Gig Harbor is steeped in maritime history with boat building and commercial fishing playing a major role in the development of the area. But Gig Harbor was more - an agricultural center, logging and lumber area and Native American fishing grounds.
Throughout our region we cherish and preserve much of this history for our residents and our visitors to remember and enjoy!
The greater Gig Harbor Peninsula is home to other museums and historical sites listed here (in left column).
In the heart of downtown Gig Harbor is the Harbor History Museum. It offers 7,000 square feet of permanent galleries showcasing the rich, unique heritage of the Gig Harbor Peninsula. Unique artifacts, video kiosks, hands-on exhibits, computer interactives, and a small theater bring Peninsula history to life in our permanent galleries.
The Annelise and Warder Stoaks Permanent Gallery
The permanent exhibit showcases the rich, unique heritage of the Gig Harbor Peninsula through artifacts, photos, personal stories and hands-on interactives. Exhibits focus on south sound Native Americans, area settlers, water transportation, early industries, commercial fishing, the three Narrows Bridges, and the growth of the Peninsula.
The Jim and Carolyn Milgard Maritime Gallery
Our rich maritime and boat-building heritage is showcased by the 65-foot fishing vessel Shenandoah and the Thunderbird Hull #1 sailboat on display in the majestic Maritime Gallery. With active restoration of the Shenandoah taking place in public view, this gallery promises a new experience each time you visit.
The Rev. Charles F. Schreiner Showcase Gallery
Younger visitors can get their hands-on history fix in this fun, interactive gallery featuring a large magnetic mural and other activities aimed at children 10 and under.
This gallery presents the story of the Gig Harbor Peninsula's first residents - the Gig Harbor Band of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. The gallery features baskets and implements from the museum's collection.
Located on site, the 1893 Midway School celebrates early education on the Peninsula and serves as both an exhibit gallery and classroom for visiting school groups.
Current Special Exhibition:
Water's Extreme Journey
April 19 - July 20, 2014
Become a Raindrop, Change Your World...Developed with world-renowned marine life artist Wyland, Water's Extreme Journey takes visitors on an exciting and important adventure quest for clean water. Visitors experience the watershed as a water drop, exploring first-hand the science behind the water cycle. But it's not all wet and wild - through powerful interactives and local messaging, visitors will realize that even their daily decisions can immediately improve the watershed in their own backyard.
Water's Extreme Journey transforms the visitor into a drop of water entering a watershed, an area of land where water drains and collects into a shared reservoir. As visitors will discover, a watershed can be right in their own neighborhood, or as big as the Rocky Mountain region! To explore the exhibition watershed, visitors voyage through rivers, lakes, wetlands, and even their homes, eventually reaching the healthy ocean. Sound easy? Water drops face many hurdles as they interact with humans. Does the farm they encounter use pesticides? Did someone get messy changing their oil, or flush prescription drugs down the toilet? Clean choices keep our drops healthy and moving toward a clean ocean. Dirty choices send our drops down the urban storm drain to the unhealthy ocean, where they evaporate, condensate, and precipitate for another try
July 27 - September 14, 2014
The 15th Annual Juried Maritime Art Exhibition is held at the beautiful Harbor History Museum located on the historical Gig Harbor waterfront. The Harbor History Museum is honored to host an exciting venue for artists to showcase their maritime-themed works of art. This will be the fourth year the exhibition will be held at this location. The museum draws visitors from throughout the state of Washington as well as visitors from across the country and the world.
This year the museum is privileged to have Luke Tornatzky judge the exhibition. For Luke there is no end to the exploration of color, light and shape. Working in either oil on canvas or charcoal on paper, Luke combines his love of boats, water and light in startling compositions awash in brilliant color. Luke’s award winning pieces have been the highlight of numerous exhibits and publications throughout the Pacific Northwest. Please visit Luke Tornatsky’s website to view his work and learn more about this year’s juror. http://www.lukejtornatzky.net/default.htm
Sales of art during the exhibit are a win-win situation for the museum and participating artists. The museum hosts a special reception to celebrate the opening of the show that all artists submitting artwork are invited to, whether their art has been selected by the juror or not, and are welcome to bring special guests.
During the exhibit, special programs and hands-on workshops for adults and children will highlight maritime art.An art workshop will be offered September 6-7 from 10am-4pm. Join talented artist Robin Peterson at the Museums beautiful waterfront location for an introduction to the practicalities, possibilities and benefits of making and keeping a sketchbook journal. You have the tools, now gain the knowledge to sketching your own experiences.
The work shop will work off of each other so reserve your space for both days. The prices are: 2 days, $70 for members and $80 for non-members. If you can’t make both days come for one, prices will be $40 for members and $45 for non-members. Space is limited to 15 participants per day and they are filling fast. Please RSVP your space soon.
To submit your work or more information please go to http://www.onlinejuriedshows.com and click on Harbor History Museum 15th Annual Juried Maritime Art Exhibition. This show is NOW CLOSED
Show Prospectus with hanging requirements can be found here.
ID Tags for accepted pieces can be downloaded here.
September 27 - November 15, 2014
The Peninsula Art Museum is excited to announce its 14th annual Open Juried Art Show, being held at the fascinating Harbor History Museum. The Harbor History Museum is located on the historical waterfront of Gig Harbor, WA. Each year prizes are awarded to artists from across the nation and Canada that have submitted their works to the show. Over $6,000 were awarded in 2013 alone.
This year internationally known artist and author Carla O’Conor will be our Juror. She received her BFA in painting from Kent State, Kent, Ohio, and is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, Northwest Watercolor Society, and an AWS Dolphin Fellow. Her artwork has been featured in magazines and cookbooks. We are privileged to have her expertise in discerning and evaluating the submitting pieces.
Carla will expand her world teaching skills to Gig Harbor and offer a five-day water media workshop at the Harbor History Museum August 18-22, prior to the show opening. It is both our disappointment and excitement to announce this workshop is currently SOLD OUT!
To enter your artwork please go to www.OnlineJuriedShows.com for details and click on Peninsula Art League 2014 Open Juried Art Show.