to turn his mansion into a museum of art. Fuller’s connections with well known artists of the time helped Hill amass an impressive collection, including the works by French sculptor Auguste Rodin; Hill also contributed his own art collection to the endeavor.
Another friend, Queen Marie of Romania, paid a visit to Hill in 1926. Greeted by a ticker-tape parade in New York, Queen Marie and her entourage crisscrossed the country attending lavish luncheons and formal dinners, visiting historic sites and cultural performances – her every move chronicled by the international media. She also brought with her 15 crates of artwork and artifacts bound for Maryhill. On her arrival, Queen Marie dedicated Maryhill Museum of Art in a ceremony that was attended by more than 2,000 people.
After Hill’s death in 1931, progress on the museum stalled until 1937, when Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, the wife of San Francisco sugar magnate Adolf Spreckels and a friend of Hill’s, took up the task of finishing the museum. She joined the board and donated to the project artwork from her personal collection. Under her guidance, the museum finally opened to the public on Sam Hill’s birthday, May 13, 1940. The museum’s 2015 season is a celebration of this 75-year milestone.
ABOUT MARYHILL MUSEUM OF ART:
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 American Indian collection represents nearly every tradition and style in North America, with works of art from prehistoric through contemporary.
Maryhill’s William and Catherine Dickson Sculpture Park 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 maryhillmuseum.org.