Museum of History and Industry

Exploring the past, understanding the present, and inspiring a better future.

MOHAI collects and preserves the diverse history of Seattle, the Puget Sound region and beyond. Highlighting innovation and education, MOHAI enriches lives by sharing the individual and collective stories of our communities.

MOHAI believes that the preservation and exploration of Seattle’s past is essential to making effective decisions for its future. From humble beginnings in 1911, MOHAI has grown into the largest private heritage organization in the State of Washington with a collection of over 4 million objects, documents, and photographs from the Puget Sound region’s past. MOHAI uses these artifacts along with cutting edge, hands-on interactive experiences to make history come alive through the unforgettable stories of the men and women who built Seattle from wilderness to world city. In addition to museum exhibits, MOHAI hosts a variety of award-winning youth and adult public programs and consistently collaborates with community partners on local events and activities. Ultimately MOHAI hopes to connect individuals with our region’s rich history and inspire them to continue to make our home a strong, vibrant, and sustainable place to live.

Upcoming Events

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July 15-28

Boeing Flight Path

To celebrate the centennial of The Boeing Company, MOHAI invites visitors to journey through an exploration of Boeing’s impact on Seattle over 100 years, from flying boats on Lake Union to the launch of the Dreamliner.

MOHAI visitors can travel through True Northwest and the Bezos Center for Innovation galleries and rediscover Seattle’s history through the lens of Boeing’s first century.

Special highlights showcasing the Boeing story include:

  • Vintage models of Boeing aircraft and rare images filling the Boeing Tower;
  • One-of-a-kind artifacts that reflect Boeing in unexpected ways, including a Pocock Racing Shell and a stewardess uniform from the Boeing-owned United Airlines;
  • An interactive oral history experience bringing the Boeing story to life through the words of those who lived it;
  • The legendary B-1, Boeing’s very first commercial aircraft built in 1919, soaring through the Grand Atrium;
  • Boeing patents and prototypes in the museum’s Bezos Center for Innovation;
  • And opportunities to leave behind personal Boeing memories!

Check back for special programs throughout the centennial year.

 

November 19 - September 12

Edible City: A Delicious Journey

Experience Seattle’s culinary history from raw ingredients to polished plates. Edible City: A Delicious Journey serves up the story of how Seattleites eat in their city and how urban palates have developed over the years. Discover the secret history of Seattle’s favorite foods and devour the stories that helped the city grow into one of America’s best places to eat. Curated by James Beard Award winner Rebekah Denn, Edible City will be a main course on the city’s cultural buffet. The following is the menu for this delicious journey.

Raw Ingredients

For the first course, take a look at the raw ingredients—what is a “Seattle” food, and why? Visually dine on both imported and native foods that are the building blocks of Seattle’s cuisine.

Processing and Prepping

Dive into the second course of the industries that shaped a savory Seattle, from canneries to coffee roasters.

To Market, To Market

Sample the places where Seattleites go to the market for the third course. Learn about the outlets that help define the city, from co-ops to farmers markets to ethnic markets, big and small.

Bringing It Home

Enjoy the fourth course and look at the region’s home cooking through a real, preserved Seattle kitchen. Learn about the history of food justice in the area through P-Patches, community gardens, and other efforts to bring homegrown food to diverse communities.

Cooking Tech-niques

See how Seattle high-tech jobs have made its residents look at cooking in a whole new way in the fifth course. Sniff out some of the area’s groundbreaking food-tech endeavors.

Serving It Up

For final course, survey the rich banquet of restaurants that have been around almost as long as there have been city dwellers here to support them. Meet the farm-to-table chefs who have made Seattle a national dining destination, and savor the way they developed a modern Northwest cuisine.

July 29, 11:00 am

Maker Day: DIY Dog and Cat Toys

In honor of MOHAI’s latest exhibit It’s Raining Cats and Dogs, join exhibit partner PAWS in learning to make dog and cat toys using a variety of materials and crafting techniques, from the super simple to the artfully complex. Visitors are encouraged to bring their creations home to their furry family members, or can choose to donate their toys to animals in need.

Location: MOHAI

Cost: Included with museum admission

July 29, 1:00 pm

A Bite-Size History of Pike Place Market

While Seattle is a relatively young city, we boast one of the nation’s oldest continuously operated markets. Created as a place for farmers to sell their food direct to customers, the Market’s long-time focus on locally-grown and locally-made products has endured. During this 30-minute edible journey sample six unique flavors of the Market, each one illuminating a moment in Pike Place Market history and highlighting the complexity, diversity, and innovative spirit of the Pacific Northwest.

