Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Seattle Art Museum Celebrates its Upcoming 75th Anniversary

Seattle Art Museum Celebrates its Upcoming 75th Anniversary

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Edward Hopper, "Chop Suey", oil on canvas, 32 x38 in., 1929. From the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Barney A. Ebsworth.

SEATTLE, WA.- The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) announced an unprecedented series of gifts—the largest in the museum’s history—from prominent museum patrons and collectors. The gifts, which commemorate the museum’s 75th anniversary in 2008 and represent art from across time and cultures, will include nearly 1,000 works from over 40 collections.

In a dramatic show of support, entire collections by some of the Northwest’s leading collectors have been committed over time, featuring such landmark works as Constantin Brancusi’s modern masterpiece Bird in Space (1926); Ellsworth Kelly’s Blue, Green, Red II (1965) and Edward Hopper’s iconic oil painting Chop Suey (1929). In addition, donors have supported major purchases for the collection, including Richard Serra’s Wake (2004) at the Olympic Sculpture Park; John Singleton Copley’s portrait of Dr. Silvester Gardiner (ca. 1772), SAM’s first 18th-century American painting; and Inopportune: Stage One (2004), a monumental installation featuring nine automobiles by the Chinese-born contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang that will be installed in the museum’s new Brotman Forum.

“This is a landmark commitment for SAM and our community,” said Mimi Gates, SAM director. “The private art collections in Seattle have evolved and grown over the last two decades. Great works of art, art of international significance, have been finding a home in Seattle and it is very important to SAM and the community that these collections stay in Seattle for the benefit and enjoyment of our community and beyond.”

Among the collections committed to SAM are: • Susan and Jeffrey Brotman Collection, a major international collection with a concentration of contemporary German artists such as Anselm Kiefer and Sigmar Polke; • Jane Lang Davis Collection, a nationally renowned collection of postwar painting, with signature works by major Abstract Expressionists such as Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and Clifford Still; • Barney A. Ebsworth Collection, the finest collection of early modern American art in private hands which includes works by Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe and Marsden Hartley among others. • Marshall and Helen Hatch Collection of Northwest Modern Art, the premier collection of Northwest masters such as Mark Tobey and Morris Graves; • A group of Afikpo masquerade works field-collected in Nigeria by University of Washington professor emeritus Simon Ottenberg; • Sam and Gladys Rubinstein Collection of early 20th-century European painting including works by Alexei Jawlensky, Robert Delaunay and Frantisek Kupka; • Jon and Mary Shirley Collection, which includes iconic sculptures by Constantin Brancusi and Alberto Giacometti, and particular depth in the work of Alexander Calder and Chuck Close; • Griffith and Patricia Way Collection of Modern Japanese Painting, one of the finest collections of Nihonga painting in the United States; • Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection, the most extensive collection of modern and contemporary art in the Northwest. Assembled over the last 50 years, their collection includes works by artists such as Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Kiki Smith, Donald Judd, Carl Andre, Ed Ruscha, John Chamberlain and Helen Frankenthaler.

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