Past Exhibits

Steampunk: An Art Invitational

Experience a fantastical world where Victorian era art and technology merge with the limitless imagination of regional artists! The Washington County museum is opening a new exhibit for the summer called Steampunk: An Art Invitational, which will be open from Thursday, July 12th through Thursday, August 30th and includes two exciting public events. The kickoff celebration is this Wednesday, July 11th from 5:30 to 8:00pm, and there will also be a day of Steampunk demonstrations on August 11th.

This exhibition combines real museum artifacts with the artwork of these talented tinkerers and award-winning artists from the Tualatin Valley and across the Pacific Northwest: C. Morgan Kennedy, Shannon Breeton, Cherie Savoie Tintary, Rose Tursi, Jessica R.Van Hulle, Chuck Dolence, JW Kinsey, Steve LaRiccia, Daniel Westlind, Daniel McGovern and Charles Mason III. Artists from this show have been featured on Oregon Art Beat and the television series Steampunk’d. Click here to learn more about the genre and the show!

Silicon Forest in Washington County

Innovation is the core concept of this new exhibit at the Washington County Museum. The Silicon Forest in Washington County exhibit showcases the extraordinary infusion of invention and knowledge that made high tech a powerhouse in this region. After exploring some of the key innovations, this exhibit will also challenge visitors to think about Washington County’s future — and your own.

Washington County has been and continues to be a nurturing and supporting incubator providing the creative spark for individual and group invention and innovation. Using examples from a variety of innovators from this area, this exhibit demonstrates that practical know-how, as the catalyst that turns creativity into innovation, has long been a deeply held value in Washington County. Follow this link for detailed info about this exhibit.

Americans All: The Bracero Program in Washington County

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor the United States enlisted huge numbers of citizens to join the war effort. So many people left for the war and war industries that a national labor shortage of farm workers threatened the agricultural production in United States. Through a formal agreement with the Mexican government, the Bracero program was created to supply US agriculture with Mexican and Latin American labor during World War II. Described as a temporary labor program, the Bracero agreement brought in over 215,000 workers to the United States in the first five years. Mexico declared war and joined the Allies in 1942, one of only two Latin American countries to fight the Axis. For more info click here.

Washington County Goes to War

Washington County Museum’s special exhibit, “Washington County Goes to War,” is a salute to the brave men and women who served our country in the first two World Wars. A generous donation of local resident Bill Crandall’s father’s World War One uniform soon sparked a complete exhibit about both World Wars and the sacrifices made by those who fought and those who remained on the home front. Click here for more info.

City of the Month Celebrations

City of the Month Logo Visit the Museum to celebrate the cities of Washington County, Oregon. Each month WCM will focus on a different municipality with special displays and programs. Residents for each honored community with receive special benefits during the selected month.   For example, during the selected month, residents of the respective city with a valid ID will get discounts on regular admission and museum store purchases.  Residents also get in FREE on the third saturday of their month.

For a detailed schedule, please read this PDF. For a flyer to distribute within your community please contact the museum and we will be happy to provide that for you.

On-to Hillsboro Centennial Celebration

Logo with exhibit name, "On to Hillsboro Celebration."

In 1959, the State of Oregon celebrated its 100th anniversary. Part of the year-long celebration included the On-To-Oregon Cavalcade. The idea was to reenact a wagon train traveling the entire Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri, to Independence, Oregon. Seven wagons were sponsored by five towns and two counties in Oregon: Drain, Hillsboro, Independence, Jackson County, Lane County, Pendleton, and Roseburg.

There are only 4 wagons from the Cavalcade left in existence. This wagon, sponsored by Hillsboro, was built by then 66 year old Weaver “Pop” Clark, who had the distinction of being the oldest member of the Cavalcade. Clark along with his grandson, Robert Fineout, represented Hillsboro by driving the Hillsboro wagon.

PCC Rock Creek Campus celebrates its 40th Birthday!

When Portland Community College Rock Creek Campus opened in 1976, the Bethany area was mostly open fields and farm land. Naysayers doubted the college would  thrive or grow much past its expected enrollment capacity of 2,500 students.  While many voiced their opposition to the purchase of the 250 acre-parcel valued at $584,955, PCC President Dr. Amo De. Bernardis saw what others did not.

