What to Know When You Visit SAM

Updated October 25, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate
In accordance with the latest Public Health—Seattle & King County order, all visitors age 12 and older must show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test to enter the museum. Additionally, masks are required to enter the museum for all individuals over the age of two regardless of vaccination.

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Proof of Vaccination or Negative Test Required
Visitors age 12 & older must show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test to enter museum

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Masks Required
All staff and visitors over the age of two must wear masks regardless of vaccination status

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Physical Distancing Reminder
Keep at least six feet between your group and other visitors and staff

Fully vaccinated means:

  • An individual has received all of the required doses of an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine (two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, or one does of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) or a WHO-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series; and
  • 14 days have passed since the final dose

The following are acceptable as proof of full vaccination:

  • Vaccination card (including name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided, and date last dose administered)
  • A photo of the attendee’s vaccine card stored on a phone or electronic device
  • QR code or certificate from MyIRMobile.com or other approved vaccination verification apps (CLEAR and COVID Proof)
  • Printed official immunization record from vaccine provider or MyIRMobile.com (including photo or photocopy)

Accepted proof of negative test result:

  • Print or digital documentation of an FDA-approved PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours from a pharmacy, laboratory, or testing provider

It is difficult to predict what safety procedures may look like over the course of the coming months but, Seattle Art Museum is committed to the health and safety of our staff, visitors, and larger community. We will continue to follow guidelines issued by applicable federal, state, and local authorities. Safety protocols change and evolve rapidly. Join our email list to stay up-to-date or refer to this blog post for the latest information.  

Keep our community healthy! Please visit at another time if you:

  • Are feeling unwell
  • Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have any COVID-19 symptoms
  • Live with or care for someone who has been ill
  • Have recently been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19

Please contact customerservice@seattleartmuseum.org to exchange your ticket for another day and time if any of the above applies to you.

Plan Your Visit

Hours

Seattle Art Museum
Wednesday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm
Free First Thursdays

Seattle Asian Art Museum
Friday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm
Last Friday of the month is free

Olympic Sculpture Park
Open daily
Opens 30 minutes prior to sunrise
Closes 30 minutes after sunset
PACCAR Pavilion closed for fall/winter season

Online Advance Tickets
A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase at the museum. Special Exhibition tickets are timed and limited, and online advance purchase is recommended. Tickets are released online on a monthly rolling basis.

SAM members are always free
Not a member? Join today

If you are a SAM member, be sure to log in to see your member benefit pricing reflected in your cart. If you have questions about your membership or need assistance with tickets please contact us.

Accessibility Accommodations
If you require accommodations, please contact customerservice@seattleartmuseum before your visit, as we may require advanced notice to provide certain accommodations.

Download a gallery map in advance
To reduce contact, we will not be distributing a printed map and guide. Download a map to your smartphone to use during your visit.

Park for less!
The Russell Investment Center garage is $8 on weekends only, for up to 4 hours. Learn more

Volunteer Park and surrounding street parking is free. Learn more

Pay parking is available in the PACCAR Pavilion garage at the Olympic Sculpture Park. 

Recognize Risk
SAM has implemented many safety measures and has a state-of-the-art ventilation system, but cannot guarantee zero risk; a risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public setting.

When You Arrive

Seattle Art Museum: Enter at First and Union. The south entrance (the Hammering Man entrance) and the South Hall will be closed.

Seattle Asian Art Museum: Follow marked entrance and exit signs at front doors to maintain one-way visitor traffic and physical distancing.

Wear a mask
For the health and safety of all visitors and staff, and in accordance with the latest Public Health—Seattle & King County directive, masks are required to enter the museum for all individuals over the age of two regardless of vaccination.

Check the entry time on your ticket
Please have your ticket ready to be scanned at the entrance to the galleries. Tickets to Imogen Cunningham (opening November 18) are timed. If you are more than 15 minutes late to the exhibition, we may not be able to accommodate entry.

Check your bags for free
Backpacks, large bags, or items larger than 11″ x 15″ are not allowed in the galleries and must be checked.

Expect some areas to be closed
Seattle Art Museum: The Ann P. Wyckoff Education Resource Center, Bullitt Library, and children play areas will also be closed. SAM’s Café will be closed.
Seattle Asian Art Museum: The Education Studio, Community Gallery, Chen Community Meeting Room, and Library will be closed.

