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 modest 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.

The Seattle Art Museum can play an important role in helping teens develop self-confidence. In BestGEDClasses online prep, for example, young learners are recommended to visit the Seattle Art Museum. They recognize that the Museum’s programs may help students discover undeveloped talents and skills, which can give them a very important boost in confidence.

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.

Outsider Art in Seattle

Let’s take a closer look at a few places that promote Outsider Art in Seattle: Garde Rail Gallery 

Southern Folk Art

ANNIE TOLLIVER (Picture: Adam&Eve)
Annie Tolliver lives just around the corner from her father, Mose T’s, house in Montgomery. When I entered her house, I was met by a figure that was sitting in front of a screen door. The light from outside was creating a silhouette which makes it somewhat difficult to see who or what it was… The silhouette was Annie Tolliver, as she said “Hi, I’m Annie” when I asked. Please come in and take a look around my place.”

Annie Tolliver didn’t start painting until the mid-80’s. Her father was a painter as well and a he was unable to satisfy the growing demand from collectors and gallery owners, he taught his children the art of painting in exactly his style. His children painted for him, they produced the painting, after which Mose Tolliver (‘T’) would sign the paintings with his signature (“Mose T”), of course with a backward “s”. Though several collectors were shocked when they learned this and want to have their collections revaluated, most collectors and gallery owners didn’t really mind because all was produced within one family and all the work still falls into the category and definition of American Folk Art.

Five must-see Seattle art shows

“Graphic Masters: Dürer, Rembrandt, Hogarth, Goya, Picasso, R. Crumb,” Seattle Art Museum: Don’t miss your chance to see this unusual show of artworks using only lines and shading (the definition of “graphic art,” whether it’s printmaking or putting pen or pencil to paper). Goya’s “Los Caprichos,” the riveting heart of the show, makes you feel you’re plumbing the unconscious of a whole nation: Inquisition-era Spain.

R. Crumb’s epic-length ink-on-paper treatment of “The Book of Genesis” (207 cartoon panels!) is must-see, too, for fans of the underground comic artist who came to fame in the 1960s.

Seattle Art Fair: This isn’t just a biggie — it’s a sprawling monster. More than 80 exhibitors from across the globe are taking part in it, along with quite a few Seattle art galleries. Out-of-town exhibitors include Paul Kasmin Gallery (New York) with paintings by Robert Motherwell and Mark Ryden, Other Criteria (New York and London) with hand-painted porcelain sculpture by Damien Hirst, and SCAI THE BATHHOUSE (Tokyo) with sculpture by Mariko Mori.

Pioneers for Seattle Parks

It is some years back now, but throughout 2003, there were many reminders of the centennial for the arrival of the Olmsted Brothers firm. To celebrate the contributions of these pioneer landscape architects, the Seattle Parks Foundation featured monthly walking tours through 12 city parks that were shaped by the firm, the most celebrated of national activists in the progressive “city beautiful” movement of the late-19th and early-20th centuries. The first tour began at the Conservatory in Volunteer Park Saturday at 10 a.m.

See also this interesting Kyle McCoy video:

In the more than 30 years that followed the 1903 introduction of its comprehensive plan for Seattle parks, the firm was involved in 37 park projects.

Its influence is felt even more if we add boulevards, designs for many private local gardens, and master plans for making over the University of Washington campus as well as the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.

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.

The Importance Of Outsider Art

People would have thought it crazy, 25 years ago, to imagine the sort of frenzy that’s now driving the creation of the first new art museum in New York in more than three decades. Back then, art dealers couldn’t unload paintings by such self-taught artists as Bill Traylor, a former slave who didn’t start drawing until his 80s, for $300.

One of his paintings recently sold at a Sotheby’s auction for a record $303,750. Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio scramble to score the work of Joe Coleman, whose visionary paintings depict everything from sideshow freaks to serial killers. “He’s a big cult figure,” says Ann Nathan, Coleman’s Chicago dealer, who says there is a long waiting list for his work.