Seattle Art Museum Review

When the Seattle Art Museum turned 80 years old in 2013, it had become clear that it was not only the most prominent museum of general art in America’s Pacific Northwest. The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) had become one of the most important museums across the nation.

The museum features an expanded building, more than double the exhibition space compared to the former situation, an enlarged and massively improved collection. The whole operation was an ambitious effort to turn the museum’s intentions into reality. The regional rank of the Seattle Art Museum has never really been challenged, but this was more by default as the competition is slim.

The museum features a very small European collection that’s mediocre overall, and not comprehensive at all. The museum boasts a great porcelain collection, but if you want to find a painting by Picasso, you’re in the wrong spot. There are quite a few educational programs and exhibits, many of which are geared towards educating underprivileged youth who need some extra support to get ahead in life, for example, high school dropouts who are getting ready for the GED test.

So beware, if you believe that a first-class general art museum should be stuffed with sculptures that date back from ancient Rome and Greece to rambunctious 20th-century launches, or classic European paintings, the Seattle Art Museum is not your cup of tea. Two of the museum’s long-standing traditions and strengths are actually African art and Pacific Northwest Native American art. The museum features a very small European collection that’s mediocre overall, and not comprehensive at all. The museum boasts a great porcelain collection, but if you want to find a painting by Picasso, you’re in the wrong spot.

Seattle Art Museum – Conserving Asian Art

When the Seattle Art Museum’s new downtown building was opened, there also was a show that highlighted Asian art and conservation problems related to a few classic masterpieces. These included a monumental and impressive Korean Buddha scroll as well as a dramatically beautiful Japanese screen (12-panels) that shows flocks of black crows that are swarming on a magnificent gold ground. Both masterpieces are dating back to the 17th century.

The next historical works had been brought to the museum and into our modern era through the acquisition of two local Pacific Northwest collections. One features specific Ukiyo-e woodcuts by Hiroshige, Hokusai, and some other famed artists. The second masterpiece conservation show was focusing on Nihonga, a traditional Japanese painting style that was used during and after the Japanese Meiji era, and highlights conservative resistance in relation to Western influences.

The second masterpiece conservation show was focusing on Nihonga, a traditional Japanese painting style that was used during and after the Japanese Meiji era, and highlights conservative resistance in relation to Western influences.

Asian Art Museum takes on bigger role

Works of art are frozen in time, but Art Museums are living entities that can change and grow…

This is also the case with the Seattle Art Museum (commonly referred to as ‘SAM’). SAM closed its downtown location earlier to allow for an extensive remodeling process that almost doubled the museum’ exhibition space.

In 1994 the Volunteer Park facility reopened as the Seattle Asian Art Museum. In 2007 the Olympic Sculpture Park opened to the public, culminating an 8-year process. Since 1994, the Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM) has been located in the original Deco/Moderne SAM facility (dating back to 1933) in Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill, Seattle.

So the museum shifted its operations base to a landmark Seattle building. The Seattle Asian Art Museum was now located in Volunteer Park on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. In 2007, the Olympic Sculpture Park was open to the public, which culminated an 8-year long process.

The Art Deco masterpiece, designed by Carl Gould, a famous Seattle architect, was actually the first Seattle Art Museum. Carl Gould has designed quite a few significant buildings in Washington State such as the famous quadrangle of buildings of the University of Washington (known as “The Quad”), a structure in the Collegiate Gothic style, and another famed building from his hands is the Everett Public Library.

New Seattle Art Museum demands repeat visits

The Seattle Art Museum – So much art. So little time.

Though the Seattle Art Museum is open so many hours each day, this grand downtown Seattle masterpiece building still won’t allow you to see all there is to see inside in just one day.

And that’s just fine. Just make sure you’ll be returning. Over and over again.

The museum hosts so many new shows and exhibits, and there’s a good chance that each time you return, you’ll discover something new, something that has been improved or upgraded.

And of course, the impressive light all through the building. Oh yes, the light. The building is famous for its light that gently spreads out, through and over each of the museum’s floors like gossamer. It is like the light in the museum is “bringing things to life.”

In January 2006, the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) closed to allow for a huge expansion.  This was needed to make room for the growing exhibition programs and collections of the museum. So just one block south of Pike Place Market, at the museum’s original location, a brand-new 16-story building was connected to the existing museum that also underwent a complete renovation.

The project cost over $86 million in total and doubled the gallery and public space. The huge expansion was including amenities such as a new restaurant and museum shop, galleries with white oak plank floors, terrazzo floors in all of the museum’s public spaces, and, on the 3rd floor, an impressive gallery dedicated to contemporary art.

Seattle Art Museum hosts a Celebrate Diwali event

For many years, the Seattle Art Museum has been hosting a Celebrate Diwali event at the Asian Art Museum in Seattle’s Volunteer Park. Visitors can enjoy a dance performance, make their own votive candle holder, see a fashion show, and listen to all sorts of traditional Indian music. The event, that took place for the first time from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on November 5, 2015, is free, but the museum wants people to make reservations nonetheless.

This celebration of the arts and cultures of Asia takes place on the first Saturday of most months. Celebrate Diwali is organized to honor special Indian traditions, so everyone is welcome to enjoy fashion shows, traditional music, and dance performances at this annual Free First Saturday India celebration.

In 2015, on Sunday, November 6, the Seattle Art Museum also organized the “Festival of Lights” at the Seattle Center. The festival kicked off at noon in the Armory Main Floor (305 Harrison Street), and highlighted the culture and arts of India. The “Festival of Lights” was entirely indoors, suitable for all ages, and free for the public. The festival featured several internationally highly reputed artists, a henna booth, Indian dance lessons, face painting, a puppet show, Indian chai, and all sorts of food from many parts of India.