Memory's Vault, 1988

Richard Turner
(American, born 1943)

Location: Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend


Memory's Vault is a memorial installation and sculpture garden comprised of 28 elements by artist Richard Turner. It is located at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, on the Olympic Peninsula in Northwest Washington. The installation includes remnants of the Fort Worden barracks constructed between 1898 and 1907.

Artist Richard Turner created the installation as "a place for contemplation – of nature, of man and his intentions." Many of the elements are cast concrete, referencing the military batteries and vaults preserved throughout the state park. Concrete pillars feature bronze plaques with poems written by Sam Hamill (1943-2018). Hamill's experience serving in the Marine Corps, where he first discovered Zen Buddhist literature, informed his poetry. In 2003, Hamill launched an online anthology called "Poets against the War" in protest to the Iraq war. His anthology sparked an international movement.

This artwork was acquired for the State Art Collection in partnership with Department of Corrections.


California-based artist and professor Richard Turner creates installations for public spaces.
Turner is Professor Emeritus at Chapman University in Southern California, where he taught art, design, and contemporary Asian art history and studio art. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Antioch College in Ohio and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He lived in Saigon, Vietnam from 1959 to 1961. He studied abroad in Taipei, Taiwan, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.

MediumConcrete, stone, steel, and bronze
DimensionsOverall installation 14 ft x 40 ft x 60 ft
ID NumberWSAC1987.007.000
Acquisition MethodSite responsive commission
Artist LocationCalifornia, United States
Location Information
AgencyWashington State Parks and Recreation
Artwork LocationFort Worden State Park
Southeast corner of Artillery Hill
WA CountyJefferson
Site TypeState Agency
Address200 Battery Way
Port Townsend, WA 98368
Geo. Coordinates48.138662 | -122.764813
Before VisitingSome artworks may be located in areas not accessible to the general public (especially in K-12 public schools). Consider contacting the site prior to a visit to ensure access.