Just for members! Register in advance online until the program date. Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis on day of event.

Location: Microsoft Lakefront Pavilion at MOHAI

Cost: $5

Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-serve basis on day of event.

July 29, 3:00 pm

A Bite-Size History of Pike Place Market

While Seattle is a relatively young city, we boast one of the nation’s oldest continuously operated markets. Created as a place for farmers to sell their food direct to customers, the Market’s long-time focus on locally-grown and locally-made products has endured. During this 30-minute edible journey sample six unique flavors of the Market, each one illuminating a moment in Pike Place Market history and highlighting the complexity, diversity, and innovative spirit of the Pacific Northwest.

Just for members! Register in advance online until the program date. Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis on day of event.

Location: Microsoft Lakefront Pavilion at MOHAI

Cost: $5

Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-serve basis on day of event.

July 31, 10:00 am

miniMOHAI

MiniMOHAI is back! Every Monday morning this summer, come to MOHAI to learn about farms, gardening, and nutritious foods at interactive pop-up activity stations around the museum. Explore special activities related to MOHAI’s exhibit Edible City: A Delicious Journey, with sensory bins, dramatic play, storybooks, crafts and more.

MiniMOHAI takes place every Monday in July and August from 10am-1pm and is included with museum admission.

Location: MOHAI

Cost: Included with museum admission / Free for members

August 3, 2:00 pm

Living Voices: La Causa

Mexican American Farmworkers Movement 

In the late 1960’s a new movement changed the lives of Latin American farm workers who fought for civil rights, battled racism and indecent working conditions. Experience this chapter of American history as one young woman balances the demands of her family and culture and fights to see her people free of poverty.

Living Voices combines live theatrical performances with archival film, turning history into a moving personal journey. This performance will take place in the Joshua Green Foundation Theater on MOHAI’s second floor.

Suitable for guests 11 years (5th grade) to adult.

Location: Prologue Theater

Cost: Free with admission

August 5, 1:00 pm

A Bite-Size History of Pike Place Market

While Seattle is a relatively young city, we boast one of the nation’s oldest continuously operated markets. Created as a place for farmers to sell their food direct to customers, the Market’s long-time focus on locally-grown and locally-made products has endured. During this 30-minute edible journey sample six unique flavors of the Market, each one illuminating a moment in Pike Place Market history and highlighting the complexity, diversity, and innovative spirit of the Pacific Northwest.

Just for members! Register in advance online until the program date. Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis on day of event.

Location: Microsoft Lakefront Pavilion at MOHAI

Cost: $5

Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-serve basis on day of event.

August 5, 3:00 pm

A Bite-Size History of Pike Place Market

While Seattle is a relatively young city, we boast one of the nation’s oldest continuously operated markets. Created as a place for farmers to sell their food direct to customers, the Market’s long-time focus on locally-grown and locally-made products has endured. During this 30-minute edible journey sample six unique flavors of the Market, each one illuminating a moment in Pike Place Market history and highlighting the complexity, diversity, and innovative spirit of the Pacific Northwest.

Just for members! Register in advance online until the program date. Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis on day of event.

Location: Microsoft Lakefront Pavilion at MOHAI

Cost: $5

Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-serve basis on day of event.

August 7, 10:00 am

miniMOHAI

MiniMOHAI is back! Every Monday morning this summer, come to MOHAI to learn about farms, gardening, and nutritious foods at interactive pop-up activity stations around the museum. Explore special activities related to MOHAI’s exhibit Edible City: A Delicious Journey, with sensory bins, dramatic play, storybooks, crafts and more.

MiniMOHAI takes place every Monday in July and August from 10am-1pm and is included with museum admission.

Location: MOHAI

Cost: Included with museum admission / Free for members

August 12, 1:00 pm

A Bite-Size History of Pike Place Market

While Seattle is a relatively young city, we boast one of the nation’s oldest continuously operated markets. Created as a place for farmers to sell their food direct to customers, the Market’s long-time focus on locally-grown and locally-made products has endured. During this 30-minute edible journey sample six unique flavors of the Market, each one illuminating a moment in Pike Place Market history and highlighting the complexity, diversity, and innovative spirit of the Pacific Northwest.

Just for members! Register in advance online until the program date. Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis on day of event.

Location: Microsoft Lakefront Pavilion at MOHAI

Cost: $5

Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-serve basis on day of event.

