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.

Sunday, what a funny Sunday

Seattle was really overdue for some warm weather, and the second Sunday of May delivered beautifully. Sundays are generally fairly free for me, as I am a photographer in rain city, but sunny Sundays are often packed with shooting and planning and all the work that goes into the creation of a professional photograph.


This beautiful day was an exception to the norm, and in so many ways. After waking up and taking care of the usual self-maintenance and assignment overviews, I decided to head out and find a model to snap photos of for one of my future assignments. Being the extreme sports enthusiast, I decided to go and search for skateboarders at the local skate park at Seattle center, mostly hoping to find one of my previous contacts.

So I hop on the longboard, my 38-inch flexi sector nine, my true love and my city transportation, and scoot uptown to the park to start my search. Upon my arrival, I find that my past contacts are not present, as they often skate off hours to avoid the mayhem of busy weekend hours. And mayhem it was on this day.

Skateboarders of various size and shapes and ages all scurrying about and avoiding collision upon every turn. There were even a few ladies cruising around the park, one of which was as beautiful as any woman I have ever seen, which is rare to see on a skateboard, and it was obvious that she was the center of attention to every man at the park.

Robots: The Way We Look At Them Now

We humans have long been fascinated by the thought of machines built in our own image. From ancient times, inventors have tinkered with mechanical helpers to do our bidding, and storytellers have told cautionary tales about the dangers that lie along that path. Today, robots — a word not coined until the early 20th century — are everywhere in our daily lives. Far from the clunking, clattering, vaguely humanoid creatures of old sci-fi movies, modern robots build our cars, vacuum our floors, and are learning to be more like us every day.

Preston McGhee’s Mini-Bot Charm

In part because of their constant presence in our lives, robots have become the focal point of the creative message for many environmentally conscious artists. They build the non-functioning humanoids from discarded parts left in cellars or curbside salvagables, with the goal of creating something people can relate to visually, while finding innovative uses for waste.

With the Best of Intentions

All paintings begin to disintegrate right after you do them,” artist Robert Ryman admitted in a panel discussion at the Museum of Modern Art last night. “But as long as things are on the wall, they’re pretty safe.”

The rest of the time, artists’ paintings and other pieces are under the care of the sorts of collectors, gallerists, curators, and conservators that filled the audience for the event, to listen to Ryman, fellow artists Tony Feher and Jim Hodges, and Yale University Art Gallery director Jock Reynolds discuss the role of artists’ intent in making conservation decisions.

Such conservation choices are becoming increasingly complicated as contemporary work made from unusual materials begins to age. PaceWildenstein’s new endeavor Artifex Press, which organized the event, has been able to harness technology for its mission of preserving online “catalogues raisonnés”, but there are not always easy solutions to the problems posed by the rotting food, decaying plastic, and obsolete electronic equipment that make up so much contemporary art.

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.