United States

1300 First Avenue

WA 98101-2003
Phone: (206) 748-9285
Website: http://www.seattleartmuse

Seattle Art Museum

Designed by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture, SAM's downtown museum expansion features a striking vertical design and continuous ribbon of space that allows for the expression of natural light. It opens SAM up to the city, connecting street activity to the life inside the museum. The expansion accommodates the museum's growing collections, programs and audiences while enhancing downtown Seattle's cultural and economic vitality.

The downtown expansion of the Seattle Art Museum will open with 118,000 sq. ft. of new space, with the ability to expand into additional space in phases, in correlation with the growth in audience and collections.

The design for the Seattle Art Museum expansion by Allied Works Architecture embodies change and transformation. The site is located at the juncture of Seattle and Elliott Bay, with the building formed by this intersection of man-made environment and natural landscape. Transparent public spaces engage the life of the city with an immediacy that joins street and lobby, sidewalk and gallery.

While rising through the galleries, one is continually oriented to the landscape beyond. As the Museum expands over the next 20 years, the building will transform and grow internally, creating a diverse sequence of galleries that intersect vertically to create a continuous experience of art and space.

Permanent Collection

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. [ Read all ]


SAM at 75: Building a Collection for Seattle
May 5–September 9, 2007

Five Masterpieces of Asian Art
The Story of their Conservation
May 5–September 9, 2007

Exhibitions (5)

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Forthcoming exhibitions

Japan Envisions the West:
16th-19th Century Japanese Art from Kobe City Museum
October 11, 2007–January 6, 2008

Gaylen Hansen Retrospective
October 11, 2007–January 6, 2008

Roman Art from the Louvre
February 21–May 11, 2008

Inspiring Impressionism:
The Impressionists and the Art of the Past
June 19–September 21, 2008


$13 for adults; $10 for seniors 62 and up and $7 for students, youth (13 – 19). Members and children 12 and under are free. The First Thursday of each month is free to all visitors, although some special exhibition surcharges may apply. The first Friday of the month is free for seniors 62 and up. NEW SAM Teen Night – 2nd Fridays. SAM will be FREE to teens (up to age 19 with ID) on the 2nd Friday of every month from 5pm to 9pm.

Opening hours

Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.;

Thursday and Friday 10 a.m.–9 p.m.*
Closed Mondays

Open until midnight on the first Thursdays of each month during our inaugural exhibitions (through 9/9/07)

Getting there

The new museum entrance is located on First Avenue on the corner of Union Street.

Heading North: I-5 to Seneca Street exit, west on Seneca Street to First Avenue, and turn right (north).

Heading South: I-5 to Union Street exit, west (toward Puget Sound) on Union Street to First Avenue. The museum is one block south.

From I-90: Heading west, merge onto I-5 North, take Madison Street exit. Turn left on Madison and right on First Avenue.


Tuesday–Sunday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Thursday & Friday: 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Monday: closed (with the exception of Members Mondays—May 21, June 4, June 11, June 18 and June 25—when the hours will be 3–8 p.m.)

The SAM SHOP is located in the new North Building on the First Floor next to the new SAM TASTE Restaurant. Visitors can enter from the street level on First Avenue or from Sarkowsky Hall at the new museum entrance. Gifts inspired by the current special exhibit are available at the special exhibition shop, located on the Fourth Floor.

Museum members receive a 15% discount at all SAM SHOP locations. Contact the store at 206.654.3120.

SAM TASTE Restaurant
Tuesday–Sunday: 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
Monday: closed

TASTE, the new restaurant at SAM located at street level on First Avenue, offers simple yet upscale, reasonably priced foods created with “fresh from the market

Museum internal and external photos (5)

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Planning to bring a crowd? Groups receive up to 40% off with advance reservations. Call 206.344.5260 or email


Annual Seattle Art Museum membership is $60 for individuals, $85 for families, $30 for students, $35 for seniors and $200 for patrons. For further information, call (206) 654-3180.