Stories

What if you could see through the walls of a museum, and discover all that's been hiding behind them?

The Community Campaign for the New Burke is the final fundraising push before we open our doors in 2019. Your gift today will help build the exhibits in the New Burke and bring the “See Through the Burke” experience to life.

What if you could see hometown pride through the Northwest traditions that inspired it?

The oldest museum in Washington and the State Museum since 1899, the Burke is a place for everyone in the Northwest.

For 130 years, the Museum has collected objects that help us understand how the Northwest has grown and changed. We care for and share them to ensure they will be a public resource for generations. Regardless of who you are or where you come from—whether your family just got here or has called this land home for millennia—this is your museum.

Cathy Morris/Burke Museum

What if you could see the spirit come alive through the objects of living traditions?

Objects are powerful touchstones. They teach us about the past, generate knowledge and play an integral part in living culture.

For too long, the Burke collections have been hidden away, severely compressed in spaces that lack the environmental controls needed to properly care for them. It’s time to change that, and remove the barriers that separate too many people from these invaluable objects—the inspiration they spark and the insights they hold.

Cathy Morris/Burke Museum

Help Unlock This Story

Gifts from the community are the heart of the New Burke project: more than one third of the new museum will be funded by individuals like you. Your gift today will help build the exhibits in the New Burke and bring the "See Through the Burke" experience to life.

DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT: All gifts made before June 30, 2018
will be matched 1:1!

Donate

Help Unlock This Story

Gifts from the community are the heart of the New Burke project: more than one third of the new museum will be funded by individuals like you. Your gift today will help build the exhibits in the New Burke and bring the "See Through the Burke" experience to life.

DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT: All gifts made before June 30, 2018
will be matched 1:1!

Donate
"Our goal is to reflect the Salish heritage of the region and the importance of the Burke Museum as a hub for citizens to learn about the natural and cultural history of the Northwest. The colorful glass and metal sculpture will be enlivened by light and shadow. By night, the piece metamorphoses into a glowing jewel, lit from within."

Artist team for "The Weaver's Welcome"
Brian Perry (Port Gamble S’Klallam), Anthony Jones (Port Gamble S'Klallam), Preston Singletary (Tlingit), and David Franklin

Burke Museum Executive Director Julie K. Stein reveals plans for the grand lobby

The two-story lobby features 35-foot-high windows and a grand staircase. Just 1 1/2 blocks from the future U District lightrail station, it will be a beacon to visitors and passersby, providing a window and an invitation to the Burke and the UW campus.

Curator Julie Stein

Julie K. Stein

Burke Museum Executive Director

UW Professor of Anthropology

When you arrive at the New Burke, a soaring lobby will beckon you with icons of Washington’s natural and cultural heritage.

You will be welcomed in the Coast Salish style by a monumental piece of contemporary Native art commissioned especially for the New Burke. Sit for a moment at the feet of a mastodon, then pass beneath a beaked whale diving from the ceiling as you begin your journey through the museum.

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This Baird's beaked whale washed ashore in Westport in 2015; the skeleton was salvaged by Burke scientists.

The design for "The Weaver's Welcome" was partly inspired by boxes and baskets in the Burke collection.

Donors to the Burke Herd campaign will receive recognition on a raven, whale or triceratops tile in this special art installation.

This cast of a mastodon skeleton was displayed for many years in Fox's jewelry
store in downtown Seattle before coming to the Burke.

Donate Now

Gifts from the community are the heart of the New Burke project: more than one third of the new museum will be funded by individuals like you. Your gift today will help build the exhibits in the New Burke and bring the "See Through the Burke" experience to life.

DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT: All gifts made before June 30, 2018
will be matched 1:1!

Donate
"Studying these pieces is an extension of our apprenticeship with our ancestors."

Evelyn Vanderhoop, Haida artist & Burke Museum Visiting Researcher

Dr. Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse previews the Northwest Native Art gallery

The Northwest Native Art gallery will feature rotating shows of contemporary and historic Native art. It will draw connections between cultural objects in the Burke collections—many of which will be visible through a window into the new, state-of-the-art storage space—and the work of contemporary Native artists, some of whom will create pieces in the workshop adjacent to the gallery.

Curator Dr. Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse

Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse

Curator of Northwest Native Art

UW Assistant Professor of Art History

Delve in to the dynamic relationship between collections and creativity, and artists and their ancestors.

Featuring current works inspired by 200 years of history, the opening exhibit in the Northwest Native Art Gallery will showcase the Burke’s iconic collection—one of the largest in the U.S.—and share the rich dynamism of contemporary Northwest Native art. Six Native artists will co-curate the gallery, creating new pieces to be displayed with historic and modern objects that illustrate their cultural and artistic heritage, connecting past to the present through the living traditions of design, symbolism and technique.

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Rotating exhibits will feature historic and contemporary Native art.

Contemporary artists and students will create new works in the Artists' Workshop.

This pole by Tsimshian artist David A. Boxley features figures representing bears, wolves and eagles. The second-floor balcony will offer close-up views of the top eagle figure.

Donate Now

Gifts from the community are the heart of the New Burke project: more than one third of the new museum will be funded by individuals like you. Your gift today will help build the exhibits in the New Burke and bring the "See Through the Burke" experience to life.

DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT: All gifts made before June 30, 2018
will be matched 1:1!

Donate