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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
Head of a Girl   Stevens, Alfred (in the manner of)   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Die Römer der Verfallzeit (Romans of the Decadence)   Feuerbach, Anselm   Oil on canvas  ca. 1850 
The Baptism   Knaus, Ludwig   Oil on canvas  ca. 1850 
Fête Galante (A Splendid Party)   Monticelli, Adolphe   Oil on panel  n.d. 
The Burning Stable   Schreyer, Adolf   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
The Storm   Isabey, Louis Gabriel Eugène   Oil on linen mounted on Masonite  1850 
Landscape with Figures   Manet, Edouard (in the manner of)   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Self-Portrait   Feuerbach, Anselm   Oil on canvas  1853 
Landscape with a Bridge   Ebert, Carl   Oil on panel  ca. 1860 
The Gypsy Camp   Knaus, Ludwig   Oil on linen  1857 
Landscape Near Polling   Lier, Adolf Heinrich   Oil on canvas  1860s 
The Farmyard   Montemezzo, Antonio Matteo   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Moonlight Scene   Jongkind, Johan Barthold   Oil on canvas  1864 
Bildnis von Leibls Kameraden Stadelmayr (Portrait of Leibl's Comrade Stadelmayr)   Leibl, Wilhelm   Oil on paper mounted on cardboard  1864 
Dutch Woman and Child   Neuhuys, Albert   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
August   Ebert, Carl   Oil on panel  ca. 1870 
Goats and Sheep   Braith, Anton   Oil on linen  ca. 1870 
Landscape   Willroider, Ludwig   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Landscape with Stream   Wenglein, Josef   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
View of Reichenau   Geyer, Georg   Oil on canvas  1866 
Susanna and the Elders   Winterhalter, Franz Xaver   Oil on canvas  1866 
The Christian Martyr   Max, Gabriel von   Oil on paper mounted on canvas  1867 
Girl with Geese   Heinisch, Karl A.   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Hunters and Hounds   Diez, Wilhelm von   Oil on canvas  1869 
The Condemned   Munkácsy, Mihály de   Oil on panel  1869-72 

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