Muse/News: Cunningham’s BFF, Nomura’s Moment, and Exiting 2021

SAM News

Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective is now on view at SAM! Jas Keimig of the Stranger falls for the friendship between Cunningham and sculptor Ruth Asawa, which is explored in the show via portraits and a dynamic installation of Asawa’s “floppy, organic” works.

Misha Berson wrote for Oregon ArtsWatch about the “many faces” of Imogen Cunningham on view in the exhibition, sharing some memories of spotting the artist herself out and about in San Francisco, too.

Seattle Met shares their picks for the best seafood in Seattle, including SAM’s favorite new friend, MARKET Seattle.

Local News

Patheresa Wells for South Seattle Emerald on the meanings of Kwanzaa and how to celebrate the holiday this year, including in-person or virtual events at Wa Na Wari and the Northwest African American Museum.

Crosscut’s Margo Vansynghel looks back on “10 Seattle artworks that exemplify 2021.”

Jade Yamazaki Stewart on the much-deserved recognition of Seattle painter Kenjiro Nomura in a new book and an exhibition at the Cascadia Art Museum. (Hot tip: You can also see Nomura’s work on view at SAM in the collection installation Northwest Modernism!)

“But [Cascadia Art Museum curator David F.] Martin…said he’s had issues getting major museums to accept Nomura’s work, always getting the same response: that the paintings would better fit in a Japanese historical museum. This bothers Martin, who views Nomura as an American artist. ‘He was integrated in the art society here,” he says. “Why should I separate him by his ethnicity?’”

Inter/National News

The trailblazing thinker bell hooks passed away last week. Janelle Zara for Artnet celebrated hooks’ wide-ranging work, including her art criticism and how the writer was “instrumental in cracking open the white, western canon for Black artists.”

New York Times critics Holland Cotter and Roberta Smith offer their Best Art Exhibitions of 2021.”

“Exit this year through the museum gift shop,” says the New Yorker’s Rachel Syme in her detailed list of recommendations, including the “thank you” tote from SAM Shop, which is open during museum hours and online for holiday needs!

“Although each shop shares its sensibility—and its profits—with the larger institution it is attached to, many of the smaller and funkier museum shops stuff their shelves with eccentric trinkets that echo the museum’s aesthetic more in spirit than in substance.”

And Finally

The story behind Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Ruth Asawa, Sculptor, 1952, Imogen Cunningham, American, 1883–1976, sepia toned gelatin silver print, 9 1/2 × 7 1/2 in., Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Ruth Asawa and Albert Lanier, 2006.114.1, Photo: Randy Dodson, © 2021 The Imogen Cunningham Trust.

Muse/News: Gramming SAM, Dance Language, and Eco Immersion

SAM News

You love to ’gram it: Lindsay Major reports for Seattle PI that SAM is “one of the most Instagrammed museums in America.”

Seattle Met’s Allecia Vermillion joins the chorus welcoming MARKET Seattle, Chef Shubert Ho’s seafood cafe, to SAM.

And stay tuned for Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective, SAM’s special exhibition opening November 18. Seattle Met previews the show, which features over 200 genre-spanning examples from the pioneering modernist photographer.

“This show is worth seeing not only for the consensus masterworks, but also for the stunning versatility of Cunningham’s lens, from nudes to street shots to portraiture.”

Local News

Crosscut’s Brangien Davis devotes much of her weekly ArtSEA letter to the new show at the Henry Art Gallery, Packaged Black, a duo show for Derrick Adams and Barbara Earl Thomas, whose cut-paper portraits are also on view at SAM.

“Filastine Spent the Pandemic Sailing an Artsy Rustbucket Across the Pacific.” I don’t know what these words mean, either! Gregory Scruggs for the Stranger is here to elucidate.

Moira Macdonald of the Seattle Times: UW’s Chamber Dance Company celebrates 30 years of preserving and performing modern dance masterpieces.”

“[Mary Ann Santos] Newhall noted that just as languages can be lost from oral tradition, dances can likewise disappear. ‘It has to be passed on from body to body, or we lose our language.’ she said. ‘What Hannah [C. Wiley] is doing is preserving our language of dance.’”