Ladies of the Valley: Part I (1860 – 1910)

NEW fnal panel
This new exhibit features artifacts from our collection including women’s clothing and accessories, sewing machines, beautiful photos and paintings of local women, old advertisements and much more. Discover what it was like to live as a Tualatin Valley lady during the Victorian Era!

Oregon’s Landmark Legislation

Oregon's capitol building against blue sky.August 24- October 22

Oregon has repeatedly led the nation in creating, revising, and implementing laws shaping the quality of life of its citizens. While Oregon’s innovations have evoked controversy, they have charted the course for other states and nations.

This traveling exhibit highlights groundbreaking legislation that Oregon has passed since Statehood either by Politician, Legislative Action, or Public Initiative. Arranged chronologically, the panels present legislation that focuses on environmental, social, and land use issues, including the Bottle Bill, the Oregon Forest Practices Act and the Aerosol Spray Ban.

finleythumbnailPut a Bird on It: Nature Photography of William L. Finley

July 13-October 22, 2016

The Washington County Museum provides a stunning and unique glimpse through the lens of William L. Finley, a nationally known naturalist and wildlife conservationist. Finley’s black-and-white bird photographs will be on display to celebrate his tireless advocacy for wildlife preservation. The original glass plates and lantern slides created by Finley between 1902 and 1920 were donated to the museum in 1980 by Dr. Amo DeBernardis, founding president of Portland Community College.

The Lexicon of Sustainability

Through July 9, 2016

Cartoon character poster about Local Food. The “Lexicon of Sustainability™” poster show is a series of informational artworks based on a simple premise: people will live more sustainably if they understand the most basic terms and principles that will define the next economy. The Lexicon of Sustainability™ inspires people to pay closer attention to where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system in America. By illuminating the vocabulary of sustainable agriculture, and with it the conversation about America’s rapidly evolving food culture, the Lexicon of Sustainability™ educates, engages and activates viewers. These posters, on loan from the City of Hillsboro, will be displayed through July 9, 2016 at the Washington County Museum. Follow this link for videos and downloads about the display.

Let Go My LEGO®

exhibit logo for Let Go My LEGOThrough January 30, 2016

This exhibit is all about the love of LEGO®. Find out the mathematics behind LEGO®, and enjoy the many fascinating brick creations from PortLUG, the Portland LEGO® User Group. LEGO® lovers young and old can add to the display by building their own works of art to exhibit.

The Changing Face of Poverty in Washington County

Through November 21, 2015

LogoOver the last 50 years, the face of poverty has changed from desperation to hope as Community Action led the way to build a network of services and providers that are responsive to the changing needs of the community. This is a commemorative exhibit showing the impact of Community Action’s programs in Washington County.

Doctors, Dentists & Death

Through November 21, 2015
Logo for Doctors, Dentists and Death exhibit.View a display of old dental furniture, surgical tools, a Victorian era wicker casket, an electro-therapy machine, and many other thought-provoking items! Learn how medicine evolved from the simplicity of the pioneer era to the growth of knowledge and specialties, as well as how technology changed the way medicine, dentistry, and funeral work are practiced today.

In the Footsteps of David Douglas

Through August 29, 2015

daviddouglasexhibit_logo_forwebsiteIn the Footsteps of David Douglas is an exhibit highlighting the travels and legacy of David Douglas, an explorer and plant collector who traveled the Pacific Northwest in the early 1800s. Douglas brought the wonders of our regional flora to the world! The exhibit includes: botanical illustrations, landscape paintings, pressed flowers, historical artifacts, and educational activities for children. Made in partnership with the David Douglas Society and the Salem Art Association.

Seeking Silence: Photography of Russell J. Young

Through September 26, 2015

Russell-Young-DL_-20-1Seeking Silence: Photography of Russell J. Young” was created in conjunction with the exhibit “In the Footsteps of David Douglas” to capture the Oregon landscapes that David Douglas might have visited.

The exhibit consists of 14 photographic prints on rag paper. Russell J. Young is a self-taught photographer and fine art printer who has a passion for visual works and draws influence from the elements of various art forms.

