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Founding Collection

The Founding Collection reflects the distinctive vision of museum founders Charles and Emma Frye and celebrates late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century European and American art. The children of German immigrants, the Fryes became prominent business leaders and patrons of the arts after settling in Seattle in 1888. Their collection of 232 oil paintings, almost half of which features German artists, was formed during the years around 1900. Charles and Emma Frye developed their passion for art at the Columbian Exposition, a world's fair held in Chicago in 1893. The experience had a great influence on the painterly subjects and artists the couple would collect in years to come. Over the next four decades, the Fryes acquired paintings while traveling abroad in Europe and from auctions, most notably those of American collections formed by Hugo Reisinger and Josef Stránský. The Fryes famously hung their paintings floor to ceiling, salon style, in a specially built gallery space attached to their home on First Hill. Beyond Germany, the Fryes collected works by artists from Austria, Denmark, England, France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, and the United States. Highlights include works by two generations of artists from Munich—those of the Münchener Künstlergenossenschaft (Munich Artist’s Association) such as Franz von Defregger, Franz von Lenbach, Wilhelm Leibl, and Friedrich August von Kaulbach—and artists who formed the Munich Secession including Ludwig Dill, Hugo von Habermann, Otto Hierl-Deronco, Franz von Stuck, Wilhelm Trübner, Fritz von Uhde, and Heinrich von Zügel. Other notable works include paintings by Eugène Boudin, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Lillian Genth, Gabriel von Max, and Mihály de Munkácsy. The Founding Collection continues to serve as a catalyst for artistic inquiry at the Frye Art Museum in exhibitions that reframe its works and history through a lens of contemporary scholarship.

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Title Artist Medium Date
Herbstwald mit Kühen (Autumn Forest with Cows)   Baer-von Mathes, Carola   Oil on linen  ca. 1890 
Landscape with Trees   Baer, Fritz   Oil on linen  ca. 1905 
Sommertag, Weiden am Bach (Summertime, Weiden am Bach)   Baer, Fritz   Oil on linen  ca. 1905 
Wash Day   Baer, Fritz   Oil on linen  ca. 1880 
Cattle   Barillot, Léon   Oil on linen  ca. 1880 
Three Cows and a Calf   Barillot, Léon   Oil on linen  ca. 1890 
An d. Loisachtal (Loisach Valley)   Beda, Giulio   Oil on linen  ca. 1900 
Dordrecht, The Cathedral   Boudin, Eugène   Oil on panel  ca. 1885-89 
Dordrecht, the Meuse seen from Swandrecht   Boudin, Eugène   Oil on canvas  1879 
View of the Harbor, Le Havre   Boudin, Eugène   Oil on panel  ca. 1885-90 
Dans les bois (In the Woods)   Bouguereau, William-Adolphe   Oil on canvas  1905 
Flight of Love   Bouguereau, William-Adolphe   Oil on canvas  1901 
Gardeuse de moutons (The Shepherdess)   Bouguereau, William-Adolphe   Oil on canvas  1881 
Goats and Sheep   Braith, Anton   Oil on linen  ca. 1870 
Shepherd with Goats   Braith, Anton   Oil on canvas  1895 
Mare aux Châtaigniers à Dullin Savoie (Pool at the Chestnut Grove in Dullin, Savoy)   Cachoud, François   Oil on canvas  1914 
Moonlight Scene   Cachoud, François   Oil on linen  1914 
Septembre   Cachoud, François   Oil on linen  ca. 1900 
Pointers in the Woods, Autumn   Califano, John   Oil on canvas  ca. 1905 
Bei Brügge (At Bruges)   Canal, Gilbert von   Oil on canvas  ca. 1905 
Roses   Carlsen, Soren Emil   Oil on canvas  1895 
Surf Breaking   Carlsen, Soren Emil   Oil on canvas  1911 
Venice   Corrodi, Hermann   Oil on canvas  ca. 1900 
View of Corsica   Corrodi, Hermann   Oil on canvas  ca. 1890 
Norwegian Girl   Dahl, Hans   Oil on canvas  ca. 1905 


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