August 12, 3:00 pm

A Bite-Size History of Pike Place Market

While Seattle is a relatively young city, we boast one of the nation’s oldest continuously operated markets. Created as a place for farmers to sell their food direct to customers, the Market’s long-time focus on locally-grown and locally-made products has endured. During this 30-minute edible journey sample six unique flavors of the Market, each one illuminating a moment in Pike Place Market history and highlighting the complexity, diversity, and innovative spirit of the Pacific Northwest.

Just for members! Register in advance online until the program date. Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis on day of event.

Location: Microsoft Lakefront Pavilion at MOHAI

Cost: $5

Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-serve basis on day of event.

August 14, 10:00 am

miniMOHAI

MiniMOHAI is back! Every Monday morning this summer, come to MOHAI to learn about farms, gardening, and nutritious foods at interactive pop-up activity stations around the museum. Explore special activities related to MOHAI’s exhibit Edible City: A Delicious Journey, with sensory bins, dramatic play, storybooks, crafts and more.

MiniMOHAI takes place every Monday in July and August from 10am-1pm and is included with museum admission.

Location: MOHAI

Cost: Included with museum admission / Free for members

August 19, 1:00 pm

A Bite-Size History of Pike Place Market

While Seattle is a relatively young city, we boast one of the nation’s oldest continuously operated markets. Created as a place for farmers to sell their food direct to customers, the Market’s long-time focus on locally-grown and locally-made products has endured. During this 30-minute edible journey sample six unique flavors of the Market, each one illuminating a moment in Pike Place Market history and highlighting the complexity, diversity, and innovative spirit of the Pacific Northwest.

Just for members! Register in advance online until the program date. Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis on day of event.

Location: Microsoft Lakefront Pavilion at MOHAI

Cost: $5

Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-serve basis on day of event.

August 19, 3:00 pm

A Bite-Size History of Pike Place Market

While Seattle is a relatively young city, we boast one of the nation’s oldest continuously operated markets. Created as a place for farmers to sell their food direct to customers, the Market’s long-time focus on locally-grown and locally-made products has endured. During this 30-minute edible journey sample six unique flavors of the Market, each one illuminating a moment in Pike Place Market history and highlighting the complexity, diversity, and innovative spirit of the Pacific Northwest.

Just for members! Register in advance online until the program date. Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis on day of event.

Location: Microsoft Lakefront Pavilion at MOHAI

Cost: $5

Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-serve basis on day of event.

August 21, 10:00 am

miniMOHAI

MiniMOHAI is back! Every Monday morning this summer, come to MOHAI to learn about farms, gardening, and nutritious foods at interactive pop-up activity stations around the museum. Explore special activities related to MOHAI’s exhibit Edible City: A Delicious Journey, with sensory bins, dramatic play, storybooks, crafts and more.

MiniMOHAI takes place every Monday in July and August from 10am-1pm and is included with museum admission.

Location: MOHAI

Cost: Included with museum admission / Free for members

August 26, 11:00 am

Maker Day: Woodworking

Learn the basics of woodworking from the skilled educators at Kids Carpentry Seattle, from the types of materials and tools that woodworkers use to important safety skills to practice at home or in the shop. Visitors will have the opportunity to play with wooden toys made by Kids Carpentry and even make their own wooden toy to take home.

Location: MOHAI

Cost: Included with museum admission

August 26, 1:00 pm

A Bite-Size History of Pike Place Market

While Seattle is a relatively young city, we boast one of the nation’s oldest continuously operated markets. Created as a place for farmers to sell their food direct to customers, the Market’s long-time focus on locally-grown and locally-made products has endured. During this 30-minute edible journey sample six unique flavors of the Market, each one illuminating a moment in Pike Place Market history and highlighting the complexity, diversity, and innovative spirit of the Pacific Northwest.

Just for members! Register in advance online until the program date. Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis on day of event.

Location: Microsoft Lakefront Pavilion at MOHAI

Cost: $5

Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-serve basis on day of event.

August 26, 3:00 pm

A Bite-Size History of Pike Place Market

While Seattle is a relatively young city, we boast one of the nation’s oldest continuously operated markets. Created as a place for farmers to sell their food direct to customers, the Market’s long-time focus on locally-grown and locally-made products has endured. During this 30-minute edible journey sample six unique flavors of the Market, each one illuminating a moment in Pike Place Market history and highlighting the complexity, diversity, and innovative spirit of the Pacific Northwest.

Just for members! Register in advance online until the program date. Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis on day of event.

