Maritime Exhibits

Our Beautiful & Wild Oregon Fisheries
150 Years of Innovation

The story told in this exciting new exhibit is of Oregon’s successful emergence as a world leader in sustainable seafood and the very sound reasons for eating local seafood.

This is the story of our fishermen, fish processors, fishery managers, scientists, conservation groups and port communities meeting the challenges and opportunities of wild harvest fisheries to feed a growing population.

Museum visitors will be afforded a rare opportunity to be immersed in the fascinating and little understood story behind Oregon and the Yaquina Bay’s far reaching and economically vital commercial fishing fleet. The largest fisheries in Oregon: Dungeness crab, pink shrimp, albacore tuna, Chinook salmon, groundfish, and pacific whiting are central to this exhibit. Politics, regulations, globalization, consumer food preferences, environmental conservation, and old fashion seat-of-your pants ingenuity have all shaped the region’s commercial fishing fleet and maritime culture.


Rescued Recovered and Lost: Oregon Shipwrecks

This exhibit explores the history of shipwrecks along the Central Oregon Coast.

Shipwrecks, both as things and events, capture the imagination. The drama of a shipwreck is often used by artists and writers to symbolize life gone awry and the ability, or inability, of people to overcome tragedy.

Locally, shipwrecks have changed the course of our history — lives and fortunes have been lost, the environment damaged. Despite their tragic nature, objects recovered from shipwrecks are coveted as collector’s items, or a beachcomber’s windfall.

The day-to-day prevention of the loss and life of shipwrecks may not be dramatic, but it is central to maritime living. Safety at sea, wayfinding, and  search and rescue are a matter of life and death for mariners.


Diane O’Leary

New to the Maritime Museum’s Galley Gallery, an exhibit of Diane O’Leary paintings, mixed media pieces, gyotaku and textiles. This exhibit runs through October 2019.

Diane O’Leary is a nationally known artist who never intended to be an artist. She held a PHD and six other college degrees and was a natural scientist who also enjoyed recreational activities such as playing piano, reading baroque literature and studying archeology.

Diane’s father was Irish and her mother was Native American (Comanche). She was raised in a small Texas town before moving, in 1967, to Taos, New Mexico to join the resurgence of interest in Southwest Native American art. Although not trained as an artist, O’Leary’s self-taught talent would only increase in quality as she aged.

In 1989 O’Leary moved from the desert of the American Southwest seeking rain. She found it in Garibaldi, Oregon where her artistic focus shifted to the environment and Oregon’s marine life. She later moved to Newport for the proximity and access to the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Hatfield Marine Science Center. O’Leary was relentless to ensure her subject’s accuracy by seeking out fishery experts. Her hard efforts were not lost as, to this day, her work is respected for it’s scientifically and anatomic representations.

Diane passed away in 2013 while still living in Newport. The works, in this exhibit, were loaned to us by her friends, patrons and acquaintances. 


In addition to these exhibits and more, visitors to the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center can enjoy the spectacular bayfront views, and browse our gift shop and bookstore.

The Maritime Center is located at 333 SE Bay Blvd on Newport’s historic bayfront.
Parking is available at the top of the hill next to the building. All Historical Society buildings are wheelchair accessible.

Hours: 11am-4pm Thursday through Sunday.
Admission: $5 for adults, kids 12 and under get in free.
Members receive tickets for free admission to the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center.

For more information call 541-265-7509.