World-Class Art at the Columbia River Gorge
Take a drive to rural Washington and spend an afternoon viewing Rodin sculptures, American Classical Realism paintings, and a collection of jewelry and furnishings that belonged to Queen Marie of Romania - all in a magnificent mansion overlooking the mighty Columbia River. Maryhill Museum of Art, located in rural Goldendale, Washington, is a private museum that features an astonishing and eclectic array of art and artifacts. The museum is open daily from mid-March through mid-November.
What You'll See at Maryhill Museum of Art
Maryhill Museum has a world-class permanent collection, far beyond anything you would expect in such a rural area. Thousands of people from the Pacific Northwest and around the world visit the museum during the months that it is open each year.
Among the museum's treasures:
- Rodin Sculptures & Watercolors
- American Classical Realism paintings
- Queen Marie of Romania royal regalia
- Native American artifacts
- Theatre de la Mode Mannequins
- Chess sets
- Russian icons
- European paintings, primarily British, Dutch, and French
- American paintings, including C.M. Russell and Thomas Hart Benton
Special exhibitions and programs are offered throughout the season.
Maryhill Museum History
The museum is housed in a grand mansion, built on over 6,000 acres of property owned by Sam Hill, a wealthy businessman and Quaker pacifist who planned on founding a Quaker agricultural community on the estate. The project received its name from the man's daughter, Mary Hill. His attention drawn to other activities, Sam Hill's agricultural community was never established.
Encouraged by his friend Loie Fuller of the Folies Bergere, an important figure in the modern dance movement, Sam Hill's mansion became an art museum. The acquisition of the museum's collection of Rodin sculpture was among Fuller's many contributions to the project.
Queen Marie of Romania, another woman friend of Sam Hill, helped dedicate the museum at its opening ceremony in 1926. The Queen arrived for the occasion bearing crates of artwork for Maryhill's collection, in appreciation for Hill's assistance to her country after World War I. Her gifts included Russian icons, Faberge objects, a coronation gown, crown jewels, and furnishings.
Alma Spreckels, a San Francisco sugar heiress, led the museum to completion after Sam Hill passed away in 1931. Her contributions and oversight led to the museum opening on May 13, 1940, Hill's birthday. Mrs. Spreckels donated a significant portion of her personal art collection to the museum.
Maryhill Museum Location and Directions
Maryhill Museum of Art is located 100 miles east of Portland, Oregon. It can be reached by traveling on either State Highway 14 on the Washington side of the river, or Interstate 84 on the Oregon side. The museum is perched on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River Gorge, just west of State Highway 97.
Maryhill Museum of Art
35 Maryhill Museum Drive
Goldendale, Washington 98620
Other Attractions at Maryhill Museum of Art
Maryhill Museum of Art is worth visiting for reasons besides its excellent art collection. A full-scale Stonehenge replica, the Loops Road, a sculptural overlook, and Lewis & Clark history are among the other compelling attractions.
Sam Hill had this full-scale replica of England's Stonehenge built as a monument to the Klickitat County soldiers whose lives were lost in World War I. World War II, Korea, and Vietnam memorials are also at the site.
The 3.6-mile Loops Road is open to bicyclists and pedestrians. Sam Hill had a particular interest in road construction; the Loops Road was built in 1907 using seven experimental methods.
The Maryhill estate is perched on a bluff overlooking the majestic Columbia River Gorge. The sculptural overlook project provides you with the opportunity to view the gorge and Mt. Hood from a variety of vantages. Interpretive panels located near the sculpture share the story of the region.
Lewis & Clark History
Lewis and Clark and The Corps of Discovery set foot on Maryhill's land on April 22, 1806. Interpretive panels in the museum's gardens and galleries inside the museum focus on the expedition.
The museum also offers a cafe, a gift shop, gardens, and a picnic area.