Queen Marie of Romania, Rodin and Chess at the Maryhill Museum of Art Near Goldendale, Washington

By Yolanda Vanveen

The last time I visited Maryhill Museum of Art was in the eighties. I have fond memories of the Rodin sculptures. When I started to plan our American vacation across the country from Oregon to Minnesota, a stop at Maryhill Museum was at the top of my list. We started from Portland going west and crossed the Columbia River near the Dalles with a nice view of the Dalles Dam.

We were concerned when we saw an airplane dropping water on a grass fire on the Oregon side not too far but they got it under control.

As we drove up and saw the building my heart skipped a bit with excitement — I began to cry with happiness as the memories of my prior visit poured out.

The ironwork and sculptures were inviting. My twin 15 year old boys told me that many of them aren’t art to them, just pieces of metal. I had to agree that many had little form but still thought they were attractive.

The dry creek bed landscaping caught my eye and was very welcoming:

Some of Sam Hill’s original iron fencing was used in a memorial. It was buy one get one entrance free so saved $3 on entrance for one of my twin boys. I paid $9 for myself so only $12 total. A great value!

As we entered I was bombarded with the beauty of the Queen Marie of Romania exhibit.

I am so thankful for great leaders of the past that shared their treasures with the world so that I might enjoy them today.

We decided to eat lunch next downstairs in the restaurant and enjoyed the view, the succulents, the lemonade and the turkey sandwiches.

There was an international chess exhibit downstairs that we enjoyed. I did not know chess was first played in India a thousand years ago. The chess sets from India and Italy were my favorites.

They also has a collection of art depicting chess through history.

I was anxious to see my Rodins after visiting the Smithsonian and seeing the Thinker two years ago so we ventured to the Rodin exhibit. They had a mini Thinker and so many surprises. The Girl with Flowers in Her Hair and the Crying Lion were my favorites! It was marvelous as anticipated.

I love the flower girl kept playing in my brain. Sing with me:

I didn’t realize how connected Rodin was with the celebrities at the time. He brought silent film star Louie Fuller with him to visit Maryhill. Her exhibit was also very interesting. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Maryhill Museum of Art, you will also be moved and amazed at their collection.