I am eager to welcome you back to SAM after the recent, short furlough. While this was a difficult measure to undertake, it did achieve its goal of significantly reducing expenses associated with this year’s budget. My colleagues and I returned to the museum this week after a two week break, energized and ready for the year ahead.  I thank you again for your support and understanding during our absence.

I also want to take a moment to reflect on the incredible recent successes.  Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris attracted more than 405,000 visitors to downtown SAM.  This is a huge affirmation of the role that this institution plays in this community.  It also means that Picasso was the most highly attended show ever held in this facility. Beyond this, more than 20,000 Seattle-area school children were introduced to Picasso’s work and our membership now stands at more than 48,000 households—another all-time high for this institution. I credit this success to the hard work of the staff and trustees, as well as the participation of hundreds of educators and community and business partners.  The Picasso exhibition has become a milestone in the cultural history of this city. It is my privilege to thank all of you who helped make this possible!

Picasso was just a beginning, however.  We will have an incredible array of new artistic and educational programs in store for you this year. Right now, my colleagues are busy preparing our special exhibition galleries to present the vibrant work of Nick Cave, which opens to the public on March 10. 

Michael McCafferty, Director of Museum Services and Exhibition Design, prepares the hot pink wall for Nick Cave's work.

More than 50 of his powerful sculptures–Cave calls them “Soundsuits”–will immerse you in the provocative world of this influential Chicago-based artist. For a sneak preview of the show, I invite you to take a look at this short video below.

Better yet, come see the works for yourself at SAM!

Thanks, once more, for standing by us. I am looking forward to seeing you again very soon.

 Derrick R.  Cartwright

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