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Upcoming Event

SAM and Seattle Art Community Historic Video Screening

Sun Jun 24 2018

Seattle Art Museum

Nordstrom Lecture Hall

3 PM – 5 PM

Join us for a fascinating look at the past of the Seattle Art Museum and the Seattle art community through historic video materials.

For the past two years, the SAM Research Libraries have focused on preserving and making accessible thousands of historic audio and video materials produced by SAM or related directly to it. This screening provides an exciting opportunity to showcase some of the initial items that have been digitized and share them with the public. SAM's Historic Media Collection is home to a rich body of archival material documenting key moments in the history of the museum and of the Pacific Northwest.

Following the video presentation, there will be a Q&A session featuring

  • Traci Timmons, Librarian, and Annie Tucker, Historic Media Collection Coordinator from the Seattle Art Museum Research Libraries
  • Rachel Price, Executive Director; Libby Hopfauf, Program Manager/Audiovisual Archivist; and Ari Lavigne, Assistant Audiovisual Archivist/Metadata Specialist from Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound (MIPoPS)/Seattle Municipal Archives
  • Hannah Palin, Moving Image Curator from the UW Libraries, Special Collections

Be prepared to come away not only with knowledge about SAM's and the Seattle art community's past, but also with an understanding of why this media needs to be saved.

More on SAM's Historic Media Collection

Preserving historic video formats, including film and a variety of magnetic tape formats, is a daunting challenge and the SAM Research Libraries have been partnering with two important local organizations in pursuit of digitizing, preserving, and making accessible to the public thousands of video materials from the Historic Media Collection: Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound (MIPoPS)/Seattle Municipal Archives and the University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections. In addition to SAM's contributions, attendees will also get to see historically-significant clips on Seattle's art community from our partners' collections.

The collection contains more than 4,000 audio and video materials from SAM’s earliest days during the height of the Great Depression to the present time. It includes the voices of important local, national, and international artists; interviews with SAM’s founder, benefactor, and first director, Dr. Richard Fuller; silent film footage of SAM’s original building being constructed in 1933; and video footage of the 1978 Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibition, which drew more than 1.3 million visitors to Seattle. Materials go beyond the history of SAM, such as a lecture focused on the art collection of the Seattle Public Library and a gallery walkthrough given by Seattle luminary Bill Gates.

The collection also demonstrates SAM’s involvement with the Seattle community, from lectures focused on the cultures of Indigenous peoples to teen programs aimed at neighborhood cleanup efforts. However, a large portion of the content exists solely in unstable media formats and is not viewable or listenable via readily accessible equipment. SAM is committed to preserving as much of this material as possible, and, importantly, sharing this with the community. The project, which just completed its inventory and assessment phase, will be pursuing grants to complete the next two phases: digitization and preservation, and community access.

Email us for more information or questions about this project.

This event is made possible as part of a 4Culture Heritage Collections Care Grant.
Photo: Seattle Art Museum’s Co-Founder and longtime director, Richard Fuller, address the Seattle Rotary Club in 1962, Film Still.