Inter/National News

The New York Times’ Holland Cotter is “Looking Close at the Fragile Beauty of Chinese Painting,” on the occasion of 60 landscapes going on view at the Met.

Sarah Cascone for Artnet on Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe, now on view at the High Museum of Art, with national touring dates to be announced.

Louise Bury for Art in America on Sun & Sea (Marina), the Lithuanian opera about climate change that recently had its US debut at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

“The performance can be understood as artistic consciousness-raising, which has been one of two main historical rationales for eco-oriented art (the other being more direct environmental remediation). Yet it’s a quite particular kind of consciousness-raising, one that offers sensory immersion rather than abstract information.”

And Finally

“The Curious Case of the British Telephone Booth in Madison Park.”

– Rachel Eggers, SAM’s Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Installation view of Barbara Earl Thomas: The Geography of Innocence at Seattle Art Museum, 2020, © Seattle Art Museum, Nina Dubinsky.

Muse/News: History at SAM, Overheard at the Frye, and Sculptures with the Blues

SAM News

“SAM picks new board chair, making national history.” That’s the Seattle Times headline announcing that Dr. Constance W. Rice is the museum’s new board Chair. She is believed to be the first Black woman to assume the role at a major US art museum. ARTnews, Artdaily, The Seattle Medium and others also shared the news.

“She says she wants to ‘keep doors wide open’ in the museum to communities that might not see the museum as a place they belong, in the way she felt comfortable roaming the halls of MoMA when she was younger. ‘For me, every citizen of Seattle owns the art museum,’ Rice says. ‘I want them, when they walk in, to feel like I felt years ago as a kid: welcome.’”

The Seattle Times’ Tan Vinh reports on restaurant openings, including MARKET SEATTLE, SAM’s new restaurant partner.

“Arguably the most popular seafood spot in the North End…expands to downtown Seattle with a 60-seat restaurant inside the Seattle Art Museum. All of its greatest hits are here: lobster rolls, fried soft-shell crab, seafood chowder and fish and chips.”

Local News

All aboard: Brangien Davis of Crosscut on the new public art debuting along with the expanded light rail. Also mentioned: The Frye Art Museum’s new exhibition of recent acquisitions, including a work by SAM’s 2021 Betty Bowen Award-winner, Anthony White.

The Stranger’s Jas Keimig on Alden Mason: Fly Your Own Thing, now on view at the Bellevue Arts Museum through October 10.

The Seattle Times’ Brendan Kiley has their “A&E Pick of the Week”: Duane Linklater’s new exhibition at the Frye Art Museum. Kiley dives deep with five of the works on view.

“There are stories and ideas in “mymothersside,” currently occupying several rooms at Frye Art Museum, but we only catch fragments and echoes, like we’re overhearing something — or being permitted to overhear little bits of something that isn’t ours to fully comprehend.”

Inter/National News

Artnet’s Melissa Smith has the first major interview with Naomi Beckwith since she became chief curator and deputy director of the Guggenheim; Beckwith talks about why she’s exactly where she needs to be.

The MacArthur Foundation named its 25 new fellows (yep, “geniuses”), including visionaries from the art world such as painter Jordan Casteel, art historian/curator Nicole Fleetwood, and sculptor/painter Daniel Lind-Ramos.

“Woody de Othello’s ceramic sculptures give Funk art a musical twist.” That’s Glenn Adamson for Art in America on the artist’s “heartbreaking” sculptures that have roots in face jugs, the blues, and the Funk art movement.

“Pathos is very much the point, but the effect is anything but delusional: one object, one figure at a time, Othello is making a world that’s almost too true to bear.”

And Finally

White lines.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM’s Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Courtesy of MARKET Seattle.

Muse/News: Nature Calls, Still Here, and An Art Rx

SAM News

Katie White for Artnet: These 6 Fall Museum Shows Will Make You Rethink the Way You Look at the Natural World.” On the list? SAM’s special exhibition, Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective, which opens November 18 and explores the photographer’s seven-decade body of work, including her pioneering modernist botanicals.

“I mean, rightfully.” Meg van Huygen understands why people are obsessed with the lobster rolls from The MARKET in Edmonds. You can indulge very soon when they arrive at SAM’s restaurant space.

