The Coos Art Museum traces its roots to the Coos Artist League. Active since 1950, early operations were conducted in storefront locations followed by occupancy of the old Carnegie Library Building near downtown Coos Bay. During this “library period” theMuseum began building its permanent collection, and established a reputation for high quality exhibits and educational programs. Throughout this period volunteers were responsible for nearly all Museum operations and functions.
In the late 1970’s the Coos Art Museum members pushed for and won approval of a community- wide bond issue to acquire and remodel the old post office building, a historical art deco structure built in 1936. Following renovations, Coos Art Museum moved into its current location in 1984.
The Museum houses the large Maggie Karl Gallery, the Perkins Room Gallery and the Alcove Gallery along with the Rental/Sales Gallery on the main floor. On the 2nd floor, via either the Art Deco staircase or the ADA compliant elevator, you’ll find the Mable Hansen Gallery and thespacious Uno Richter Atrium Gallery; complete with exposed brick walls and arched ceiling.
Also on the 2nd floor, the state-of-the art Permanent Collection storage and work area helps to keep Coos Art Museum’s over 600 works of art in pristine condition. Museum management offices and the Art Education Classroom are also located on the 2nd floor. The Steve Prefontaine Memorial Committee maintains a gallery dedicated to the famous athlete and Coos Bay native. Oregon Coast Music Association, which produces the annual Oregon Coast Music Festival and other popular events, also maintains its offices in the building.