Fanno Creek: Through the Lens of Eric Lindstrom

Huewe Trees (1)The exhibit, Fanno Creek: Through the Lens of Eric Lindstrom, features Author Eric Lindstrom who collected several thousand color photographs during the research for his book, Up Fanno Creek. Originally these photos were intended to augment the field notes he took during the course of his study. Soon however it became clear that some images would be needed to supplement the words of the book, providing visual collateral to ideas that sometimes couldn’t be put completely into words. Over time, as the quantity and quality of the photo collection grew, Eric realized that in some cases the words themselves ended up being the supplementary material, especially where many of the more iconic photographs were concerned. These photographs and their captions will be on display beginning May 6th. Support for this exhibit is given generously by the Hillsboro Arts and Cultural Council. Read more here.

AllIwantforchristmas_webbannerAll I Want for Christmas

November 2014 -January 2015

Take a look back at some of the most iconic toys, dolls, and games you may have played with!  From fashion diva Barbie to the Madame Alexander dolls, to the beautifully crafted china head dolls you’ll see what little girls treasured.   The Beaverton Fashion Doll Club  is creating our wonderland of dolls.  Beginning December 13, the Tualatin Valley Model Railroad Club will install and run their “N” gauge model railroad on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to early afternoon.  Rounding out the display area toys from our collection plus hands on activities and make and takes! In partnership with The Beaverton Fashion Doll Club and Tualatin Valley Model Railroad Club.

Ladies-Home-Journal-Christmas-500The Carnegie Library in Hillsboro: 100 Years of Change

Through October 2014

The Carnegie library was built in Hillsboro for $10,000 on land donated to the city, but the money donated did not cover books, only the building. The amount of money donated to most communities was based on U.S. Census figures and averaged approximately $2 per person. The design of the Carnegie libraries has been given credit for encouraging communication with the librarian and created an opportunity for people to browse and discover books on their own. Before Carnegie, patrons had to ask a clerk to retrieve books from closed stacks. Read more here.

Washington County Artists Open Studios Sneak Preview Exhibit and Sale

openstudiosforwebsiteFORREALbiggerSeptember-October 2014

The Washington County Open Studios tour is a project of the Washington County Art Alliance, a volunteer based organization dedicated to enhancing community vitality through art. The Washington County Museum is proud to present, “Washington County Artists Open Studios Sneak Preview Exhibit and Sale,” an exhibit that supports the work of local artists by showcasing items from the 40 artists participating in October’s Open Studios Tour. Visit the Washington County Artists site.

12 LRoy Detail-Web Size_opt-1A Summer Wrapped in Quilts

Sum of Many Parts on display May 21- June 14, 2014

Timeless Stitches on display May 21- September 27

Two quilt exhibits will be showcased this summer at the Museum. Sum of Many Parts will feature the work of 14 contemporary quilt artists from across America. The show was originally commissioned by the US Embassy in Beijing, China as a Cultural Heritage exhibit to tour in China. The quilts are now back in the USA. Washington County Museum is one of the first stops on the tour! The Sum of Many Parts will be complemented by quilts from the Museum collection and quilts from area quilters in a second show titled Timeless Stitches. These quilts feature some classic designs of the 19th and early 20th century such as Log Cabin, Crazy Quilt, Wild Goose Chase, and others.  These early quilts will be paired with modern and contemporary quilts created by area quilters showcasing how patterns have evolved.

Tfineartofjazz-20110511172125he Fine Art of Jazz

June 18th- August 9th, 2014

This exhibition of  50 black-and-white photographic portraits of Kansas City jazz musicians showcases the impact Kansas City Jazz musicians and vocalists had on the national jazz movement of the 1920s and 1930s through photographs of and commentary on renowned jazz musicians who got their start in Kansas City and grew from there to have great impact on American jazz as we know it today. Many of these artists are performing today and remain a powerful influence on the jazz genre. Read more here.

CC71311-webCarolyn Cole: Messages

March 26th- June 1, 2014

Painting is a revelatory process that explores the artist’s intuitive relationship to his or her artwork. My work hovers between consciousness and intuition, combining emotional content, observation, technical skill, exploration, and reinvention. My goal is to create surfaces that are visually intriguing with expressive colors and shapes. 

