M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Tucked into the hillside, a pair of buildings overlook Peaceful Valley. The structures comprised of expansive glass panes, industrial steel and concrete almost look like two vaults. Indeed, the buildings contain a treasure of sorts – a cornucopia of historical artifacts that help document the culture and heritage of Eastern Washington.

Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture has provided a glimpse into history for more than a century. The largest cultural organization in the Inland Northwest, the museum welcomes more than 130,000 visitors every year. In total, curators oversee a collection of more than one million artifacts that include fine art and materials from the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
Murdock Trust staff members observe one of the museum’s latest exhibits.

During a recent visit to Spokane, the Murdock Trust team had the opportunity to tour some of the museum’s current exhibits, as well as take a peek behind the scenes at the facility’s expansive storage areas.

Impressively, the glass and cement structures that greet you when you arrive at the museum are only a small portion of the facility. In fact, between two-thirds and three-quarters of the museum is housed underground in a temperature- and climate-controlled environment. This space is specifically designed to preserve and protect the wide-ranging artifacts entrusted to the museum.

Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
More than one million artifacts are stored in the Spokane museum, most of which live below the earth in a climate- and temperature-controlled storage vault.

The Murdock Trust was proud to be one of the first funders to provide support for an expansion project in 2001 that ultimately increased the group’s storage capacity, as well as its space to offer more exhibits to the public. The Trust has also provided funding to help the museum digitize assets over time, making it easier to preserve historical records and study delicate artifacts.

We want to thank the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture for investing in preserving the history of the Northwest so that future generations can experience the beauty of art and better understand the history of our region.

back to top

The Trust guides nonprofit organizations through every level of their development through grants and other resources.

Sectors the Trust is committed to enriching in the Pacific Northwest:

The Trust has a wealth of knowledge and experience that can make all the difference to you and your organization.