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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
Village in the Snow   Jardines, Jose Maria   Oil on canvas  ca. 1915 
Four in Hand   Speyer, Christian   Oil on canvas  1911 
Bavarian Girl   Defregger, Franz von   Oil on paperboard  1911 
Surf Breaking   Carlsen, Soren Emil   Oil on canvas  1911 
Frauenportrait (Portrait of a Woman)   Habermann, Hugo von   Oil on canvas  1911-17 
Three Young Cows with their Drover in the High Meadow Grass, Worth   Zügel, Heinrich von   Oil on canvas  1912 
In the Pasture   Strützel, Otto   Oil on canvas  1912 
The Blue Dress   Hengeler, Adolf   Oil on panel  1912 
Landscape with Church Towers   Hoch, Franz-Xaver   Oil on canvas  1912 
Steep Ravine, Marin County, California   Welch, Thaddeus   Oil on canvas  1912 
Mountain Brook in the Snow   Hoch, Franz-Xaver   Oil on canvas  1912 
Seascape   Wenk, Albert   Oil on canvas  ca. 1912-20 
Portrait of Hanna Ralph   Kaulbach, Friedrich August von   Oil on canvas  ca. 1917 
Charles H. Frye   Raschen, Henry   Oil on canvas  1913 
Emma Lamp Frye   Raschen, Henry   Oil on canvas  1913 
Trüber Wintertag (Cloudy Winter Day)   Petuel, Rudolph   Oil on canvas  1913 
Wilmersdorf, Berlin   Heffner, Karl   Oil on canvas  1913 
Portrait of Hanna Ralph   Kaulbach, Friedrich August von   Oil on paperboard  n.d. 
The Artist's Daughter in Spanish Costume   Stuck, Franz von   Oil on panel  1914 
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 
Rest on the Flight into Egypt   Thoma, Hans   Watercolor and black ink on board  1915 
Landscape with Campfire   Raschen, Henry   Oil on canvas  ca. 1915-20 
Rooster and Chickens   Douglas, Walter   Oil on canvas  ca. 1920 
Chief Seattle   Raschen, Henry   Oil on canvas  ca. 1916 

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