Northwest Museum Of Arts And Culture Spokane Wa

Welcome to the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC), located in the beautiful city of Spokane, WA. This renowned museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich history and diverse culture of the Northwest region. With its extensive collection of art, historical artifacts, and interactive exhibits, the MAC serves as a hub for both locals and visitors seeking to explore and appreciate the heritage of this vibrant region.

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of art and culture as you step into the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. From ancient civilizations to contemporary masterpieces, the MAC showcases a vast range of artistic expressions that will leave you inspired and enlightened. With its commitment to preserving and sharing the stories of the Northwest, this museum offers a truly unique and comprehensive experience for all.

The History of the MAC

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1916. Originally known as the Cheney Cowles Museum, it was founded by Anna F. Cowles in memory of her late husband, W. B. Cowles. Since then, the museum has evolved into a prominent cultural institution and a vital part of the Spokane community.

Over the years, the MAC has undergone several expansions and renovations to better serve its mission. Today, it stands as a testament to the vision and dedication of those who have contributed to its growth. From its humble beginnings to its current status as a premier museum, the MAC continues to inspire and educate visitors with its vast collection and engaging exhibits.

The Visionaries Behind the MAC

Anna F. Cowles, the founder of the MAC, had a deep passion for art and culture. Her desire to create a space where the community could come together to appreciate and learn about the arts led to the establishment of the museum. Cowles believed that art has the power to enrich lives and bring people closer to their history and heritage.

In addition to Cowles, many other individuals have played significant roles in shaping the MAC into what it is today. From dedicated curators and directors to generous donors and volunteers, the museum owes its success to the collective efforts of countless individuals who share a common love for art and culture.

Permanent Exhibitions

Step into the world of the Northwest’s cultural heritage as you explore the museum’s permanent exhibitions. These thoughtfully curated displays take you on a journey through time, showcasing the rich history and diverse traditions of the region.

Native American Artifacts

One of the highlights of the MAC’s permanent exhibitions is its collection of Native American artifacts. Discover the artistry and craftsmanship of the indigenous peoples of the Northwest, from intricately woven baskets to beautifully carved totem poles. Gain a deeper understanding of their cultural significance and the stories they tell.

Regional History

Uncover the fascinating history of the Northwest through the museum’s regional history exhibits. From the early settlements of the Spokane Tribe to the thriving industries that shaped the region, these displays provide a comprehensive overview of the area’s past. Explore artifacts, photographs, and interactive installations that bring the history to life.

Contemporary Art

Experience the vibrant and ever-evolving world of contemporary art at the MAC. The museum’s permanent collection features works by local and regional artists, showcasing a diverse range of styles and mediums. From paintings and sculptures to multimedia installations, these exhibits offer a glimpse into the Northwest’s thriving art scene.

Rotating Exhibitions

One of the unique aspects of the MAC is its rotating exhibitions, which ensure that there’s always something new and exciting to discover. These temporary displays feature a wide range of themes and art forms, providing visitors with fresh perspectives and opportunities to engage with different aspects of the Northwest’s culture.

Featured Artists

Each year, the MAC showcases the works of both established and emerging artists through its featured artist exhibitions. These exhibits offer a glimpse into the contemporary art scene and highlight the talent and creativity thriving in the region. From solo shows to group exhibitions, there’s always something inspiring to see.

Traveling Exhibitions

The MAC often collaborates with other museums and institutions to bring traveling exhibitions to Spokane. These exhibits offer a unique opportunity to explore art and artifacts from around the world, providing a global perspective on cultural heritage. From ancient civilizations to modern masterpieces, these displays broaden visitors’ understanding of art and its impact on society.

Interactive Experiences

The MAC goes beyond traditional displays with its interactive experiences, offering visitors a hands-on and immersive way to engage with art and culture. These interactive exhibits are designed to educate, entertain, and inspire, creating memorable moments for visitors of all ages.

Art Workshops and Classes

Unleash your creativity and learn new artistic techniques through the MAC’s art workshops and classes. Led by experienced artists and educators, these sessions cover a wide range of mediums, from painting and sculpture to photography and digital art. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, there’s something for everyone.

Virtual Reality Installations

Step into a whole new world with the MAC’s virtual reality installations. Using cutting-edge technology, these exhibits allow visitors to immerse themselves in virtual environments and explore art and cultural landmarks from around the globe. Experience art in a whole new way through this innovative and interactive medium.

Events and Programs

The MAC is a hub of activity, hosting a variety of events and programs throughout the year. From lectures and workshops to performances and festivals, there’s always something happening at this vibrant cultural institution.

Artist Talks and Lectures

Expand your knowledge and gain insights from artists, curators, and experts in the field through the MAC’s artist talks and lectures. These events provide a platform for thought-provoking discussions and allow visitors to engage with the creative minds behind the artwork on display.

Music and Performing Arts

Experience the magic of live performances at the MAC’s music and performing arts events. From concerts and recitals to theatrical productions and dance performances, these events showcase the diverse talent in the region and offer a platform for local artists to shine.

Cultural Festivals

Celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the Northwest at the MAC’s cultural festivals. These vibrant events bring the community together to explore and appreciate the traditions, music, dance, and cuisine of different cultures. Immerse yourself in the festivities and experience the joy of cultural exchange.