Location: Microsoft Lakefront Pavilion at MOHAI

Cost: $5

Program registration open to the general public on a first-come, first-serve basis on day of event.

August 28, 10:00 am

miniMOHAI

MiniMOHAI is back! Every Monday morning this summer, come to MOHAI to learn about farms, gardening, and nutritious foods at interactive pop-up activity stations around the museum. Explore special activities related to MOHAI’s exhibit Edible City: A Delicious Journey, with sensory bins, dramatic play, storybooks, crafts and more.

MiniMOHAI takes place every Monday in July and August from 10am-1pm and is included with museum admission.

Location: MOHAI

Cost: Included with museum admission / Free for members

September 12, 7:00 pm

MOHAI Fashion Lecture: Style and Spectacle in Seattle

Seattle isn’t known for its glamorous street style, but that doesn’t mean Seattleites aren’t interested in fashion. The city has been host to glitzy runway shows, opulent theater productions, and grand displays in department stores and museums. Does this mean we are a city of style voyeurs? Explore Seattle’s fashion fascination with Clara Berg, MOHAI’s clothing and textiles specialist.

Member Pre-sale: June 1st

General Public On-sale: June 30th

Location: MOHAI

Cost: $15 general public / $10 members and students

September 16, 2:00 pm

Living Voices: Island of Hope

Join a young girl who escapes oppression in the old world to make a new life in America. But what happens to immigrants who are held back on Ellis Island? Experience this pivotal moment in a personal immigration story, and learn about the important immigrant histories that have shaped our nation.

Living Voices combines live theatrical performances with archival film, turning history into a moving personal journey. This performance will take place in the Joshua Green Foundation Theater on MOHAI’s second floor.

Suitable for guests 10 years (4th grade) to adult.

Location: Prologue Theater

Cost: Free with admission

September 16, 3:00 pm

Living Voices: Island of Hope

Join a young girl who escapes oppression in the old world to make a new life in America. But what happens to immigrants who are held back on Ellis Island? Experience this pivotal moment in a personal immigration story, and learn about the important immigrant histories that have shaped our nation.

Living Voices combines live theatrical performances with archival film, turning history into a moving personal journey. This performance will take place in the Joshua Green Foundation Theater on MOHAI’s second floor.

Suitable for guests 10 years (4th grade) to adult.

Location: Prologue Theater

Cost: Free with admission

September 23, 2:00 pm

Living Voices: The New American

Share the journey of The New American, from the turmoil of the old country, to the promise of America. The immigrant journey includes the steamship passage of 1910, the path through Ellis Island, and the sweatshops of the lower east side of Manhattan. Learn what American liberty and opportunity means to people around the world.

Living Voices combines live theatrical performances with archival film, turning history into a moving personal journey. This performance will take place in the Joshua Green Foundation Theater on MOHAI’s second floor.

Suitable for guests 10 years (4th grade) to adult.

Location: Prologue Theater

Cost: Free with admission

September 23, 3:00 pm

Living Voices: The New American

Share the journey of The New American, from the turmoil of the old country, to the promise of America. The immigrant journey includes the steamship passage of 1910, the path through Ellis Island, and the sweatshops of the lower east side of Manhattan. Learn what American liberty and opportunity means to people around the world.

Living Voices combines live theatrical performances with archival film, turning history into a moving personal journey. This performance will take place in the Joshua Green Foundation Theater on MOHAI’s second floor.

Suitable for guests 10 years (4th grade) to adult.

Location: Prologue Theater

Cost: Free with admission

November 18 - June 17

Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith

Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith at MOHAI Nov. 18, 2017- June 17, 2018, is an ambitious exhibition that chronicles the African-American community in the Pacific Northwest. The exhibit also provides an entry point into national discussions about the history and changing character of Seattle and its evolving neighborhoods.

Legendary photographer Al Smith was an explorer and his camera was the universal key that opened doors and gave him license to go anywhere. Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith, organized by Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) and on view Nov 18, 2017 – June 17, 2018, gives visitors a rare peek into Smith’s historically significant collection that chronicles the African-American community during the mid-20th century in the Pacific Northwest. The exhibit also provides an entry point into national discussions about the history and changing character of Seattle and its evolving neighborhoods.

Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith is a retrospective of Smith’s work. It honors the collection of more than 40,000 photographs generously donated to MOHAI by the Smith family.

