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Online 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.

Salish Bounty

Food is the essence of culture. While there have been enormous changes in Coast Salish Native diet and culture over the centuries, a core value of food has survived: food is a blessing, gratefully and respectfully gathered and prepared, given and received with just as much gratification and respect.

Truth versus Twilight

truth twilight

Made famous by the recent pop-culture phenomenon Twilight, the Quileute people have found themselves thrust into the global spotlight. In collaboration with the Quileute Tribe, this site seeks to inform Twilight fans, parents, teachers, and others about the real Quileute culture.

The Enduring Power of Totem Poles


This website allows you to explore the villages of the Pacific Northwest Coast and see photographs of totem poles from each village, including historical poles as well as contemporary poles. You may also search the Burke Museum's collection of historical totem pole photographs.

Archaeology of Seattle’s West Point

Fragment of a bracelet worn by Seattle inhabitants

See the remarkable story of prehistoric cultures that once lived in Seattle's Discovery Park—a new, interactive multimedia feature.

Chinese Students at the University of Washington: 1905-2005

Native American woman

Take a photographic journey through the 100-year history of Chinese students at the University of Washington. An interactive exhibit created by two exchange students from China in the UW-Sichuan program.

Re-Discovering Ancient Basketry from the Biderbost Site


The Biderbost baskets began their lives nearly 2,000 years ago along the banks of the Snoqualmie River in Washington. This exhibit examines the basketry objects more closely by looking at their origins on the Snoqualmie River, their excavation, weaving techniques, and the newest chapter in their lives as part of the archaeology collections at the Burke Museum.



Waterlines examines the history of Seattle through a focus on its shorelines: the natural and human forces that have shaped them, the ways they have been used and thought about by the people who have lived here, and how this historic understanding might influence urban-development decisions being made today.

Reverent Remembrance: Honoring the Dead

Reverent Remembrances exhibit promotion

Explorethe ancient Celtic roots of Halloween, the colorful Mexican Day of the Dead, mummification and other death rituals in ancient Egypt, Indonesian cliff burials, and modern American memorials, including those following the 9/11 tragedy.

The Big One: Earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest

big one earthquake

We live in earthquake country. Over the last 150 years, eight major earthquakes have shaken the Northwest. The 2001 Nisqually earthquake cracked buildings and crushed cars – but it could have been far worse! Earthquakes with much greater destructive power occurred here in the past and are certain to happen again. The question, say geologists, is not if a Big One will occur here, but when. This exhibit was developed by the Burke Museum.

Mountain Patterns: The Survival of Nuosu Culture in China

The Burke Ethnology collection includes over 500 objects made and used by the Nuosu people, a branch of the Yi nationality living in China's Liangshan, or Cool Mountains. Nuosu specialists highly respected for their artistic skill include silversmiths, lacquer makers, seamstresses, musicians and bimo priests, who manufactured ritual implements and wrote books of sacred texts.