Bridgeman Images is proud to represent the Seattle Art Museum, a centre for world-class visual arts that has been an important part of the Pacific Northwest landscape since 1933. The collection fits into the fabric of Seattle, alongside the coffee, rain, Pike Place Market and the Space Needle.
The Seattle Art Museum sits in the center of downtown Seattle, filled with natural light and a variety of global artworks. The three distinct locations celebrate the status of the Pacific Northwest as a crossroad in which East meets West, urban meets natural, and local meets global. Their collections, installations, special exhibitions, and programmes incorporate a range of international art which constructs connections between various cultures and centuries. Conservation and treatment study is also crucial to the Seattle Art Museum. They draw on knowledge of science, art, and history to investigate their artworks. This process is carried out with the intention of preserving the collection for future generations.
The Seattle Fine Art Society, the parent institution of the museum, was founded in 1906. The gradual development of this society led to the opening of the Seattle Art Museum in 1933. The original collection included Chinese jades and ceramics, alongside Japanese, Korean, and Indian art. The first year saw 345,287 visitors, almost matching the population of the city. Following this, the museum supported the World War II effort by screening civilian defence films.
In more recent years, the Seattle Art Museum has focused on displaying a diverse range of global art. The collections at museum now include Asian, African, Ancient American, Ancient Mediterranean, Islamic, European, Oceanic and American work. The art ranges from ancient to modern, and integrates decorative arts and design. The museum is particularly proud to be showing an exceptional collection of Native American and Australian Aboriginal art, which is a favorite among visitors. Alongside this, they have housed many special temporary exhibitions including ‘Monet at Étretat’ (July – October 2021), ‘Folding into Shape: Japanese Design and Crafts’ (September 2021 – September 2022), and ‘Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water’ (May 2022).
The exciting expansion of the Seattle Art Museum involved an extension designed by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture. This extraordinary development doubled the public and exhibition spaces, which opened in 2007. The new design flawlessly connected to the existing facilities and highlights the energetic, creative spirit in downtown Seattle.
The museum has also received outstanding support from their community of patrons and collectors, which have allowed a significant expansion of over 40 collections. The museum celebrated its 75th anniversary with an acquisition initiative, which yielded a remarkable result of over 1,000 gifts. In 2019, they undertook a second major development, and unveiled the renovated and expanded space in 2020.
The Seattle Asian Art Museum inhabits the 1933 landmark Art Deco building in the Volunteer Park, located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle. The museum was designed by Carl Gould, a Seattle architect who trained in Paris. He constructed the building as a sequence of rooms which would lead the visitor through an explorative art environment. It is now a heritage site for the city. The Chinese and Japanese art is the largest area within this renowned museum, including delicate ink paintings by Katsushika Hokusai. The collection additionally includes a growing selection of artworks from Korea, South Korea, Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, and the Middle East. The third branch of the Seattle Art Museum is the Olympic Sculpture Park. This nine-acre award-winning sculpture park sits on the waterfront of downtown Seattle’s most prominent green space.
Some exciting upcoming exhibitions at the Seattle Art Museum include ‘Howard L. Gato Mitchell: Forgive Us, Our Debts’, an intimate and atmospheric exhibit opening in February 2023. The museum will also house the ‘Ikat: A World of Compelling Cloth’ exhibition. This will be a wonderful display of textiles, opening in May 2023.
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