Seattle Art Museum

Since December of 1991, the Seattle Art Museum has dominated the corner of 1st Avenue and University. Four times larger than its old facilities in one of the Seattle Parks, this is the most visible Seattle museum. World-class exhibits will often be showcased in the modern facilities of the Seattle Art Museum.

The clean, modern facility that now houses this hub of Seattle art is a controlled and secure setting for the precious art in this Seattle museums extensive collection. Now, a visit to see one of the most visible Washington State attractions can be combined with a night at the symphony. There are a number of retails areas, auditoriums and non-gallery areas, so you can meander around the elegant building after the art show you'd just enjoyed and then head for one of the many excellent restaurants around downtown Seattle and Pioneer Square.

Museums in Seattle - SAM
Museums in Seattle - SAM

The Seattle Art Museum is visible from far away; there is an enormous moving sculpture of a man in front of the building. The front of the building faces south, and the name is chiseled into the stone on the façade in large, bold print.

There is also a spacious entrance to the museum, which makes room for the lines of people that will crowd the museum to see the best in Seattle Art, and for the giant man sculpture. There is a set of wide stairs that gently slope up University towards Second Avenue. Here, you can enjoy lunch in the sunshine after a morning in one of the best Seattle museums. The front of the Seattle Art Museum reflects the bold art within; there are eclectic architectural details like the colorful painted stones and the terra cotta columns and arches.

In addition to traveling displays, there are permanent exhibits of native and tribal arts from the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Africa. This Seattle Museums more than 10,000 art objects will be displayed in a new expanded facility set to open in 2007. Asian art from the Islamic world, Japan and Korea are currently on display on the third floor of the Seattle Art Museum.

The Museum is currently closed during a huge expansion project. This is only temporary, because when it reopens with its new facility in May of 2007 (that will encompass practically an entire city block), it will be a big moment in the Seattle art scene.

Another big moment for the Seattle Art Museum is the recent opening of the Olympic Sculpture Park, a nine-acre spectacle featuring some of the best sculpture art from both nationally recognized and local artists. The massive park/gallery is open to the public free of charge and exists on the Seattle waterfront next to Mrytle Edwards Park. The sculpture collection is rotating with a few permanent pieces and boasts itself as one of the largest public art spaces in the country. Public anticipation has been high for this project and with good reason; the beautiful park allows quick and easy access to wonderful art in a gorgeous setting.

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