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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
Alpenglow Evening   Van Zyle, Jon   Lithograph  n.d. 
Amber Lit   Van Zyle, Jon   Lithograph  1990 
Athabascan Legacy   Van Zyle, Jon   Lithograph  1985 
Dawn of a New Day   Van Zyle, Jon   Lithograph  1984 
Dream Maker   Van Zyle, Jon   Lithograph  1982 
Eskimo Storyteller   Van Zyle, Jon   Lithograph  n.d. 
Iditarod Memories   Van Zyle, Jon   Lithograph  1992 
Into the Flats   Van Zyle, Jon   Acrylic on Masonite  1982 
Lone Wolf   Van Zyle, Jon   Lithograph  1984 
Night Caller   Van Zyle, Jon   Lithograph  1981 
Old Leader   Van Zyle, Jon   Lithograph  1984 
The Journey   Van Zyle, Jon   Lithograph  1982 
Those Who Answer   Van Zyle, Jon   Lithograph  1981 
Watching the Fireflies   Van Zyle, Jon   Lithograph  1986 
Which Way Today   Van Zyle, Jon   Lithograph  1984 

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