#MuseumBowl

SAM SO CONFIDENT IN THE SEAHAWKS THAT THEY CHALLENGE EVERY MUSEUM IN NEW ENGLAND TO A WAGER

Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but we are challenging TWO different New England museums to wagers on the Super Bowl!

We challenge the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA

Terms:
The loser funds an all-expenses paid vacation to SAM for one of their major artworks. Oh, sorry, that assumes the Clark Art Institute will lose. Well, that seems about right.

Ok, ok. The winner gets the privilege of displaying a major work of art from the other museum for three months. The wagered masterpieces respectively showcase the beautiful landscapes of the Northwest and the Northeast.

The Artwork:

At stake is SAM’s majestic Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast from 1870 by Albert Bierstadt from SAM’s American Art collection, which is wagered by Kimerly Rorschach, SAM’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO.

bierstadt

Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast, 1870, Albert Bierstadt, oil on canvas, Seattle Art Museum, Gift of the Friends of American Art at the Seattle Art Museum, with additional funds from the General Acquisition Fund, 2000.70.

In 1870, Albert  painted one of the most stunning subjects of his career: a vision of a stormy Puget Sound. This spectacular, eight-foot-wide view of Puget Sound was the result of the Eastern Seaboard’s newly awakened interest in this faraway region that the artist had visited only briefly seven years before. It’s more than just a landscape painting—it is also a historical work, a narrative of an ancient maritime people, and a rumination on the ages-old mountains, basaltic rocks, dense woods, glacial rivers, and surf-pounded shores that have given the Northwest its look and also shaped its culture.

Conversely, the New England’s West Point, Prout’s Neck (1900), one of the Clark’s greatest works by Winslow Homer, is wagered by Michael Conforti, Director of the Clark Art Institute.

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Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910), West Point, Prout’s Neck, 1900. Oil on canvas, 30 1/16 x 48 1/8 in. (76.4 x 122.2 cm). Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.7.

Rorschach says, “I am sure that this beautiful Homer painting will be coming to Seattle after the Seahawks defeat the Patriots for another win. We are already making plans to host this incredible work of American art in our galleries so that the 12s can enjoy it.”

Can’t wait to see how good it looks on our walls. Think we saw some staff down there measuring where the nail should go earlier.

We challenge the Clark Art Institute AND the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to a TWITTER THROW DOWN

Follow hashtag #museumbowl this Friday, January 30, at 10:30 am (PST) to join in and support our team! On Monday morning, following the game, the losing team’s museum will post a collage honoring five major works from SAM’s the champion’s collection.

Don’t miss the action as we take on basically everyone two museums in this epic Art Bowl XLIX!

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#SAMSpeakUp: RACE, SOCIAL JUSTICE & MUSEUMS

When it comes to conversations surrounding race and social justice, museums aren’t readily thought of as spaces that would play much a role. However, I believe that museums can in fact be powerful and unique in facilitating these discussions.

The next time you come to SAM, you may notice that our Think Tank walls have questions that await your response: “How do you define race and social justice?” “How can art mobilize social change?” “How can museums be spaces of social justice?”

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(The Think Tank is located between the Mezzanine Level and the second floor, towards the back of the building! Just walk up the Grand Staircase until you hit the room with the chalkboard walls.)

As our MLK Spotlight Tours last week highlighted, we don’t have to look too far to see that there are works and artists in our collection who are already having these conversations with you—what are ways we can delve deeper?

I see that museums can play a unique role in these conversations for these reasons:

  • Museums serve as portals and connectors—connecting us to cultures and ideas, connecting us to others and our community, and connecting us with ourselves.
  • Museums are engrained within communities—it is the community who interacts with the museum and thus these spaces exist not only to share stories about art but also to serve the community (local and beyond).

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When race and social justice issues arise on a local, national, or even an international level, how can museums leverage their unique positions in order to help? And how can museums strive to become more inclusive spaces and to better reflect the communities they serve?

One recent issue that has been on my mind and on many others’ is the non-indictment rulings in the deaths of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in New York, and countless other similar situations. I feel conversations surrounding race relations—and the injustices and inequities that communities of color face—have reached a new height. These situations have been fostered by historical legacies and systems in the United States. This means historical institutions like museums can be a critical part of this conversation, particularly in bridging gaps in racial and cultural understanding.

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In December, a few museum bloggers and colleagues also saw the need for museums to step in and thus issued a joint statement asking the question, “What should be our roles?” This sparked conversations across the country, and museums shared how they’ve responded—from hosting community conversations to collecting Ferguson-related media artifacts.

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It was partly this traction that inspired our latest iteration of the Think Tank. Rather than specifically tackling #MuseumsRespondtoFerguson, my colleagues and I want the Think Tank to be a space for a larger conversation about race, social justice, and museums. These conversations are best sustained and brought to the forefront when they are incorporated into our regular practice.

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And while I do believe museums can serve as catalysts, I don’t think they have all the answers, which is where our community comes in.

