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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
Potting Shed, Swanson's   Checkley, David   Watercolor on paper  ca. 1965 
Bamboo No.12   Chew, C.T.   Letterpress and print  1994 
Cloud Reflections on Puget Sound   Connell, Robert   Sumi ink and gouache on paper  1993 
Carnation Farm   Countryman, Larry   Watercolor, ink, and oil wash on paper  ca. 1972 
Bamboo No.4   Crispwick, Mrs.   Letterpress and lithograph  1993 
Eclipse Tower 1   Crowell, Web and Stacey Levine   Digital video of stop-motion animation (color, sound); 3:43 min.  2015 
Moonlight Night   Cryan, Edna Wilder   Lithograph  1985 
Harlequin Woman   Cumming, William   Tempera on board  1955 
Poet at Big Sur   Cumming, William   Tempera on board  1980 
Two Girls   Cumming, William   Oil on Masonite  1960 
Home of a Sourdough - Near the Copper River Valley, Near Cordova   Dahlager, Jules   Oil on canvas on illustration board  1949 
Chest Harp 1   Degenerate Art Ensemble   Steel, guitar strings  2006 
Chest Harp 2   Degenerate Art Ensemble   Steel, guitar strings  2006 
Cuckoo Crow: Hatchling   Degenerate Art Ensemble   DVD video (color, silent); 14:44 min.  2007 
Cuckoo Crow: Transformation   Degenerate Art Ensemble   Digital video (color, sound); 7:14 min.  2011 
Deerlegs   Degenerate Art Ensemble   Wood, steel, rubber, PVC pipe, cable, microphone, transmitter  2007 
Panthrastic Harp Zither   Degenerate Art Ensemble   Steel, wood, harp strings, antique instrument parts  2005 
Untitled (Nail Harp)   Degenerate Art Ensemble   Steel, wood, guitar strings, nails  2005 
Bamboo No.17   Dennis, Lockwood   Letterpress and woodcut  1994 
Looking West on First Hill   Derbyshire, Leon   Oil on linen  ca. 1938, finished 1974 
Portrait of Nelson Puckett   Derbyshire, Leon   Oil on linen  1948 
Still Life with Tulips   Derbyshire, Leon   Oil on linen  1940 
Wild Daisies   Dorsey, Jack   Watercolor on paper  ca. 1979 
Chrysanthemums with Paper   Dudgeon, Earl   Gouache on canvas board  1965 
Weed Bouquet   Dudgeon, Earl   Oil on linen mounted on Masonite  ca. 1965 


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