Permanent Collection - Seattle Art Museum

Creating Bridges Between Culture, Time and Place
From wall texts to audio guides to computer screens and public programs, SAM offers multiple means and different
perspectives to bring works of art to life. Often the voices are those of artists, curators, collectors, and others passionate about art and immersed in the particular culture.

Surprises await at every turn. Enter through a small door into a hauntingly beautiful Renaissance room of mellowed wood and be swept back to the sixteenth century in Northern Italy. A completely new Porcelain Room dazzles the eye with wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling Asian and European porcelain arranged by color, re-creating the opulence of eighteenth-century European porcelain rooms.

Nearby, a spirited masquerade transports you to Africa in the midst of a ritual celebration. Asian artworks of the most exquisite artistry are presented by media across cultures and time, including contemporary as well as historic art.

When we think of Northwest Coast Native American art, we seldom associate works with individual artists or families of artists; here that connection is made meaningful in context. Adjacent to the Native American galleries,
among the most striking surprises to discover are major new acquisitions of early American art: a magnificent portrait by John Singleton Copley of Dr. Silvester Gardiner,
ca. 1772, is a stunning example. And now that we have more generous space, a large gallery is devoted exclusively to SAM’s significant international textile collection on an ongoing basis.

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