This series of paintings reveals the introspective part of my personality. Each one is inspired by its collaged elements and the layers from my past and present. I hope that they reflect my intense desire to paint.    — Carolyn Cole

61305Light Drawings: Artist James Minden

January 15th- April 26, 2014

Painter and printmaker James Minden explores a new art medium he calls light drawing. They are handmade holograms, as they are interactive and appear three-dimensional. These are the only serious art pieces currently being created using this medium, the largest abrasion holograms ever made and are among the largest holograms, of any kind, to be created in an art context. The interactive nature of these pieces is best seen in person.


finleythumbnailPut a Bird on It: Nature Photography of William L. Finley

May 8- November 3, 2013

The Washington County Museum provides a stunning and unique glimpse through the lens of William L. Finley, a nationally known naturalist and wildlife conservationist. Forty of Finley’s black-and-white bird photographs will be on display to celebrate his tireless advocacy for wildlife preservation. The original glass plates and lantern slides created by Finley between 1902 and 1920 were donated to the museum in 1980 by Dr. Amo DeBernardis, founding president of Portland Community College. For more information about this traveling exhibit click and to view this exhibit’s companion page click here.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game logo FINALTake Me Out to the Ball Game

June 19-September 1, 2013

In celebration of the inaugural season of the Hillsboro Hops, a short-season single-A baseball team, the Washington County Museum takes a look at the game as played by the early-20th-century town teams—the Verboort Beavers, the Beaverton Beavers and teams from Tigardville, Banks, Hillsboro and Forest Grove. These teams comprised men and boys who loved the game, and brought towns together at a time when the distances between them took much longer to travel than a brief highway ride. Washington County’s own major league players will be featured in the exhibit, including Larry Jansen, Vern Olsen, Wes Schulmerich, Ben Petrick and Darwin Barney. The stories of such Oregon baseball greats as Johnny Pesky, Scott Brosius and Wally Backman will also be told. The exhibit will display historic photographs, autographed baseballs, uniforms and other equipment and memorabilia from games past and present to tell the full story of baseball in the region.

Focus on Book Art Conference LogoFocus on Book Arts

May 1, 2013 to June 2, 2013

The Washington County Museum hosted an exhibit showcasing book art belonging to faculty and staff of the upcoming Focus on Book Arts Conference scheduled this summer in Forest Grove, Ore. The exhibit features approximately 45 works from some of the best book artists in the country. Book art, often referred to as “artists’ books,” are works of art realized in the form of books. Bookbindingand related arts have exploded in the past decade, inspiring artists to explore the unlimited possibilities of the form—scrolls, fold-outs, concertinas or loose items contained in a box as well as bound printed sheets. This exhibit celebrates bookmaking and the book in contemporary art.

Hubble Space Telescope: New Views of the Universe

November 17, 2012- June 2, 2013

This exciting exhibit makes it possible to see and understand the extraordinary discoveries made by the Hubble Space Telescope. A model Hubble telescope will be on view along with hands-on activities about how the telescope works. The exhibit also includes several games, infrared light technology and spectacular backlit color images of planets, galaxies, black holes, and many other fascinating cosmic entities captured by Hubble.

Lopresti-webfullThe Comic Book Art of Aaron Lopresti

May 5- September 2, 2012

Bam! Pow! Thwack! Get a closer look at the creative and technical processes of producing some of the most popular – and timeless – comic book superheroes in the country. The exhibit features the work of Oregon native Aaron Lopresti. It unveils selections of his work through the years for comic titans Marvel and DC Comics. Sketches include Wonder Woman, The Hulk, Spider-Man, Batman and X-Men. Also included are some of Lopresti’s original comic creations. In addition, the exhibit will include a local collection of Big Little Books dating from the 1940s and ‘50s. Exhibition Catalog (PDF File) BATMAN is a Trademark & Copyright of DC Comics. Used with Permission.

Previous exhibits also include:

Whipsaws to Chainsaws: History of Logging and
Timber in Washington County

Doing Time: A History of Law Enforcement
in Washington County

This Silicon Forest and Washington County:
History in the Making

Scene & Heard: Images & Voices of the
Tualatin River