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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
Seascape   Wenk, Albert   Oil on canvas  ca. 1912-20 
Evening by Moorland Stream, Loch Lyon, Perthshire   Watson Junior, William   Oil on canvas  1910 
Shepherd with his Flock   Weber, Paul   Oil on canvas  ca. 1880 
Ecstasy   Lenbach, Franz von   Oil on canvas  1903 
Mutter und Kind (Mother and Child)   Max, Gabriel von   Oil on canvas  ca. 1909 
Rosario Guerrero   Kaulbach, Friedrich August von   Oil on canvas  ca. 1908 
Head of a Man   Slevogt, Max   Oil on canvas  1888 
Landscape with Cattle   Gorter, Arnold   Oil on canvas  ca. 1910 
Landscape with Snow   Gorter, Arnold   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Roses   Carlsen, Soren Emil   Oil on canvas  1895 
Das Bilderbuch I (Picture Book I)   Uhde, Fritz von   Oil on canvas  1889 
October Morning   Gorter, Arnold   Oil on canvas  ca. 1910 
Trees, Stream & Cattle   Gorter, Arnold   Oil on canvas  ca. 1910 
The Willows   van Veen, Pieter   Oil on canvas  1918 
Charles H. Frye   Raschen, Henry   Oil on canvas  ca. 1913 
The Burning Stable   Schreyer, Adolf   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
View of Reichenau   Geyer, Georg   Oil on canvas  1866 
Dipping Sheep   Johnson, Charles Edward   Oil on canvas  1890 
Dans la vallée (In the Valley)   Lhermitte, Léon-Augustin   Oil on canvas  1910 
View of Königssee   Somogyi, Dániel   Oil on canvas  1878 
In the Marshes   van Marcke de Lummen, Emile   Oil on canvas  ca. 1880 
Morning on the Hills of Loch Eilt, Invernesshire   Watson Junior, William   Oil on canvas  1909 
Venice   Corrodi, Hermann   Oil on canvas  ca. 1900 
Landscape   Willroider, Ludwig   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Chief Seattle   Raschen, Henry   Oil on canvas  ca. 1916 

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