Exhibits at the Capitol include biennial exhibits in the cases outside of the hearing rooms, virtual exhibits on the website, rotating exhibits in the Capitol Galleria, electronic exhibits in the Welcome Center and our public art throughout the building.

Featured Virtual Exhibit: Caralyn B. Shelton - The Nation's First Female Governor

This exhibit was developed by the Willamette Heritage Center with funding from the Oregon State Capitol Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization. Researched by Kaylyn F. Mabey with generous assistance from Anne Mitchell. The exhibit is narrated in the video below. You can also view the non-video version of the exhibit here.

Caralyn B. Shelton served as Oregon’s acting Governor in 1909 -- three years before Oregon women were granted to the right to vote. In her three-day tenure, Shelton demonstrated that a woman could execute the duties of the highest state office. Her story was told by newspapers all over the world at the time, but few today know her name and her remarkable story. This exhibit explores Shelton’s experience and the ways in which Oregon’s unique system of government provided politicians an opportunity to make a statement about women’s suffrage on the national and international stage.

The Capitol History Gateway Exhibit Cases: Capitol Construction

The Capitol has undergone much change in its life. Constructed in 1937-1938, the building has always been a beacon for those wishing to propose change. In 1977, the building had an expansion with the creation of hearing rooms and the “wings,” legislative offices for the Senate and House members. Today, the building is undergoing more change. With the need to create a more accessible and safe building, the legislature passed funding in 2016 to start the Capitol Accessibility, Maintenance and Safety (CAMS) construction project. To learn more about the building’s changes over time, visit the exhibit cases in front of the hearing rooms on the first floor or scroll through the panels below.


Capitol Art Collection

Second Creek Painting by Laura Ross Paul
Second Creek by Laura Ross Paul, 2008

The astounding Capitol Art Collection was the first funded by Oregon’s Percent for Art legislation, another of the state’s groundbreaking laws. Grab a self-guided tour brochure at the Guest Services Kiosk on the first floor and discover some of the Capitol’s fascinating art treasures. The collection features work by over 150 of Oregon’s finest artists and most pieces are housed in the legislative member office wings. A catalog containing photos and descriptions is available for purchase in the Capitol Store.

Preview the Capitol Art Collection [pdf].