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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Maryhill Museum

I was very pleased with my camera when we drove the Columbia Gorge and i was able to get a shot of the Maryhill Museum
We had gone there several yrs ago thinking it was a mansion that we could take a tour in, but when we got there we found that it was a art Museum.. we were a bit disappointed as we wanted to see it as it was with furniture and such. We are not into art, but it was ok. So for those that do like art well worth checking out if ever in Wash. he is some history about it. also click on the header and you will see some photos.

In 1907 Samuel Hill (1857–1931), a wealthy entrepreneur bought 6,000 acres of land overlooking the Columbia River with the intention of establishing a Quaker agricultural community. He chose the bluff which Maryhill Museum now occupies as the site for his own home, and in 1914 construction of his poured concrete mansion began. He named both his home and his land company Maryhill after his daughter, Mary.

Among Hill's many personal friends, three exceptional women played key roles in the next chapter of Maryhill's history. Loie Fuller, an acclaimed Folies Bergere pioneer of modern dance, conceived the bold idea of creating a museum of art out of Sam Hill's mansion. Through Loie's friendships within Parisian art circles, Hill was able to acquire an extensive collection of original Auguste Rodin sculptures.

In 1926, Hill invited Queen Marie of Romania to dedicate his still unfinished museum. Marie felt deep gratitude toward Hill, who had generously aided Romania after World War I. Thousands of people converged at Maryhill to witness the ceremony.

After Hill's death in 1931, a third friend, Alma Spreckels, assumed responsibility for overseeing the completion of the museum. Together with her husband, Adolph Spreckels (of the San Francisco sugar family), she had already established the Palace of the Legion of Honor. Alma Spreckels became Maryhill's principal benefactor and donated to the museum much of her own art collection. Under her guidance, the museum opened to the public on Sam Hill's birthdate, May 13, 1940.

Designed by the historic firm of Hornblower & Marshall, Maryhill is constructed of steel I-beams with interior steel studs. The walls, floors, and ceilings are of poured concrete reinforced with steel. No wood has been used in the structural parts of the building. The recessed windows are a distinctive trademark of the firm.

Samuel Hill
Samuel Hill, c. 1920

Queen Marie, c. 1910

Alma Sprekels, c. 1905


dot said...

It looks like it's in the middle of no where!

USAincognito said...

From a distance it does look like a mansion out in the middle of nowhere.