Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
4300 15th Avenue Northeast, Northeast Seattle, Seattle
We can't wait to see you!
We're the same museum you know and love, with some important updates that put your safety first. View our Welcome Back Guidelines.
Over 8.7 million species are known to exist today, with more being discovered daily. How did this variety of life come to be, and what happens when human and natural forces change the balance of life?
Drawing on specimens from the Burke’s biology collections, Amazing Life reveals a global life-support system. Every living thing—including you—plays a role in keeping that system functioning. Discover how life has evolved across time and space, how it’s still changing today, and how it might change in the future.
Culture is Living:
The Culture is Living gallery breaks down traditional museum authority and brings the expertise and knowledge of communities to the forefront.
Cultural belongings at the Burke Museum aren’t tucked away on shelves. They are alive, embodying the knowledge, language, and stories of people and cultures.
See hundreds of objects and hear from community members from across the Pacific to find out how museum collections address historic wrongs, invigorate cultural practices today, and inspire the future through universal elements we all share—our connections to the Earth, Water, Air, Community, Childhood, and the Generations before and after us.
Earth’s 4.5 billion-year history is a continuing saga of dynamic change.
Events from ice ages to splitting continents influenced what survived, how life evolved, and what went extinct.
See the only real dinosaur fossils on display in Washington state (including one of the best-preserved T. rex skulls in the world), intricate plant fossils that document past patterns of climate change, colossal mammals that roamed Washington state during the last Ice Age, and more in the Fossils Uncovered gallery. Discover how fossils reveal evidence of Earth’s transformation over time—and what the future might hold.
Northwest Native Art:
What is your artistic heritage?
Six Pacific Northwest Native artists from across the region answered this question in creating the inaugural exhibit in the Northwest Native Art Gallery. Featuring both newly-created and historic basketry, carvings, multimedia art, and more, these women bring personal meanings to Native art while embracing the heritage of their ancestors and cultures.
In addition to future rotating exhibitions from artists, the gallery is anchored by permanent displays of monumental objects including a 35-foot canoe, welcome figure, totem poles, and house posts.
Our Material World:
From the food we put in our bodies to the furniture we put in our homes, human life is shaped by “stuff” all around us—and our stuff reveals surprising truths about our lives.
There’s a story in all our stuff—even the garbage we leave behind. Archaeologists study this material culture, and use it to understand people and cultures of the past.
Find out what happens when we throw our stuff away, when archaeologists do (or don’t) dig, how Native peoples across Washington state are using the archaeological record to revitalize traditional food practices today, and more in the Our Material World gallery.
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