The Museum of Whimsy in downtown Astoria, Oregon is home to one collector’s personal treasury of odd, intriguing, and, well, whimsical artifacts collected over a lifetime of travels and treasure hunting.
“Collect what you love” is advice often given by and to collectors. For some, that means shunning a singular focus for a more eclectic approach to collecting. Given the diversity of objects in Trish Bright’s museum, she obviously values eclecticism. Bright’s personal collection of antiquities is right at home inside the former Bank of Astoria built in the 1920s. Since opening the Museum in 2016, Bright has filled the two-storey space with folk art, taxidermy, dolls, costumes, and objet d’art that delight visitors. It’s a vast collection that invites people to slow down and let the objects and their stories transport them to a different time and place.
Astoria is a city with a lot of offer. Many know Astoria as home to the first permanent settlement on the United States’ Pacific coast. Pop-culture aficionados also know the city as the setting of and location in which The Goonies was filmed. Other movies filmed in Astoria include Kindergarten Cop, The Black Stallion, Free Willy, and Short Circuit.