Venue

The Washington State History Museum
1911 Pacific Avenue, New Tacoma, Tacoma

  • W Hist image 1

Below you will find information for exhibits at the Washington State History Museum. Click here for the most up to date exhibition information.

Men of Change

December 21, 2019 - March 15, 2020

Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth. presents for new generations the stories of significant African American men, the known and unknown leaders who stand as national icons. The Smithsonian traveling exhibition uses bold, contemporary visual art, fresh literary excerpts, and vibrant stories to highlight more than two dozen revolutionary individuals. Men of Change weaves the historic and contemporary together to illuminate their impact and significance, within the context of rich community traditions. Washington State History Museum will be the only museum in the region to feature this historical exhibition. Read more here.

Collections Selections: Canoe Models

February 16, 2019 - January 13, 2020

This exhibition shows the Washington State Historical Society’s collection of model canoes carved as representations of larger vessels and as art created for the tourist trade. Several different tribes, art styles, and canoe designs are represented here, dating from the 1870s to the early 2000s. Read more here.

Horizon
February 16, 2019 - January 13, 2020

Experience a single horizon line created through twenty-eight landscapes in an intimate gallery setting. All works are from the Washington State Historical Society’s collection and date from 1870 to 1966. They are hung together in a way that aligns their dominant horizon lines. The cumulative result is the effect of a continual landscape around the perimeter of the gallery. Read more here.

Unforgiving Waters: Shipwrecks of the Pacific Northwest
January 25-May 31, 2020

The Pacific Northwest is a place of rocky beaches and shifting sands, of high winds and raging seas. Its geography is beautiful, but dangerous. Waterways have served as the lifeline for people of coastal regions, a center of commerce but also, at times, a place of great tragedy.

Over two thousand shipwrecks rest at the bottom of Northwest waters. Each one has its own story of stormy weather, fateful catastrophe, or simple human failing. Many of the objects in this exhibition were plucked from the remains of ships. What we know about these wrecks varies and is sometimes dependent on the accounts of people who survived, few of whom traveled in lower class surroundings. Read more here.

Legacy of Executive Order 9066 in Washington
Opening February 2020

The Washington State History Museum is preparing a new exhibition about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII as a result of Executive Order 9066, which significantly impacted thousands of people living in our state. Read more here.

Votes for Women: 100 Years and Counting
Ongoing

Visit the Washington State History Museum for this innovative gameified exhibition about the history of suffrage in the state! You'll role-play your way through in a non-traditional experience. Learn the who, what, where, why and why not of Washington's suffrage battle. Find out who could legally cast a ballot and who could not during the history of the on-again-off-again vote for women. Know the names of those who fought for this basic constitutional right and appreciate your vote as never before!More information coming soon. Read more here.

Washington: My Home
Ongoing

Many people have called Washington home. Through this poetic exhibition, the Washington State History Museum helps us all to learn about diverse journeys to our state, and to share our own.

Visitors glimpse the Arrival Windows, illuminating images of people who call Washington home. Next to the windows are stories of dramatic journeys, arrival, and belonging. These accounts range from the 1840s with the first African American family to arrive in Washington Territory to 2015 when the first family of Syrian refugees settled in Seattle, with many others in between. Read more here.

The Great Hall
Ongoing

Our largest exhibit at the Washington State History Museum, The Great Hall of Washington History is a walk through time. This year-round space showcases some of our earliest history with the Clovis Points and a variety of artifacts from Native American civilization and culture, and explains the progression through statehood including industrialization, the war and post-war eras, women's suffrage, immigration and migration, and more. Allow at least two hours to fully absorb the material in the Great Hall of Washington History. Read more here.

History Lab
Ongoing

The History Lab Learning Center engages visitors with interactive exhibits featuring historical concepts such as Time, Place, Viewpoint, Exploration, and Precedent. In the learning center, visitors of all ages are encouraged to use the Tools of the History Trade (artifacts, ephemera, books and periodicals, people, maps, and images) to think like detectives in search of evidence. The History Lab exhibit is on the fifth floor of the History Museum. Read more here.

Model Railroad
Ongoing

Don your conductor's cap and climb aboard the History Museum's own model railroad. Watch history being made as the Puget Sound Model Railroad Engineers club continues construction on the 1,800-square-foot permanent layout depicting the rail lines from Tacoma's Point Defiance Park to the Stampede Pass tunnel in the Cascades. Read more here.

Upcoming Dates

  • Sun, Jan 19, 2020 All Day
  • Tue, Jan 21, 2020 All Day
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