in partnership
BAM STILL 20.jpg
(Image: Seattle Refined)

B.A.M! One man's superhero, villain & monster collection on display in Bellevue

Since the shooting of this story and updated restrictions in King County, Bellevue Arts Museum is currently closed to the public. However, 3D Tours of all their exhibits (including the one in this story) can be seen online.

The Bellevue Arts Museum currently has a magnificent collection of super-hero, super-villain and monster collectables. There are action figures, posters, games and more.

“This exhibition is called Super Monster City America’s Superheros, monsters and villains," said Benedict Heywood, BAM's chief curator. "It's a collection of 300+ toys from the 1960s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, and 2010s. It is drawn from the collection of one person - a man named David Barnhill."

Heywood is certain this exhibition has something for everyone.

“We are a museum of art, craft and design and it seems to me this is an aspect of design that’s perhaps ignored by many other museums," he said. "Plastic is a foundational material of our culture for good or evil."

Super Monster City's collection tells the story of plastic's evolution and involvement with almost every facet of modern life. Children's playthings have become more detailed and durable than ever.

"We want people to think about their everyday objects and how they are designed, how they are made and how they fit into our culture in general,” said Heywood.

Those of us whose favorite toy did not survive their youth might even have a chance to see it again here!

“It is hugely fun," he said. "There are objects here that I remember and it's exciting to see them again. All of our culture, all of our material culture, is worth paying attention to."