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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
Near Hope Island, Wash.   Peck, James   Watercolor and gouache on paper  1951 
Chilkat Valley, Bald Eagle   Smith, Gil   Watercolor and gouache over graphite underdrawing on paper  1982 
Waiting for the Fish Run   Ziegler, Eustace Paul   Watercolor on illustration board  ca. 1949 
Tacoma Smelter   Cauthorn, Jess Dan   Watercolor on illustration board  1964 
Swinomish Slough (LaConner, Washington)   Jensen, Arne Rudolph   Watercolor on paper  1950s 
Old House at Oysterville, Washington   Jensen, Arne Rudolph   Watercolor on paper  ca. 1950s-1960s 
Wild Rose Lard   Hulburt, Lucille   Watercolor on paper  1990 
On My Venetian Travels   Laurence, Sydney   Watercolor on paper  n.d. 
Bouquet in Frye Shortening Pail   Bruce, Marjorie   Watercolor on paper  ca. 1978 
Washington Coast Oyster Dock   Marshall, Fred B.   Watercolor on paper  1962 
Vegetables & Pear   Bundas, Rudolph   Watercolor on paper  1972 
Wild Daisies   Dorsey, Jack   Watercolor on paper  ca. 1979 
December 25   Hamilton, George   Watercolor on paper  ca. 1971 
Hooverville   Fitzgerald, Edmond J.   Watercolor on paper  1939 
Spring Beauty   Bainbridge, Win   Watercolor on paper  1987 
Minus Tide - Point No Point   Bundas, Rudolph   Watercolor on paper  1989 
Near Spring   Giecek, Ed   Watercolor on paper  1986 
Gloaming   Brask, Gudrun   Watercolor on paper  ca. 1963 
Potting Shed, Swanson's   Checkley, David   Watercolor on paper  ca. 1965 
Persian Peace   Hertner, Connie   Watercolor on paper  1991 
Sheldrake Pond   Fitzgerald, Edmond J.   Watercolor on paper  ca. 1950 
Kalaallit Study   Kent, Rockwell   Watercolor on paper  1935 
Fiesta Time   Reese, William F.   Watercolor on paper  1980 
March Sunlight in Hogan's Alley   Fitzgerald, Edmond J.   Watercolor on paper  n.d. 
Shoreline Drapes   Jensen, Arne Rudolph   Watercolor on paper  ca. 1977 

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