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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
A Critical Point in the Game   Moeller, Louis   Oil on canvas  ca. 1903 
An d. Loisachtal (Loisach Valley)   Beda, Giulio   Oil on linen  ca. 1900 
Arab Riders   Schreyer, Adolf   Oil on panel  1870s 
At the Beach   Zumbusch, Ludwig von   Pigment and varnish on pressboard  ca. 1904-05 
At the Stream   Strützel, Otto   Oil on canvas  ca. 1905 
August   Ebert, Carl   Oil on panel  ca. 1870 
Autumn Morning with Sheep   Strützel, Otto   Oil on linen  n.d. 
Autumn Sun   Gorter, Arnold   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Bacchante   Max, Gabriel von   Oil on canvas  ca. 1900-1915 
Bavarian Girl   Defregger, Franz von   Oil on paperboard  1911 
Bei Brügge (At Bruges)   Canal, Gilbert von   Oil on canvas  ca. 1905 
Bildnis von Leibls Kameraden Stadelmayr (Portrait of Leibl's Comrade Stadelmayr)   Leibl, Wilhelm   Oil on paper mounted on cardboard  1864 
Birkenwald (Birch Grove)   Dill, Ludwig   Oil on canvas  ca. 1900 
Botaniker (The Botanists)   Max, Gabriel von   Oil on canvas  ca. 1900-1915 
Boy with a Hat   Zumbusch, Ludwig von   Pigment and varnish on paperboard  n.d. 
Boy with a Red Cap   Zumbusch, Ludwig von   Pigment and oil on paper  ca. 1903-04 
Braut von Corinth (Bride of Corinth)   Max, Gabriel von   Oil on panel  ca. 1900-1915 
By the Shores of Chiemsee   Ebert, Carl   Oil on canvas  1880 
Canal Scene with Sailboat   Heffner, Karl   Oil on linen  ca. 1875 
Cardinals at Leisure   Scholz, Max   Oil on canvas  1890s 
Cattle   Barillot, Léon   Oil on linen  ca. 1880 
Cattle on a Path   Wimmer, Gustav   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Charles H. Frye   Raschen, Henry   Oil on canvas  1913 
Charles H. Frye   Raschen, Henry   Oil on canvas  ca. 1913 
Chief Seattle   Raschen, Henry   Oil on canvas  ca. 1916 

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