First Free Day is this Saturday

(Photo by Jason Quigley)

You read that right! Visit the High Desert Museum during Mid Oregon Credit Union Free Family Saturdays — happening January 27 and February 24 — to experience the Museum’s latest exhibitions, dynamic wildlife encounters and more.

“We are excited to welcome our community to Free Family Saturdays,” said Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “They have always been highly popular and it’s an amazing day to witness the Museum’s educational mission in action.”

Along with free admission, Museum visitors can look forward to a special Daily Schedule. Guests will have the opportunity to meet a nonreleasable raptor in the Museum’s care during the Bird of Prey Encounters happening every hour between 11am-3pm.

“Mid Oregon has partnered with High Desert Museum for over 20 years to provide free days at the Museum,” said Kyle Frick, VP Marketing. “We are proud to be able to continue this tradition and provide access to thousands of Central Oregonians who can experience this world-class Museum.”

The Museum’s exhibition Andy Warhol’s Endangered Species: From the Collections of Jordan Schnitzer and his Family Foundation will be open during Free Family Saturdays. The Endangered Species portfolio was commissioned by art dealers Ronald and Frayda Feldman of the Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York City in 1983, ten years after the Endangered Species Act was signed into law. Warhol created a series of screenprints to raise the profile of endangered animals and draw public attention to their plight. Alongside the Endangered Species series, this intriguing exhibition also showcases pieces from Warhol’s Skull series, Vanishing Animals series and one of his iconic Marilyn Monroe works.

Other current exhibitions include the Museum’s original effort Endangered in the High Desert. This exhibition calls attention to species in the region that are either facing or recovering from the threat of extinction. Intriguing and informative, Endangered in the High Desert is a component of the Museum’s yearlong exploration of the Endangered Species Act, 50 years after it was signed it into law by President Richard Nixon.

Those who attend the first Mid Oregon Free Family Saturday on January 27 can look forward to visiting the traveling exhibition Wolves: Photography by Ronan Donovan before it closes on February 11. The exhibition, created by the National Geographic Society and the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming, features Donovan’s images and videos of wolves in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and on Ellesmere Island in the high Canadian Artic. Since 2014, the National Geographic Explorer and photographer has examined the relationship between wild wolves and humans to better understand the animals, our shared history and what drives the persistent human-wolf conflict.

The Museum’s newest exhibition, Timber Culture, is also ready to explore during both Mid Oregon Credit Union Free Days. This traveling historical photography exhibition curated by the Maxville Interpretive Heritage Center tells the story of Maxville, a logging town that once existed 15 miles north of Wallowa, Oregon. The Bowman-Hicks Lumber Company owned and operated the town from 1923-1933. Maxville was a segregated town, meaning families were formally divided by race. Despite these laws, Maxville’s isolation encouraged the formation of interracial friendships and the exhibit’s photographs convey that unique story. Although Timber Culture is a traveling exhibit, the Museum’s exhibitions team added their own special touches with historic objects from the Museum’s collection including a few hands-on interactives for kids like wash basins and a cross section of an old growth ponderosa pine tree.

Winter hours are daily from 10am-4pm. Learn more about all the Museum’s permanent and changing exhibitions at

Free Family Saturdays are made possible by Mid Oregon Credit Union.


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