Burke Museum | Mobile Home


Special Exhibits

Here & Now: Native Artists Inspired

Nov. 22, 2014 – July 27, 2015

Here & Now: Native Artists Inspired will explore the dynamic relationship between the Burke Museum and Northwest Native art, artists, and scholars. Featuring work by contemporary artists whose practice has been inspired by the objects in the Burke’s collections, the exhibit will demonstrate how today’s artists and art historians learn from past generations.


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

Erna Gunther Ethnobotanical Garden


With more than 100 species of plant life from both sides of the Cascades, the garden features plants important to Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest.

Location: East side of the Burke Museum, near the front entrance

Life and Times of Washington State


Over 500 million years of geological history! Lethal lava, grinding glaciers, and rampaging reptiles—marvel at the natural forces that shaped Washington's landscape, and at the amazing animals that once lived here...

Pacific Voices


Over 17 different cultures represented. Immerse yourself in the lives of native peoples from around the Pacific; learn about their arts, ceremonies and personal stories.

Upcoming Exhibits

Titanaboa: Monster Snake

Aug. 22, 2015 – Nov. 15, 2015

From a Colombian coal mine, scientists have discovered 60 million year old remains of the largest snake in the World, Titanoboa cerrejonensis. Measuring 48 feet long and weighing up to 2,500 pounds, this massive predator could crush and devour a crocodile. Delve into the discovery, reconstruction and implications of this enormous reptile.