My hope for the Think Tank is that it can function as a free and open community dialogue space for all who interact with SAM. I want it to be a space for you to reflect on current topics and issues in social justice, examine your own experiences, share your stories, express your voice, and connect with others—and my hope is also that you will give us feedback for us to use as an institution to better serve you. I truly believe dialogue can spark change.

It is also my hope that we can continue to have these conversations together as an institution and community, and continue to strive to make the museum a more inclusive and accessible space to honor all stories, perspectives, and voices.

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We invite you to join the conversation.

Marcus Ramirez
Coordinator for Education & Public Programs

SAM Art: When is a urinal not just a urinal?

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Urinal, 1984, Robert Gober, American, born 1954, wood, wire, plaster and enamel paint, 30 x 20 x 20 in., Gift of the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum, 2014.25.24, © Robert Gober. Currently on view in the modern and contemporary art galleries, third floor, Seattle Art Museum.

 

In 1917 Marcel Duchamp, using the fictitious name “R. Mutt,” submitted Fountain—a factory-made men’s urinal—to the first exhibition of the American Society of Independent Artists. After heated discussion, the work was rejected from the exhibition. But the event, with Duchamp’s brash challenge to basic assumptions about art, reverberated through the 20th century and beyond. At the most basic level, the artist asked what makes a work of art? Duchamp asserted that the artistic concept was more important than traditional notions of skill, craft or beauty.

As opposed to the found fixture of Fountain, Robert Gober’s Urinal is hand-made. With this action, he turns Duchamp’s object back into a sculpture, a psychologically suggestive form suggestive of a human body.

JOSHUA TRUJILLO/SEATTLEPI.COM

HAMMERING MAN BECOMES THE “12TH MAN” ON FRIDAY, JAN 16

Show your Seahawks support this Friday, and join Hammering Man as he transforms into the 12th Man! For the third year in a row, we’ll be honoring our hometown team by projecting the number 12 on Hammering Man by artist Jonathan Borofsky.

Wear your Seahawks gear to the museum tomorrow and get in for free!

At 6 pm, we’ll light up the 48-foot Hammering Man at 1st Ave and University St with the number 12.

GO HAWKS.

Image: Joshua Trujillo/seattlepi.com

SAM Art: Celebrate MLK with SAM

Martin Luther King, 2003, Ross Palmer Beecher, American, born 1957, mixed media, 21 ½ x 10 ½ x 3 ½ in., Mark Tobey Estate Fund, 2003.62, © Ross Palmer Beecher.

Martin Luther King, 2003, Ross Palmer Beecher, American, born 1957, mixed media, 21 ½ x 10 ½ x 3 ½ in., Mark Tobey Estate Fund, 2003.62, © Ross Palmer Beecher.

On Monday, we mark the 30th Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We invite you to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy with SAM.

Visit our galleries every day through Monday—installations currently on view include works that explore what it means to fight for your rights, what it means to write your own history, what it means to dream, and what it means to be an American.

SAM staff members lead special tours on the theme of social justice every day through Monday. Please join us!

SAM Art for Paris

  Chez Mondrian, Paris, 1926, Andre Kertesz, American, 1894-1985, gelatin silver photograph, image 9 3/4 x 7 1/2 in., Gift of Dr. R. Joseph Monsen and Dr. Elaine R. Monsen, 81.99


Chez Mondrian, Paris, 1926, Andre Kertesz, American, 1894-1985, gelatin silver photograph, image 9 3/4 x 7 1/2 in., Gift of Dr. R. Joseph Monsen and Dr. Elaine R. Monsen, 81.99

Our thoughts are with the people of France and the great city of Paris

 #JeSuisCharlie

 

 

 

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Teens Make The Change They Want To See In Their Neighborhood

This fall Seattle Art Museum’s innovative art and design program Design Your ‘Hood (DYH), is joining Seattle’s Park and Recreation Department for a series of teen workshops through December 20 where high school students learn to be design-thinkers and change-makers by exploring visual art, architecture, design software, urban planning and social activism.

The intensive multi-session workshops are focused on visual art, design, and community change. Students receive hands-on experience and become change-makers within their community by exploring architecture, design software, urban planning, and social activism.

This season, SAM has tailored the DYH project for Seattle’s Park and Recreation Department’s Youth Employment and Service Learning Program (YES). This program focuses on providing hands-on experiences for youth that will allow them to develop well-rounded skills, especially in terms of job readiness.

YES students have an opportunity to search for, identify and examine free youth arts opportunities in Seattle and create a space using models that they propose and design.

As part of the program, students participate in a series of field trips around the city to investigate art and design strategies. These experiences have been designed to inspire teens in their own design work as well as expose them to the diversity of professional art and design practices.

The workshop features community partnerships with Seattle Architecture Foundation, Bassetti Architects, The Wing Luke Museum, The Beacon, The International District, Panama Hotel, Olympic Sculpture Park, The Bullitt Center, Asian Art Museum, Volunteer Park and Amanda Bryan Architect.

