Now available: nearly 5,000 additional images from the Seattle Art Museum
The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) has contributed an additional 1,200+ images of its diverse permanent collection to the Artstor Digital Library, bringing its total to approximately 5,000.* The full selection in Artstor encompasses the curatorial departments of the museum from Ancient Mediterranean, African, American, and European to international contemporary art.
The current contribution to Artstor provides varied highlights from distinct cultures, for example Francisco de Zurbarán’s Rest on the Flight into Egypt, c.1638-40 and a panel from a Japanese paper screen A Game of Go, from the Four Accomplishments, c. 1600-1633, both from the same period.
The reach of the selections from the decorative arts may be inferred from the comparison of a prehistoric Chinese earthenware cup c. 450-221 BCE and a silver Tiffany tankard, 1893.
The depth of the American holdings may be gleaned from choices that reflect tradition–Raphaelle Peale’s Still Life with Strawberries and Ostrich Egg Cup,1814–and those that broke new ground: Louise Nevelson’s screenprint Untitled, 1973; Jacob Lawrence’s screenprint Confrontation at the Bridge, 1976 (above), and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence’s print, Running Horse.
From a collection of nearly 25,000 objects, the museum offers a selection of fine European paintings and decorative arts, as well as a robust representation of American art through to contemporary times. It is notable for its comprehensive range of Asian art—Chinese, Japanese, Korean as well as Himalayan, Indian, and Southeastern — and African art. Further, the museum is distinctive for its indigenous collections from North America and Australia. The riches of the permanent collection are supplemented by a varied program of visiting and community-related exhibitions.
The Seattle Art Museum opened in 1933 in its first home in Volunteer Park, built according to the Art Deco designs of Carl Gould (since 1994, this building has housed the Asian Art Museum, a part of the SAM, but on separate premises). From the beginning, the museum featured Asian art and the work of Northwestern artists – collecting areas that remain integral to its mission. In 1991, the museum opened in a new building designed by Robert Venturi in downtown Seattle. In 2007, the Olympic Sculpture Park expanded the campus to the shore of Puget Sound. The same year, SAM unveiled an expansion of the Venturi building designed by Brad Cloepfil which doubled the museum’s public and exhibition space.
The Seattle Art Museum collection is being released as part of a thematic launch on major North American museums that includes selections from the Art Gallery of Ontario; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Cincinnati Art Museum; the Museo de Arte de Ponce; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Fine Art, Houston; the Norton Simon Museum; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.