This native plant garden sits where the museum’s lush gardens give way to sagebrush ranchlands, offering up panoramic views of the Columbia River Gorge, surrounding plateaus, and majestic Mt. Hood. The garden features plants collected by Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery when they traversed the area in October 1805 and again in April 1806.
This site-specific concrete sculpture by noted Portland architect Brad Cloepfil (Allied Works Architecture) gives viewers an opportunity to experience the magnificent setting of the eastern Columbia River Gorge through a series of cutouts and windows that isolate smaller views within the larger landscape.
Maryhill’s setting makes it a magical place; with a mixture of walkways and viewpoints on the south side of the museum building, visitors can take in spectacular views of the Columbia Gorge and Mount Hood. Grab lunch at Loie’s Café and eat on the Broughton and Mary Bishop Family Terrance. The museum’s Cannon Power Plaza is another spot to relax and enjoy magnificent views of the river and surrounding landscape.
Maryhill’s gardens are an oasis in the stark, dry landscape of the eastern Columbia River Gorge. Though never fully realized, Sam Hill’s early plans for Maryhill included formal gardens in the European style; today the museum is surrounded by several expansive lawns, shade trees and picnic areas. The William and Catherine Dickson Sculpture Park features large-scale outdoor sculpture from the museum’s permanent collection, including works by Northwest artists Mel Katz, James Lee Hansen, Matt Cartwright, Leon Wright, Devin Laurence Field, Andries Fourie, Julian Voss-Andreae, Ken Hall, Tom Herrera, Alisa Looney, Mike Suri, Jill Torberson, Joseph Warren, Don Wilson, and Jeffery Weitzel.
Bikers and walkers can enjoy this 2.8 mile stretch of road from 7 a.m. to dusk daily. Up and back, the walk is a little over 5 miles, rising through fields of wildflowers and offering spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. Built by Maryhill founder Sam Hill between 1909 and 1913, it was one of the first modern roads in the Northwest, and a precursor to the Historic Columbia River Highway, celebrating 100 years in 2016. (Note: the Loops Road is occasionally closed for private events, check the schedule.)
Located four miles east of the museum, the Stonehenge Memorial, a full-size replica of England’s Stonehenge, was built by Maryhill founder Sam Hill as a tribute to the soldiers of Klickitat County who lost their lives during World War I. The site also includes the Klickitat County War Memorial with its own native plant garden. This Memorial is dedicated to the soldiers of Klickitat County who died in the service of their country since World War I.
Admission to Maryhill’s gardens, the Stonehenge Memorial, and Maryhill Loops Road are free. Hi-res images of the museum and grounds for use by the media are available.
George E. Muehleck Jr. Gallery of International Chess Sets
A new exhibition installation of 90 of the museum’s unique chess sets from around the globe and chess-related works of art.
American Art Pottery from the Fred L. Mitchell Collection
Ceramics from American Art Pottery makers such as Roseville, Rookwood, and Weller.
Thru November 15, 2016
Maryhill Favorites: Animal Kingdom
Featuring a wide range of animal-centric works, including pastoral paintings, equestrian scenes, along with exotic birds, sheep and dogs; among the artists included are Jakob Bogdani, François Pieter ter Meulen, George Bernier, George Wright and Edwin James Douglas.
Sam Hill and the Columbia River Highway
To celebrate the highway’s 100th anniversary in 2016, we feature black and white prints showing both construction photos of the highway and early scenic views of the Columbia River Gorge. Most are drawn from Sam Hill’s personal photo collection.
A Kaleidoscope of Color: American Indian Trade Blankets
In the late nineteenth century, enterprising American woolen mills—J. Capps & Sons, Racine, Oregon City and Pendleton among them—began making brightly colored blankets for sale to Native peoples. These blankets soon became an important part of Native culture; the exhibition features approximately 20 pre-1925 blankets from a variety of historic manufacturers.
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 renownedThéâtre 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.
Images above: Left, Spring wildflowers on the museum grounds with Mt. Hood in the background. Photo by Steve Grafe. Right, Matt Cartwright (Portland, Ore.), Malabar Bombax, 2009, powder-coated steel. Collection of Maryhill Museum of Art. Gift of Stephen, Laura, Christina & Fairley Muehleck, Yakima, Washington, 2010.12.001.