Wash your hands and use hand sanitizers
We have instituted rigorous cleaning procedures using EPA registered disinfectants throughout the museum, with a special focus on high-touch and high-traffic areas and restrooms. We ask that you do your part by washing your hands frequently and using hand sanitizers located throughout the museum.

Expect a contactless experience
Shared materials have been removed from the galleries and interactive touchscreens have been disabled.

Visit SAM Shop!
The Seattle Art Museum Shop and Gallery and the Seattle Asian Art Museum Shop are open. Please visit SAM Shop if you need to purchase water during your visit.

Please note that if we are unable to reopen or remain open as planned because of changes to public health guidelines, SAM will contact ticket holders via email to present options for moving tickets to a new day and time. 

We are working hard to make visitors and staff comfortable during their visit and hope to see you soon! 

Image: Installation view, Barbara Earl Thomas: The Geography of Innocence, Seattle Art Museum, 2021, photo: Natali Wiseman.

A Message of Solidarity

The Seattle Art Museum believes that Black lives matter and stands in support of Black families, friends, colleagues, and communities across the country as they grieve and seek justice for the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all victims of police brutality. We mourn the lives lost and, as we say their names, we recognize that we cannot be silent.

Systemic and institutional racism pervades every corner of American life, including cultural institutions such as the Seattle Art Museum. SAM recognizes the inequities faced by Black Americans, and we acknowledge the work that SAM must do and the impact of our work on our community. Since the 2000s, SAM’s Education & Community Engagement Committee has helped guide SAM’s programming and community partnerships. We will continue to listen to this inspiring group of advocates as we make changes to better lead by example within our arts community and city to create a country where Black people and other people of color are not oppressed.

In 2017, the museum’s Equity Team and leadership integrated an equity statement of the museum’s official values into SAM’s strategic plan, which guides all we do. It reads:

We are responsive to cultural communities and experiences, and we think critically about the role art plays in empowering social justice and structural change to promote equity in our society. We are dedicated to racial equity in all that we do.

We know that we can do more. We must begin by looking at ourselves and working to uncover the structural biases within our own organization.

Art is a crucial way of sharing unique perspectives, reminding us of the past, and envisioning future possibilities. Throughout history, art has been used for education, revolution, politics, propaganda, emotions, subversion, and sharing transformative experiences. SAM believes that art always contains a message and cannot be neutral. We rely on our collection, exhibitions, and the artists we work with to reflect our institutional values and we can, and will, take tangible actions to enact necessary change in our society. 

We are committed to:

  • Striving for racial equity in our exhibitions, educational programs, hiring practices, and all activities at the museum
  • Sharing work by Black artists in our collection and in our communications. For the next week, we will not be promoting the museum on social media, in order to amplify the views of organizations, artists, activists, and individual Black voices
  • Continuing to increase the acquisition and exhibition of more works by artists of color
  • Featuring artwork by Black artists in the following exhibitions and installations in the next year:

John Akomfrah: Future History
Aaron Fowler: Into Existence
Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle
Barbara Earl Thomas: The Geography of Innocence
Storied Objects
Lessons From the Institute of Empathy

There are many ways to show support and solidarity at this moment. As a part of the Seattle art community, SAM would like to encourage you to support local Black-led arts organizations through donations and engagement. This list is by no means comprehensive and we encourage you to add to it in the comments.

Art & Justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, & Ahmaud Arbery

The young girl gazes directly into the camera: serene, open, determined. Her arms cross in front of her; her hands reach for those of the other children beside her. Together, they form a chain that cannot be broken.

She is 11-year-old Quintella Harrell, as the photo’s caption notes, and she’s participating in the campaign for voting rights for Black people in Selma, Alabama, that took place in the early months of 1965. The photo was taken by Dan Budnik, who uses documentary photography as a tool for activism and to bear witness to the battle for equality. A few weeks before this photo was taken, a 26-year-old church deacon from Marion named Jimmie Lee Jackson was shot by a state trooper as he tried to shield his mother from the trooper’s nightstick, dying eight days later. Days after this photo was taken, the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, led by civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Lewis, would begin. The images of state troopers attacking the activists during what came to be called “Bloody Sunday” galvanized public opinion, eventually leading to the march’s safe completion on March 21—and to the passing of the Voting Rights Act.

This moment of a young girl’s perseverance is captured forever in this black-and-white photo, but it’s far from the distant past. Today, Dr. Quintella Harrell is 65 years old. How much has changed?

