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Past Exhibitions

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Seattle as Collector: Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs Turns 40

May 11 – Oct 23 2011

Seattle Art Museum

Forum Gallery

SAM hosts an exhibition featuring highlights from the City of Seattle’s art collection, specifically from the portable works collection. This retrospective exhibition marks the office’s 40th anniversary, and includes works by Northwest luminaries such as Jacob Lawrence and Guy Anderson and contemporary artists such as Margie Livingston and Marie Watt. Also on view will be photographs, artist drawings and proposals for dozens of public artworks in the city’s collection of nearly 400 permanent artworks.

In 1971, city leaders created the Seattle Arts Commission, including creating staff positions. The office name was changed to Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs in 2002, and the Arts Commission (now volunteer positions) partners with the office to support the arts community. In 1973, Seattle was among the first cities in the country to adopt a percent-for-art ordinance, which helped build the city’s rotating collection of more than 2,800 artworks.

For more information, visit the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs.

This exhibition is organized by the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs.

Eight Builders, Jacob Lawrence, 1982, gouache on paper, 40 x 52 in., Photo: Spike Mafford

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

Learn more about Equity at SAM