These organizations lead tours, facilitate discussions, and provide tutorials and workspace for the youth designers. They are able to utilize the expertise of professional designers and development officials to make informed decisions about their own projects.

All of this will come to an exciting conclusion on December. 20, where students will articulate their proposals through a presentation, showcasing their process, design and 3-D models at the Miller Community Center with an awards ceremony following.

–Bianca Sewake, Seattle Art Museum Communication’s Intern

 

Uo Zukushi Ayu Tenpo by Andō Hiroshige (Volume 1)

Books on Ukiyo-e from the Russell Estate

The McCaw Foundation Library at the Asian Art Museum recently received a generous gift from the estate of Harry A. Russell.  Mr. Russell, a native of the New York City, was an aficionado of Ukioy-e, a style of Japanese woodblock print. His collection of books on the subject includes an extensive encyclopedia of prints, many exhibition catalogues, and several guides for the preservation of Ukioy-e prints. Xiaojin Wu, SAM’s Curator of Japanese and Korean Art, accepted the donation on behalf of the library from members of the Russell family.

These donated books contain a wealth of rich pictorial content, as evidenced in these images from Genshoku Ukiyoe Daihyakka Jiten = Color Illustrated Encyclopedia of  Ukiyo-e (Tokyo: Taishukan Shoten, c1981):

 

Uo Zukushi Ayu Tenpo by Andō Hiroshige (Volume 1)

Uo Zukushi Ayu Tenpo by Andō Hiroshige (Vol. 1)

Kenyu Hujo Ooiko by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Volume 9)

Kenyu Hujo Ooiko by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Vol. 9)

Ukioy-e is a type of woodblock print that became popular in Japan during the Edo period (16th– 19th centuries). The colorful figures and landscapes depicted in the crisp, rich colors of these prints created a substantial surge in the popularity of Japanese art at home and abroad. The influence of Ukiyo-e can be seen in western art styles such as Impressionism and Art Nouveau.

 

Amerika Yokohama Honmura Honmakido by Andō Hiroshige (Volume 9) Print depicts an American woman wearing an Indian bonnet on a horse.

Amerika Yokohama Honmura Honmakido by Andō Hiroshige (Vol. 9)
Print depicts an American woman wearing an Indian bonnet on a horse.

Musashi Nono Tsuki, from the series 月百姿 Moon Hundred Gesture by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (Volume 9) Yoshitoshi brough one wolf to the vast field of Mushashino.  The wolf sees his reflection on the surface of water.  Yoshita expresses the loneliness of the wolf.

Musashi Nono Tsuki, from the series 月百姿 Moon Hundred Gesture by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (Vol. 9)
Yoshitoshi brough one wolf to the vast field of Mushashino. The wolf sees his reflection on the surface of water. Yoshita expresses the loneliness of the wolf.

Shoshin by Tanaka Kyoukichi (Volume 1)

Shoshin by Tanaka Kyoukichi (Vol. 1)

Yueh-Lin Chen, Associate Librarian at the McCaw Foundation Library, is working with volunteers to catalogue the Russell donation. The titles will be easily retrieved by searching for “Harry A. Russell” through a keyword search in the SAM Research Libraries’ online catalogue (OPAC). A catalogue search for “Ukioy-e” will bring up many books about the general genre of Ukioy-e, as well as books about the ways Ukioy-e has influenced western art.

We would like to thank the Russell family for this generous donation.

– Yoshiko Boley and Kate Nack, McCaw Foundation Library Volunteers

These and many other books about Asian art are available for consultation in the McCaw Foundation Library for Asian Art, located on the lower level of the Asian Art Museum. Library hours are Thursday and Friday from 2:00 – 5:00 pm, and Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Teen Night Out

One Night Only: Teens Take Over SAM!

What better way to end the year than with a banging celebration? The Seattle Art Museum is hosting its popular Teen Night Out this Friday, December 5—an action-packed night of live music, art-making workshops, and art tours—just for teens.

You can dance the night away to DJs and bands in Seattle, including a headline performance from the all-female surf rock group, La Luz. Wander around on an art tour to see all of SAM’s collection, including the two featured exhibitions. Pop Departures is an electrifying bold collection of pop art commentary on American culture over the last 50 years with works from iconic artists such as Andy Warhol.

City Dwellers: Contemporary Art from India showcases the many complex influences behind Indian’s urban culture through photos and sculptures, .

Seattle’s hottest contemporary artists will lead fun art making workshops based on the two exhibitions. Have your face painted to look like one of Roy Lichtenstein paintings, complete with a speech bubble or get your hands painted with beautiful henna designs.

You can also create your own art, which will be made into a collage that will be on display at the Teen Center at the Seattle Central Public Library.

The best part? That’s just the beginning and the entire event is free! You don’t even have to register.

So join us for an unforgettable night!

-Bianca Sewake, Seattle Art Museum Communication’s Intern