Browse Exhibits (4 total)

Publications of the Seattle Fine Arts Society and the Art Institute of Seattle


Before the inception of the Seattle Art Museum, local art enthusiasts and patrons created the Seattle Fine Arts Society (1906-1928), which was later briefly known as the Art Institute of Seattle (1929-1933). This is a collection of digitized publications from these two early art societies in Seattle from 1920 through the creation of Seattle Art Museum in 1933. The exhibition includes annual reports, brief bulletins, announcements, and event calendars. In these pages, we can see the early burgeoning Seattle art scene, and the exciting beginnings of the Seattle Art Museum as an entity.

Seattle Art Museum Annual Exhibitions of Residential Architecture, 1950-1980


Starting in 1950, the Seattle Art Museum featured tours and exhibitions of residential architecture. These tours featured architecture ranging from traditional and classic homes from the turn of the century to modern architecture designed by nationally and locally prominent architects. The tours visited many neighborhoods of Seattle, providing access to homes of prominent Seattleites and art collectors. The general public were invited into gated communities and private enclaves, welcomed, and served tea and cookies. The tours continued until 1980.

Developed and run by the Art Museum Guild, these tours document the changes and growth of both the museum and the city. These tours opened the doors of prominent civic figures, from industrial magnates to university deans and presidents, and provided an intimate portrait of them through architecture, interior design, and art collections.

Seattle artists were featured in the exhibitions both through the art on display and tours of their own houses. Works from artists including Mark Tobey were on display, and local artists such as Jack Stangle, David Checkley and Walter Isaacs participated in the tours.

Seattle Art Museum Annual Reports


This is a collection of digitized and born-digital annual reports and other financial and strategic documentation issued by the Seattle Art Museum from 1932 to the present. Together, the reports tell the story of the museum as it has grown from its modest inception to become the iconic cultural institution it is today. 

Reports feature financial statistics, images of select acquisitions, and narratives about the museum's activities throughout the year.

Navigate the exhibit to learn about the history of SAM, decade by decade, as told through the Annual Reports. 

Additional information about the history of the museum may be found on the "About SAM" page on SAM's website.

William H. Lautz Antique Porcelains, the Seattle Ceramic Society, and the Seattle Art Museum

William H. Lautz Antique Porcelains, Photo 653

This collection provides access to original photographs and price lists from William H. Lautz Antique Porcelains of New York that were received by members of the Seattle Ceramic Society. The Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Ceramic Society, and William H. Lautz have historical connections that address the provenance of objects in the Porcelain Room at SAM, the collectors who helped shaped the Seattle Art Museum's European porcelain collection, and porcelain collecting in America in the mid 20th century.

Follow the links at the right to learn more about Lautz, the Seattle Ceramic Society, and some of the most prized porcelain objects in SAM's collection.

To see the entire collection at a glance, click here to access the collection in Shared Shelf Commons