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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
Emma Lamp Frye   Raschen, Henry   Oil on canvas  1913 
Emma Lamp Frye   Raschen, Henry   Oil on canvas  ca. 1913 
Evening by Moorland Stream, Loch Lyon, Perthshire   Watson Junior, William   Oil on canvas  1910 
Expectation   Soulacroix, Frederic   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Fête Galante (A Splendid Party)   Monticelli, Adolphe   Oil on panel  n.d. 
First Communion   Salinas y Teruel, Juan Pablo   Oil on canvas  ca. 1890 
First Snow   van Veen, Pieter   Oil on canvas  ca. 1914 
Flight of Love   Bouguereau, William-Adolphe   Oil on canvas  1901 
Four in Hand   Speyer, Christian   Oil on canvas  1911 
Frau Merk   Lenbach, Franz von   Oil on cardboard  1901 
Frauenportrait (Portrait of a Woman)   Habermann, Hugo von   Oil on canvas  1911-17 
Frühlingtanz (Spring Dance)   Stuck, Franz von   Oil on canvas  ca. 1925 
Gardeuse de moutons (The Shepherdess)   Bouguereau, William-Adolphe   Oil on canvas  1881 
Geraldine Farrar   Kaulbach, Friedrich August von   Oil on paperboard  ca. 1905 
Girl by a Brook   Zumbusch, Ludwig von   Dry pigment and varnish on paperboard  1920 
Girl with a Hat   Lenbach, Franz von   Oil on cardboard  1900 
Girl with Geese   Heinisch, Karl A.   Oil on canvas  n.d. 
Girls Dancing   Zumbusch, Ludwig von   Dry pigment and medium on cardboard  ca. 1910-12 
Goats and Sheep   Braith, Anton   Oil on linen  ca. 1870 
Green Landscape   Willroider, Ludwig   Oil on canvas  1890s 
Gretel   Zumbusch, Ludwig von   Dry pigment and varnish on paperboard  n.d. 
Harbor, Tripoli   Ziem, Felix   Oil on canvas  1890s 
Harvesters   Zumbusch, Ludwig von   Oil and dry pigment on cardboard  n.d. 
Head of a Girl   Schmutzler, Leopold   Oil on cardboard  n.d. 
Head of a Girl   Stevens, Alfred (in the manner of)   Oil on canvas  n.d. 


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