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Pacific Northwest Artists

The Frye Art Museum’s substantial collection of works by artists of the Pacific Northwest reflects the Museum’s transformation from a personal selection of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century—predominantly European—oil paintings to a museum dedicated to creative practice in its myriad forms. Since opening in 1952 to the present day, the Museum has remained steadfast in exhibiting and collecting artworks by contemporary artists, especially those living and practicing in the city of Seattle and surrounding region. Walser Sly Greathouse, executor of the Frye estate and founding director of the Museum, ensured Charles and Emma Frye's vision for a free, public art museum for the people of Seattle was brought to life. Beginning in 1952, Greathouse was the first of six directors who expanded the Museum’s collection, acquiring new works to enliven and contextualize the paintings bequeathed by the Fryes. Subsequent leaders sustained the Museum’s legacy within the evolving identity of the Pacific Northwest through the ongoing collection and exhibition of works by artists of the region—from Washington and Oregon up to Alaska. The Museum’s extensive holdings of Alaskan art were initially assembled by the Museum’s second director, Ida Kay Greathouse. Between 1969 and 1993, she acquired over 125 paintings and works on paper. Subsequent Frye directors Richard V. West, Midge Bowman, and Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker added 175 more works by artists associated with the northernmost state. Highlights of the Pacific Northwest holdings range from twentieth-century Alaskan landscapes by artists such as Sydney Laurence and Eustace Paul Ziegler, to evocative works by contemporary artists and artist collectives across a broad range of mediums, including Juventino Aranda, the Black Constellation, Alison Bremner, Degenerate Art Ensemble, Ellen Lesperance, Jeffry Mitchell, Buster Simpson, and Ko Kirk Yamahira, among others.

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Title Artist Medium Date
Cache by the River   Laurence, Sydney   Oil on canvas on masonite  n.d. 
Camp with Mt. McKinley in the Background   Laurence, Sydney   Oil on burlap  n.d. 
Cordially Yours   Laurence, Sydney   Pencil and ink on paper  1920 
Country Scene with House   Laurence, Sydney   Oil on canvas  1933 
Deserted Beach   Laurence, Sydney   Oil on canvas  1931 
Freighter at Sunrise   Laurence, Sydney   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Lake Union   Laurence, Sydney   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
View of Mt. Shuksan   Laurence, Sydney   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Mt. McKinley from the Headwaters of the Talkeetna River, Alaska   Laurence, Sydney   Oil on canvas  1918 
Mt. McKinley from the Tokositna River   Laurence, Sydney   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Mt. McKinley with Cache   Laurence, Sydney   Oil on canvas on board  1920 
Mt. McKinley with Trees   Laurence, Sydney   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Northern Lights   Laurence, Sydney   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Off to the Potlatch   Laurence, Sydney   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
On My Venetian Travels   Laurence, Sydney   Watercolor on paper  n.d. 
Sailing Off Shore   Laurence, Sydney   Oil on canvas on cardboard  1920s 
Snoqualmie Falls   Laurence, Sydney   Oil on canvas, relined  n.d. 
Valdez, Alaska   Laurence, Sydney   Watercolor on paper  1914 
Venice Sailboats   Laurence, Sydney   Oil on board  n.d. 
View of Mt. McKinley   Laurence, Sydney   Oil on canvas  n.d. 


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