Washington's oldest museum is becoming Washington's newest museum
A place for everyone
The first public museum in Washington and the State Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Burke is a place for everyone in the Northwest.
The Burke’s collections—16 million objects of local and global significance—help sustain cultural traditions, enable groundbreaking scientific research, and advance conversations that matter to us all today.
For too long, the Burke’s collections have been hidden away and inaccessible, in an increasingly outdated facility that puts them at risk.
It’s time to change that, and remove the barriers that separate too many people from the Burke’s collections and the insights they hold—opening not just our doors, but our walls to the entire community.
A museum inside-out
The New Burke will turn the idea of a museum inside-out. It will be a museum where you can seek new understandings alongside the staff and researchers who explore the collections; where you can encounter, experience, and discover something different with each visit; and where you can see the life before you with new eyes.
Construction on the New Burke Museum begins in May 2016 and will last approximately two years.
Following construction, we will move the millions of objects in the Burke collections and install exhibits.
The New Burke will open to the public in 2019.