Curated by Howard Giske, MOHAI’s Curator of Photography and a long-time friend of Al Smith, this important exhibit uncovers a collection as unique as the man who created it. ”It is one person’s work but it says a lot about Seattle and its people,” said Giske. “Al was as comfortable in church on Sunday morning as he was in a nightclub on Saturday night.”

For more than half a century, Smith documented the African-American community life in Seattle. During that time, he amassed thousands of prints and negatives (taken between 1940 and 2005), which he stashed in drawers and cabinets and grocery bags in his home.

“Al Smith’s photography chronicled his life as an active, vital member of Seattle’s African-American community,” said Leonard Garfield, MOHAI’s Executive Director. “With great warmth and intimacy he created thousands of remarkable photographs of life in the neighborhood where he was born and where he raised his family—the Central District. Smith’s brilliantly expressive documentary photography captures a community in transition, and subtly raises issues of social equity and inclusion; a topic of great significance today.”

As a teenager, Smith went to sea as a steward with the American President’s Line, sailing to Hawaii, Japan, China, and the Philippines. During his last trip to Asia in 1937, Smith bought a German-made Ikoflex camera and made up for lost time. He began to take his hobby seriously, although he modestly claimed in a 1992 interview that he was “doing nothing special, just shooting pictures…”

“Al wasn’t just somebody with a camera. He was a photographer. And that was his introduction,” said Jackie Lawson, Historian and founding member of the Black Heritage Society of Washington State.

MOHAI’s relationship with Smith goes back to 1986 when Smith volunteered in the MOHAI darkroom. For more than a decade, Smith helped the museum preserve its vintage-photo collection of Seattle history.

Seattle Times jazz writer and author of Jackson Street After Hours: The Roots of Jazz in Seattle Paul de Barros, describes Al Smith’s work as “extraordinary.” de Barros said, “When you look at Al’s photographs, you don’t feel like a visitor, but more like a participant, partaking in the joy revealed by his camera.”

Structured in a combination of six thematic sections, Seattle on the Spot takes visitors back in time.

An introduction/background of Al Smith is the first section and acquaints visitors to a humble, but driven photographer. This section provides an outline and background of Smith’s life.

From the introductory area, step into Smith’s Darkroom and explore his workspace—a captivating hands-on area where visitors can look at proof sheets, faux negatives viewable through a loop and a display of the cameras Smith used.

The next section is an immersive Nightclub. Here, visitors step into a theatrical nightclub-like atmosphere that breathes life into scenes of Seattle’s jazz scene of the 1940s immortalized by photos Smith took as a young man. This area includes a video, dance floor, music, interactives, games and artifacts on display.

Moving from the nightclub, visitors explore a more formal presentation of Smith’s work in the Nightclub Gallery section. Smith’s best-known work is from Seattle nightclubs in the Jackson Street district during the early 1940s capturing the musicians as well as reveling patrons, to whom he sometimes sold souvenir photographs. This was a heroic period for Seattle jazz—a wartime scene that ultimately spawned such internationally known artists as Ray Charles and Ernestine Anderson.

The final section focuses on the Retrospective Space. This section brings the discussion of Smith’s work to the present day and highlights the changes in the communities that Smith documented. Visitors will explore how communities are remembered today and have a chance to reflect and add information to Smith’s photos and stories to the oral history station.

“Al Smith just enjoyed people,” said Carol Peoples-Procter, President Black Heritage Society of Washington State. “I think he enjoyed life.  And he wanted to capture it through photos.”

Seattle on the Spot will be supported by unique programing including an exciting opportunity for a group of pre-selected high school students in the Central District to hone their photography skills, and develop personal aesthetic and narrative perspective. Students will curate their work for display in Seattle on the Spot from April – June 2018. Pieces will be on display in the exhibit and posted to MOHAI’s website.

MOHAI has gathered the city’s most influential leaders including former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice, Carol Peoples-Proctor, Jazmyn Scott and Al “Butch” Smith Jr. to advise and collaborate on program development for this unique and ambitious exhibition.

Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith is accompanied by an illustrated catalog with contributions by Jacqueline E. A. Lawson, Howard Giske, Al “Butch” Smith Jr., Paul de Barros and Quin’Nita Cobbins. The catalog is co-published by the Museum of History & Industry and the University of Washington Press.

Generous support for Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith is provided by National Endowment for the Arts, The Boeing Company, Laird Norton Wealth Management, MOHAI Exhibits Fund, Mike Repass, 4Culture, Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation, ArtsFund, and Gordon & Celia Bowker.

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