Whatcom Museum

121 Prospect Street,250 Flora Street, Bellingham, WA 98225 - United States





Smithsonian Affiliate Museum

The Whatcom Museum is located in the heart of downtown Bellingham’s Cultural Arts District. It features two buildings with fine art galleries, historical exhibits, a children’s museum, a cafe, and a museum store.

Old City Hall: 121 Prospect Street
Thurs. - Sun., 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Lightcatcher: 250 Flora Street
Thurs. - Sun., Galleries 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Family Interactive Gallery (children's museum) Thurs.- Sat., 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Visit the Whatcom Museum's campus and see a variety of art and history exhibits. The Lightcatcher building features fine art galleries, an exhibit of Coast Salish culture, the Museum Store, a cafe, and the Family Interactive Gallery, a children's museum space that provides learn-through play activities for preschool and elementary school students. Old City Hall is the Museum's 1892 Victorian building and features local history and rotating collection exhibits. Check out these exhibits at both buildings:

Fluid Formations: The Legacy of Glass in the Pacific Northwest
Through October 10, 2021
Lightcatcher building
Celebrating a rich legacy unique to our region, Fluid Formations features the art of 57 contemporary artists working in glass. Drawing from the Museum’s permanent collection, loans from artists, and working in close partnership with Museum of Glass (Tacoma, Wash.), Fluid Formations celebrates the innovation and striking range of processes and ideas that could only come from decades of generous exchange and shared passion for the material of glass.

El Zodíaco Familiar: An Exhibition by George Rodriguez
Through October 24, 2021
Lightcatcher building
Ceramic sculptor George Rodriguez embarks on a collaborative iteration of the Chinese Zodiac together with 13 Mexican and ChicanX/Chicane artists of various artistic disciplines. In an homage to its origins in Chinese folklore, El Zodíaco Familiar features the classic zodiac animals as analogous creatures of Mexican origin, bridging cultures and creating new narratives. Each artist has imbued their collaboratively imagined sculpture, corresponding to the zodiac animal of their birth year, with personal perspective, folk tradition, and an intimate feeling of celebration.

People of the Sea & Cedar: A Journey Through the History and Cultures of the Tribes of the Northwest Coast
Lightcatcher building
This exhibit shares the history and art of the Northwest Coast People, blending both historical and contemporary perspectives. It features items from the Museum’s collection, such as Coast Salish artwork and carvings, woven blankets, hand-made tools, cedar hats, clothing, and baskets. The exhibit provides hands-on learning experiences, a Lummi language interactive, and videos showcasing Lummi and Nooksack weavers and carvers.

All Dressed Up...
Through October 31, 2021
Old City Hall
Historic clothing has the ability to transport people to a different time or place, to sense that these items were worn by real people, and to imagine oneself in their midst. All Dressed Up…highlights some of the more colorful examples of artistry as fashion in the Museum’s collection. The exhibit showcases items of clothing that would have been worn “out on the town,” and includes an array of vintage designer evening shoes, as well as hats.

Whatcom Artist Studio Tour Showcase
Through October 17, 2021
Old City Hall
This year marks the return of the Whatcom Artist Studio Tour Showcase to Old City Hall. See a selection of artworks from several participating Studio Tour artists. Each year the two-weekend event offers visitors insight into the creative processes and work lives of nearly 40 artists in a self-guided tour throughout the county.

John M. Edson Hall of Birds
Old City Hall
Designed in collaboration with the North Cascades Audubon Society, the Hall of Birds features the Museum’s founding collection of more than 500 mounted birds accompanied by interactive opportunities for visitors to learn about bird migration, conservation, habitat, and more.

Maritime History Gallery
Old City Hall
From early steam ships, to fisheries, to notable schooners plying the shores of Bellingham Bay, you’ll get a waterfront history overview through photographs, artifacts, interactives, and model ships while looking through the gallery windows to the Bay.

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