Local News

Ann Guo for the Seattle Times on Gerard Tsutakawa’s sculptures, which are now on view at the Wing Luke Museum alongside those of his father, George.

Seattle Met says, get yer tickets now! To this fall’s best events and performances.

“We were here, and we are still here, and we will be here.” Reporting by Margo Vansynghel and photos by Matt McKnight for Crosscut on the wave of Black art in Seattle’s Central District.

“It also sends an important signal, [Vivian Phillips] says. ‘With the severe reduction of Black residents in the Central Area, part of what this represents is that we were here, and we are still here, and we will be here, in some form. We’re making our mark … through art, to make sure that people cannot forget or erase us.’”

Inter/National News

Carlos Aguilar for the New York Times looks back at Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También, 20 years after its release, speaking with the filmmakers and actors.

Marc Garrett and Ruth Catlow with an opinion piece for Hyperallergic: “What Public Art Might Look Like After the Pandemic.”

Artnet’s Caroline Goldstein on the doctor’s orders: museum visits. That’s right: Doctors in Brussels are prescribing visits to museums for patients coping with pandemic-related stress. (So, everyone?)

“Numerous studies have confirmed the benefits of art in raising patient’s spirits, even when they are confined to hospitals. The World Health Organization even operates an entire program dedicated to the study and support of arts as vital components of maintaining well-being.”

And Finally

Michael K. Williams’s Black joy.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM’s Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: Two Callas, 1925/1929, Imogen Cunningham, American, 1883–1976, gelatin silver print, 11 13/16 × 8 7/8 in., The Art Institute of Chicago, Julien Levy Collection, Gift of Jean Levy and the Estate of Julien Levy, 1988.157.24, 2021 © The Imogen Cunningham Trust

Muse/News: Artist Mini-Golf, Untold Histories, and Kerry Can Do

SAM News

Patti Payne of Puget Sound Business Journal devotes her latest column to “two uplifting programs to celebrate,” including SAM’s upcoming Par-Tee in the Park series at the Olympic Sculpture Park. This year, our annual fundraiser in support of SAM programs features an artist-designed, nine-hole mini-golf course! Tickets are still available for the cocktail night on August 21.

Lobster roll with it: Seattle PI and Eater Seattle both reported on the new chef and caterer, Shubert Ho of The MARKET, headed to the café space at Seattle Art Museum. Stay tuned for an opening date, and prepare yourself for seafood, noodles, and frosé.

Local News

“After a lapse of two years, the Seattle Art Fair will resume next summer under new management,” reports Megan Burbank of the Seattle Times. Art Market Productions (AMP) Events is taking over for the event, so save the date for July 21–24, 2022.

Also in the Seattle Times: Crystal Paul on the “new generation of Asian American artists… expanding Bruce Lee’s legacy.”

Taha Ebrahimi for Crosscut on a “stunning survey of Black arts and culture” at the Tacoma Art Museum, featuring works from the Kinsey Collection.

“The [Kinsey] family began researching and seeking out objects, original art, artifacts, and historical documents that gave voice and expression to obscured and often untold stories of African American achievement and contribution. Fiercely committed to sharing the full narrative of our nation’s history, the collection is not restricted by medium, and pieces are both by and about Black Americans.”

Inter/National News

Dushko Petrovich Córdova for Art in America on the state of art book publishing.

The latest episode of Artnet’s “Art Angle” podcast explores Martin Johnson Heade, Thomas Cole, and Frederic Church, “three of the greatest visionary artists America has ever known”; Church’s A Country Home is in SAM’s American art collection and on view now.

A lovely long read on Kerry James Marshall, who can do anything, by Calvin Tomkins in the New Yorker.

“He also wanted to be a painter of social and political history, and the question he asked himself was: ‘How do you address history with a painting that doesn’t look like Giotto or Géricault or Ingres, but without abandoning the knowledge that painters had accumulated over the centuries?’”

And Finally

“This is the house that Whitney built.”

– Rachel Eggers, Associate Director of Public Relations

Photo: Kimisha Turner
SAMBlog