Results 1-7of 7 Reviews
January 5, 2007
From journal Washington State's Treasures
San Antonio, Texas
February 28, 2006
From journal Seattle—Minus the Rain!
Riverview, New Brunswick
June 12, 2007
The museum spaces upstairs are so large that one might prefer to do a series of visits and nibble away at the collection which numbers over 23000 pieces. For the 75th anniversary, it has received 1000 new pieces through donations and gifts. Some 200 of them are now on display.
The visit begins in the Wright Galleries for Modern and Contemporary Art. The space allotted to the genre is the largest in the museum which is appropriate considering the size of some of the works. As much as we enjoyed these galleries, there were others that we preferred. The American Art collection is a representative collection of some of the country’s finest art, silver, and furniture. Also particularly fine are the galleries for Native Art of the Americas. Here, the dominant field (as in all the museum) is in North-west work, but there is good representation from societies as diverse as Peru, Central America and New Guinea.
Upstairs, the permanent collection of African Art is particularly interesting in its study of dress and masks. We were, however, most taken with the Porcelain Room where a collection generally dating 1740 - 1760 is particularly well displayed. The European section with its emphasis on Renaissance art is fairly predictable; there are the requisites; a Reubens and a Van Dyke, but there are also a number of unattributed works.
The Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries are more eclectic and contain many of the recent gifts, many of which are modern pieces. It’s quite a collection. SAM goes the distance to make your visit as interesting as possible. Descriptions of the works tend to be thorough, an audio guide is available and there are touch-screen kiosks where you can watch interviews with artists, listen to music or discover the history behind the work. You will need at least two hours to explore the space.
From journal Jewel of the Northwest
April 1, 2005
I thought the exhibit in February consisting of a great many Asian artists was really interesting. It was large and included many types of art including multimedia presentations, photography, paintin,g and sculpture. My favorite parts of this exhibit were the collages of unknown women created after the 1998 Women's Summit in Beijing and a trio of movies that showed different parts of Asia and its urban areas. There was a really interesting photography project (within the exhibit) that compared the ancient and modern types of architecture in Asian cities and a number of other photo projects in the exhibit that showed the artists and their relation to their work as they were somehow installed within the photographs.
Another exhibit that occurred at the same time was a history of glass in the Pacific northwest. This was very small and absolutely beautiful.
The permanent collection at the SAM is a little disappointing and I know I went into it, but I don't remember any of what is there.
Throughout the next year and-a-half, the SAM and its collaborator the Seattle Asian Art Museum (which I did not visit) are going through a major expansion project. I'm not sure of all of the details and I hope it does well for the art scene in Seattle in general.
My boyfriend still lives there, so I will be going back at some point.
From journal Sanity in Seattle
October 21, 2004
The Hammering Man (similar to one in Frankfurt), a dynamic sculpture by Jonathan Borofsky, stands 48 feet tall and is the virtual symbol of the museum and the adjacent construction site. The curve of the building demarcates the main entrance, with the gigantic letters of the museum name chiseled above. The fourth floor displays a chronological order of galleries of Western art. The artworks from older periods (Renaissance, Baroque) are relatively minor in scope. The collection perks up with its 20th-century works, including hits by Warhol, Pollock, and Lichtenstein. Leftover spaces are allotted for Northwest Modern art, photography, and prints. The third floor rounds up an eclectic overview of non-Western art, which feels stronger than its Western collection due to its novelty and diversity. The "rest of the world" includes selections of Asian, African, Latin American, and Native American art. The second level is reserved for special exhibitions.
The ground floor contains the gift shop, while the cafe is on the mezzanine level next to the grand stair. There are free gallery tours and tea ceremonies on certain days. The museum is closed on most Mondays, and is open late until 9pm Thursdays and Fridays. The entrance fee has risen to double digits over the years, so it is worth it to go on the first Thursday of the month for free admission.
The original Seattle Art Museum (from 1933 to 1991) is now the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Designed by Carl Gould, the building has a pleasing Art Moderne appearance. Located northeast of downtown Seattle in Volunteer Park in the Capitol Hill district, you can visit for free if you have a ticket for SAM.
Though the Seattle Art Museum has a pleasant enough accumulation of art, it is mediocre in comparison to great galleries like the Metropolitan in New York or the Art Institute of Chicago. It is interesting that it is expanding barely a decade after getting into its new digs. The incoming annex, which will include some free public galleries and a high-rise office tower, was designed by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture of Portland, Oregon and is scheduled for completion in 2007. Perhaps with the realization of these grand expansion plans, SAM will take its place amongst the top echelon of art museums.
From journal Bill in the USA - SEATTLE
Los Angeles, California
December 12, 2008
From journal We Built This City on Caffeine
Leeds, United Kingdom
June 19, 2002
Perhaps that's not entirely fair. The SAM is the perfect place to go if you want to see a traditional exhibition, filled with paintings by a lesser master, it is the corporate headquarters of Seattle's art, it is the Microsoft of art, it takes no risks.
Far more interesting are the Asian Art Museum or the Bellevue Art Museum.
If you do want to go to the SAM then the best way to get there is to take the metro tunnel, which drops off at the Benaroya Hall right opposite.
From journal Summer in Seattle