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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
Landscape with Boat   Gorter, Arnold   Oil on canvas  ca. 1905-10 
Landscape with Cattle   Gorter, Arnold   Oil on canvas  ca. 1910 
Landscape with Snow   Gorter, Arnold   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Landscape with Stream   Gorter, Arnold   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
October Morning   Gorter, Arnold   Oil on canvas  ca. 1910 
Trees, Stream & Cattle   Gorter, Arnold   Oil on canvas  ca. 1910 
Winter Landscape   Gorter, Arnold   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Frauenportrait (Portrait of a Woman)   Habermann, Hugo von   Oil on canvas  1911-17 
Parc Monceau, Paris   Hassam, Childe   Oil on canvas  1897 
Canal Scene with Sailboat   Heffner, Karl   Oil on linen  ca. 1875 
Landscape with Poplars   Heffner, Karl   Oil on canvas  1890 
Spring, Gottenheim   Heffner, Karl   Oil on linen mounted on cardboard  ca. 1905 
Wilmersdorf, Berlin   Heffner, Karl   Oil on canvas  1913 
Girl with Geese   Heinisch, Karl A.   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Springtime   Hengeler, Adolf   Oil on panel  1908 
The Blue Dress   Hengeler, Adolf   Oil on panel  1912 
Three Putti   Hengeler, Adolf   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Spanische Tänzerin (Spanish Dancer)   Hierl-Deronco, Otto   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Plums   Hinkson, Mary   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
In the Roman Campagna   Hoch, Franz-Xaver   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Landscape with Church Towers   Hoch, Franz-Xaver   Oil on canvas  1912 
Mountain Brook in the Snow   Hoch, Franz-Xaver   Oil on canvas  1912 
The Storm   Isabey, Louis Gabriel Eugène   Oil on linen mounted on Masonite  1850 
Village in the Snow   Jardines, Jose Maria   Oil on canvas  ca. 1915 
Dipping Sheep   Johnson, Charles Edward   Oil on canvas  1890 


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