SAM expresses deep compassion for those seeking justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. We share in the grief, anger, and frustration that their friends, families, and Black communities are feeling, which has spread across the country and the world. SAM is committed to doing our part in the necessary work of creating racial equity. Art can play a critical role in creating structural change and equity; it deepens empathy, asks tough questions, and offers new visions for collective responses to our world. We must create that new world together.

Image: Quintella Harrell, 11 Years Old, With Other Young Voting Rights Protestors, Dallas County Courthouse, Selma, Alabama, 4 March 1965, 1965, Dan Budnik, gelatin silver photograph, 11 x 14 in. Gift of Getty Images, 2000.38 ©️ Artist or Artist’s Estate.

Virtual Art Talks: Discovering the Dragon Tamer Luohan with Foong Ping & Geneva Griswold

When the Asian Art Museum closed for renovation and expansion our curators and conservators had the opportunity to conduct new research on an ancient sculpture in our Asian art collection. Hear from Foong Ping, SAM’s Foster Foundation Curator of Chinese Art, and Geneva Griswold, SAM Associate Conservator, in this detailed discussion about the new findings that led to renaming one of our sculptures. Previously known as “Monk at The Moment of Enlightenment,” learn why this enigmatic sculpture is now titled, “Dragon Tamer Louhan.”

This talk was originally presented in 2019 as part of SAM’s popular member-only Conversations with Curators lecture series and was adapted into a virtual art talk for everyone during Seattle’s “stay home, stay safe” directive so that you can stay connected to art while you stay home with SAM. The current season of Conversations with Curators is taking place virtually and is free for SAM members. It’s a great time to join or renew your membership.

We are humbled by the generosity of our donors during this unique time. Your financial support powers SAM Blog and also sustains us until we can come together as a community and enjoy art in the galleries again. Thanks to a generous group of SAM trustees, all membership and gifts to SAM Fund will be matched up to $500,000 through June 30!

Virtual Art Talks: Gather with Kenzan Tsutakawa-Chinn

The next time you are able to visit the Asian Art Museum you will be greeted by a new light installation. Gather by Kenzan Tsutakawa-Chinn was commissioned to celebrate the legacy of Asian artists working over generations and all over the world. Hear from Kenzan in this artist talk and look forward to gathering under this site-specific installation.

The renovation and expansion of the Asian Art Museum allowed SAM curators to rethink how the artwork would be presented. Previously organized by regions with Japan in one wing, China in the other, and South Asia in the Garden Court, we were limited in the selection of works on view. Now, with more space and the thematic reinstallation, we are able to represent more of our renowned collection from all over Asia. This also created space in the Garden Court to present this new installation.

Learn more about SAM’s history and the Tsutakawa family! Check out this article in the South Seattle Emerald about Gather written by Kenzan’s mother, Mayumi Tsutakawa. You can find out more about Kenzan’s grandfather, George Tsutakawa in this SAM Blog article contributed by the Tsutakawa family and see his work on view at our downtown location when we are able to reopen in Exceptionally Ordinary: Mingei 1920–2020.

We are humbled by the generosity of our donors during this unique time. Your financial support powers SAM Blog and also sustains us until we can come together as a community and enjoy art in the galleries again. Thanks to a generous group of SAM trustees, all membership and gifts to SAM Fund will be matched up to $500,000 through June 30!

My Favorite Things: Ramzy Lakos on Amerocco

“As an American Egyptian, born and raised in the Middle-East, living in the US, I could see myself reflected in this piece, which is unique for me, because my identity mostly exists in-between spaces.”

– Ramzy Lakos, SAM Emerging Arts Leader Intern

Under the unique circumstances of SAM’s closure, our amazing Emerging Arts Leader Intern, Ramzy Lakos adapted the culminating tour of his internship into a video! Go inside Aaron Fowler: Into Existence with Ramzy as he shares his personal approach to understanding and connecting with the large-scale work, “Amerocco.” The exhibition is slated to be on view through October 25, 2020, and we hope you will have a chance to experience it in person once SAM can reopen.

Aaron Fowler’s larger-than-life works are at once paintings, sculptures, and installations. They are made from everyday discarded items and materials sourced from the artist’s local surroundings in Los Angeles and St. Louis, among other places. Items include cotton balls, security gates, afro wigs, hair weaves, broken mirrors, djellabas, sand, broken-down movie sets, found car parts, ropes, lights, and much more.

Emerging Arts Leader Internships at SAM grew out of SAM’s equity goal and became a paid 10-week position at the museum designed to provide emerging arts leaders from diverse backgrounds with an in-depth understanding of SAM’s operations, programming and audiences.

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