Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Abby Williams Hill Exhibit

The newest exhibit in the Train Shed Exhibit Hall is on loan to the Museum for the next year from the University of Puget Sound. This new exhibit follows the life of artist Abby Williams Hill. You might ask, “Who was Abby Williams Hill and what does she have to do with Pacific Northwest railroad history?”

Abby Williams Hill (1861-1943) was a landscape painter who is known for her commissioned works for the Great Northern Railway and Northern Pacific Railway companies in the early 1900s. Her paintings were exhibited at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904, the Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland in 1905, the Jamestown Centennial in 1907, and the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in 1909. Her works promoted rail tourism including being printed in a travel pamphlet for the Great Northern Railway entitled Scenic Washington Along The Line (of the) Great Northern Railway in 1904.

The University of Puget Sound has graciously loaned the six panel exhibit to the Northwest Railway Museum through February 4, 2022. The collection was donated to the University by Hill's daughter, Mrs. Ina Hill. Many of Hill's paintings are on permanent display in the Collins Memorial Library and other spaces on campus. Hill's personal papers are held in the Archives & Special Collections of the University’s Collins Memorial Library. The Abby Williams Hill Collection contains approximately 150 paintings and drawings and includes letters, diaries, day books, postcards, news clippings, ephemera, and artifacts documenting the life of Hill and her family. The Hill Collection documents her travels across the nation and in Europe, her relationship with her husband and four children, her experiences hiking and painting in the Pacific Northwest wilderness, and her passion for social causes including her work with the Congress of Mothers.

Thanks to the curatorial staff of the University of Puget Sound, now you can view the exhibit and learn about the incredible life of Abby Williams Hill when you visit the Train Shed Exhibit Hall. The Train Shed Exhibit Hall is open Thursday- Sunday, 11AM-4PM. Tickets are available online or admission is free when you purchase a train ride ticket.


No comments: