Maxey Museum art display.
The Maxey Museum exhibit featured archival materials related to the planning of the sites that make up artist Maya Lin’s Confluence Project. Photo by Kim Fetrow ’96 of Kim Fetrow Photography.

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More than two years in the making, Maxey Museum’s most recent exhibit, “Along the Columbia: Maya Lin and the Confluence Project,” explored the series of six earthworks by renowned sculptor and architect Maya Lin installed at historical locations on the Columbia River.

The public art project, commissioned by a group of arts patrons and tribal leaders of the Columbia River Plateau and the Pacific Northwest to commemorate the bicentennial of Lewis and Clark’s 1804–1806 journey to the Pacific Ocean, was a massive undertaking. Its archival materials—including blueprints, site surveys, models and maquettes, drawings and sketches by Lin and the artists, architects and engineers with whom she collaborated—which were donated to Whitman College in 2018, formed the core of the Maxey exhibit. “Along the Columbia” was created and curated by the museum’s director, Libby Miller, along with Penrose Library archivists Ben Murphy and Dana Bronson, and Matt Reynolds, associate professor of art history and visual culture studies, who is writing a book about Confluence. The physical exhibit, featured by The New York Times in April 2021, closed in December, but you can still explore it virtually at alongthecolumbiaconfluenceexhibit.com.