The Seattle Art Museum (aka SAM) is a freakin’ treasure. Let’s just get that out of the way first. With 25,000 pieces and 300,000 square feet of space, you’re sure to find something to like.

The permanent collection

My favorite period is mid-century American art and the SAM has a pretty impressive collection. Warhol, Katz, Johns, Ruscha, Rothko are all on permanent display.

Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Art Museum, Jasper Johns Thermometer
Seattle Art Museum, Alex Katz
Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Art Museum

Not to be out-done, if sculpture is your thing you’ll have plenty to take in there, too.

Local and Aboriginal art

An impressive collection of local-interest art and Native American / Aboriginal / First Nations art is represented inside. Subjects range from clothing to landscapes of Mount Rainier.

Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Art Museum, Native art
Seattle Art Museum, Totem Poles

The Porcelain Room

For a little unexpected break from all the paintings and sculpture, take a peek into the large collection of porcelain from all over the world, from a wide range of origins. Arranged by theme and color, one-off pieces and those factory produced shine in this beautiful room of over 1,000 pieces.

Seattle Art Museum Porcelain Room
Seattle Art Museum Porcelain Room
Seattle Art Museum Porcelain Room
Seattle Art Museum Porcelain Room
Seattle Art Museum Porcelain Room

The Italian Room

Not to be out-done in the themed room category, the Italian Room is located within the European galleries.

The rich warm glow of the wood-paneled room beckons you into the northern Lombard town of Chiavenna, where this room was built around 1550-1600. Called stüa in the local dialect, this style of room typically contained a large stone or tile-covered stove around which the family would gather on cold nights.

Seattle art museum Italian room
Seattle art museum Italian room
Seattle art museum Italian room

Seeing Nature

In this limited time exhibit, local billionaire, Microsoft co-founder, Seattle Seahawks owner Paul G. Allen lends selections from his personal art collection to the SAM.

The exhibition features a stunning group of 39 European and American landscape paintings from the past 400 years. Venetian scenes by Canaletto, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, and J.M.W. Turner, a rare landscape masterpiece by the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, Birch Forest of 1903.

Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Art Museum

Late 19th and 20th century artists as diverse as Georgia O’Keeffe, Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Edward Hopper, David Hockney, Gerhard Richter, and Ed Ruscha were featured at the conclusion of the exhibition.

Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Art Museum

Visit SAM

The Seattle Art Museum is so much more than I can possibly share here (although I have shared quite a lot!). The SAM is technically always “pay what you can” but the suggested donation of $19.95 per person. Various discounts can get you in for as little as $12.95.

First Thursdays of the month are free admission with half price admission to whatever special exhibit is on display.

Comments (1)

  • JoWalsh .June 15, 2017.Reply

    Beautiful

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