The Whatcom Museum occupies three distinctive and historically significant buildings in downtown Bellingham’s cultural district, and holds close to 30,000 objects of art, history, and ethnography, and more than 200,000 images and related ephemera in its photo archives.
With a focus on art from the nineteenth century forward that was either produced in, or is about, the Pacific Northwest, media include paintings, works on paper, sculpture, photographs, crafts, and multi-media pieces. In addition, the collection includes American Art of the 19th through 21st centuries that significantly influenced the art or artists of the Pacific Northwest.
The Museum hosts a rotating schedule of art exhibitions throughout the year.
Designed by Olson Kundig Architects’ founding partner, Jim Olson, the building is named The Lightcatcher for its focal point and most innovative feature — a spectacular, translucent wall 37 feet high and 180 feet long, that captures the Northwest’s most precious natural resource: sunlight. The 42,000-square-foot-building integrates natural materials native to the region.