Educational Opportunities

The MAC is committed to providing educational opportunities for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a student, educator, or lifelong learner, there are various programs, workshops, and resources available to enhance your understanding of the Northwest’s art and culture.

School Programs

The MAC offers a range of educational programs for students of all ages, designed to complement school curricula and provide enriching experiences. From guided tours to hands-on workshops, these programs encourage students to explore art, history, and culture in a dynamic and interactive way.

Teacher Resources

Supporting educators in their mission to inspire and educate, the MAC provides a wealth of teacher resources. These materials include lesson plans, activity guides, and online resources that align with educational standards and help teachers integrate art and culture into their classrooms.

Lifelong Learning

For lifelong learners, the MAC offers a range of workshops, lectures, and discussions that delve deeper into various aspects of art and culture. Whether you’re interested in a specific artist or era, or simply want to expand your knowledge, these programs provide a platform for intellectual growth and personal enrichment.

Museum Shop

Take a piece of the MAC home with you by visiting the museum shop. Browse through a selection of unique gifts, art prints, books, and more. Support the museum’s mission while finding a special memento to commemorate your visit.

Art Prints and Reproductions

Bring home a piece of the MAC’s collection with high-quality art prints and reproductions. From iconic paintings to stunning photographs, these prints allow you to enjoy the beauty of the artwork in your own home. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a first-time buyer, there’s a wide range of options to choose from.

Local Artisan Crafts

Discover the work of local artisans and support the local creative community by purchasing handmade crafts and products. From jewelry and ceramics to textiles and home decor, the museum shop offers a curated selection of unique and one-of-a-kind items that reflect the spirit of the Northwest.

Dining Options

Refuel and relax at one of the dining options available within the museum. Whether you prefer a quick snack or a leisurely meal, you’ll find a variety of culinary delights to suit your taste. Enjoy the ambiance and convenience of dining amidst the cultural wonders of the MAC.

Café and Bistro

Indulge in a delicious meal or grab a quick bite at the MAC’s café and bistro. The menu features a range of options, from fresh salads and sandwiches to hearty soups and artisanal desserts. Sit back, relax, and savor the flavors while taking in the museum’s beautiful surroundings.

Outdoor Patio

On a sunny day, take advantage of the MAC’s outdoor patio seating. Enjoy your meal or beverage al fresco, surrounded by the museum’s lush gardens and scenic views. Whether you’re meeting friends for a leisurely lunch or simply taking a moment to relax, the outdoor patio provides a tranquil and inviting atmosphere.

Membership and Support

Become a member of the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture and join a community of art enthusiasts and cultural supporters. Membership offers a range of benefits and opportunities to engage with the museum while supporting its mission to preserve and promote the art and culture of the Northwest.

Membership Benefits

Enjoy exclusive benefits as a MAC member, such as free admission to the museum, access to members-only events and previews, discounts at the museum shop, and more. Membership not only enhances your own museum experience but also directly contributes to the preservation and growth of the MAC.

Supporting the MAC

By becoming a member or making a donation, you directly support the MAC’s exhibitions, educational programs, and community outreach initiatives. Your contribution helps ensure the continued success and accessibility of the museum, allowing future generations to appreciate and learn from the Northwest’s art and culture.

Plan Your Visit

Make the most of your visit to the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture by planning ahead. Here’s everything you need to know to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience at this cultural gem in Spokane, WA.

Opening Hours

The MAC is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 5 pm. Plan your visit accordingly, and consider arriving early to maximize your time exploring the exhibits and participating in any scheduled programs or events.

Ticket Prices

Admission prices vary depending on age and membership status. General admission tickets are available for adults, seniors, students, and children. Additionally, discounted rates are available for groups and families. Check the MAC’s website for the most up-to-date ticket prices and any special promotions or discounts.

Directions and Parking

The MAC is conveniently located in Spokane, WA, and easily accessible by car or public transportation. The museum provides ample parking on-site for visitors, free of charge. If you prefer public transportation, several bus routes serve the area surrounding the museum. Check the MAC’s website for detailed directions and parking information.

Visitor Guidelines

For an enjoyable and respectful visit, familiarize yourself with the MAC’s visitor guidelines. These guidelines ensure the safety and preservation of the museum’s exhibits and provide a pleasant experience for all visitors. Please note any photography restrictions, food and drink policies, and rules regarding the touching of artwork.


The MAC is committed to providing a welcoming and accessible environment for all visitors. The museum is wheelchair accessible, with elevators and ramps available for ease of movement. Additionally, accessible parking spaces are provided, and accessible restrooms are available throughout the museum. If you have specific accessibility needs or require any accommodations, reach out to the MAC in advance to make arrangements.

Plan Your Itinerary

With so much to see and experience at the MAC, it’s helpful to plan your itinerary in advance. Take a look at the museum’s website to explore the current and upcoming exhibitions, events, and programs. Consider prioritizing the areas that interest you the most, but also allow time for unexpected discoveries and moments of reflection as you explore the museum.

Immerse yourself in the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture and embark on a captivating journey through the region’s history and artistic heritage. With its comprehensive exhibits, interactive experiences, engaging programs, and a commitment to fostering a deeper understanding of the Northwest’s art and culture, the MAC offers an enriching experience for visitors of all ages. Plan your visit today and discover the wonders that await at this cultural gem in Spokane, WA.

Related video of Exploring the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane, WA

Also Read