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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
Mrs. Greathouse   Abbott, Gerry   Mixed media on board  1975 
Camano Crossing   Acker, Perry   Watercolor on paper  ca. 1950-65 
Dona Rosa   Acker, Perry   Watercolor on paper  ca. 1976 
Dreaming of Springtime   Acker, Perry   Oil on illustration board  1981 
Garden   Adkison, Kathleen Gemberling   Oil on linen  1960 
Dog Sled with Musher   Ahgupuk, George   Pen and ink on paper  n.d. 
Dogs in Camp   Ahgupuk, George   Pen and ink on paper  n.d. 
Eskimo Cache   Ahgupuk, George   Ink on deerhide  n.d. 
Reindeer Herd   Ahgupuk, George   Pencil and ink on paper  n.d. 
Seal Hunters   Ahgupuk, George   Ink on caribou skin  n.d. 
Bird Sanctuary   Airey, Lorraine   Oil on linen  ca. 1970 
Northern Scene   Alger, Jack   Oil on cardboard  1958 
Saddlebacked   Amundsen, Norman C.   Watercolor on paper  1962 
Raven Watchers   Angell, Tony   Steatite (soapstone)  1984 
Untitled (Badlands)   Aranda, Juventino   Oil stick on Pendleton blanket  2018 
Pueblo Girl   Arrants, Shirley   Pastel on velvet  ca. 1982 
Spring Beauty   Bainbridge, Win   Watercolor on paper  1987 
Bamboo No.24   Bard, Gayle   Letterpress and lithograph  1994 
History Lesson   Bartlett, Bo   Oil on canvas  2002 
Black River Quarry   Benson, R.A.   Watercolor on paper  1985 
Winter in South Bend   Benson, R.A.   Watercolor on paper  ca. 1983 
Clinkers   Berk, Leo Saul   Duratrans on sculptural lightbox  2012 
Specular Reflections   Berk, Leo Saul   Glass spheres, black pond dye  2015 
Wind Jangle   Berk, Leo Saul   Aluminum, fishing line, weights  2015 
Bamboo No.8   Bishop, Jeffrey   Letterpress and lithograph  1993 


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