Burke Museum Home

Current Exhibits

In addition to long-term exhibits, the Burke Museum also presents special exhibits that rotate several times a year. From conservation photography, to recent discoveries in natural history, to the finest traditional and contemporary cultural arts, Burke exhibits invite all visitors to examine the critical issues of our time.

Special Exhibits


Mad Campus: Temporary art installation on Burke Museum grounds

Sept. 13, 2014 – Oct. 25, 2014

Mad Campus is MadArt’s newest public art exhibit, consisting of 12 large-scale, temporary, site-specific works to be displayed in various outdoor locations on the UW campus. Inspired by their location, the selected artists’ new sculptures will be interactive, innovative, and surprising installations. Mad Campus is presented by MadArt, in association with ArtsUW. Look for an installation outside the Burke Museum, September 13 to October 25, 2014.

Location: In front of Burke Museum

The Confluence of Science and Art

May 31, 2013 –

For many years, the highlight of any behind-the-scenes tour at the Burke began with a visit to the paleontology and geology collections, where Wes Wehr joyfully shared perfectly arranged cabinet drawers of treasure – the focus of his study and inspiration. Wes shared his enthusiasm with scholars, schoolchildren, artists, art patrons and many others. He welcomed them all.  A serious scientist and an artist, Wes enjoyed bringing people together at the confluence of science and art. 

The Confluence of Science and Art: Wes Wehr's Inspiration is now on display in the lobby of the Burke Museum.

Why Study Evolution?

Mar. 19, 2012 –

A new display at the end of the Life and Times exhibit highlights Burke Herbarium curator Dick Olmstead’s research on the diversity of plants in the verbena family within the broader context of evolution. It is the first in a series of displays planned over the next few years to spotlight NSF-funded research of Burke curators who are tackling ongoing questions about the evolutionary processes that give rise to biodiversity. The centerpiece of the introductory section is a “Tree of Life” that illuminates Charles Darwin’s metaphor for how all living things are related. Reconstructing the Tree of Life is a goal of evolutional biology and a starting point for understanding the processes that give rise to biodiversity.

Location: Life and Times of Washington State exhibit

Long-term Exhibits