Tag Archives: Art

Dr. Wilda Reviews: Seattle Art Museum: Yves Saint Laurent – The Perfection of Style

10 Oct

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.             Arthur Schopenhauer

Moi attended the press preview for Yves Saint Laurent – The Perfection of Style at Seattle Art Museum (SAM). Here are the details:

Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style

Tue Oct 11 2016 – Sun Jan 8 2017

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries

Get Tickets     https://tickets.seattleartmuseum.org/public/show_events_list.asp?shcode=942&secode=771&vencode=1

“I am no longer concerned with sensation and innovation, but with the perfection of my style.”
–Yves Saint Laurent

The Seattle Art Museum presents Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style, showcasing highlights from the legendary designer’s 44-year career. Drawn from the collection of the Fondation Pierre Bergé—Yves Saint Laurent, the exhibition features new acquisitions by the Foundation that have never been shown publicly before.

With a selection of 100 haute couture garments, SAINT LAURENT rive gauche clothing and accessories, photographs, drawings, films and other multimedia elements from the Foundation’s vast archive, the exhibition creates a visually rich environment for visitors to witness the development of Saint Laurent’s style and recurring themes throughout the designer’s career. The multifaceted exhibition is curated by independent Parisian curator and fashion expert Florence Müller in collaboration with Chiyo Ishikawa, SAM’s Deputy Director of Art and Curator of European Painting & Sculpture.

Visitors will observe Saint Laurent’s immersive working process from his first sketch and fabric selection to the various stages of production and fitting before the final garment was realized. Beginning in 1953 with the Paper Doll Couture House that he created when he was a teenager, the exhibition is a journey from his first days at Dior in 1958, through his groundbreaking designs in the 1960s and 70s and the splendor of his final runway collection in 2002.

The exhibition is organized by the Seattle Art Museum in partnership with the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Paris

Special Hours

  • Monday 10 am – 5pm
  • Closed Tuesday
  • Wednesday 10am – 5pm
  • Thursdays 10am – 9pm
  • Friday – Sunday 10am – 5pm

Daily Prices

  • $24.95 Adult
  • $22.95 Senior (62+), Military (with ID)
  • $14.95 Student (with ID), Teen (13 – 17)
  • FREE for children (12 and under)
  • FREE for SAM Members

Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style [Book]

Author: Florence Müller

Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications, Incorporated

Pages: 168

Format: hardback

Publication Date: 2016

ISBN: 0847849422

Here is the site:  http://ysl.site.seattleartmuseum.org/

This is how SAM described the exhibit in the press release:

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

The exhibition guides viewers on a path tracing the trajectory of Yves Saint Laurent’s life and career. Divided into eight thematic sections, it features 110 Ensembles illustrative of his tremendous achievements and the sources of his design inspiration.

The exhibition begins with Saint Laurent’s “Paper Doll Couture House,” shown For the first time in the United States. The paper dolls and corresponding wardrobes and accessories were created by the designer as a teenager on the precipice of a lifetime of fame and success.

Ensembles early in the exhibition focus on Saint Laurent’s formative years at the House of Dior, including an example of a short evening dress from his successful debut Trapeze collection (1958). Later ensembles from Saint Laurent’s own couture house spotlight innovations that redefined women’s

fashion: the peacoat (1962), the tuxedo (1966), the “First” pantsuit (1967), the safari jacket (1968).

Visitors will also see how Saint Laurent was inspired by art. The exhibition includes one of his famous dresses that pays homage to Piet Mondrian (1965) and dresses inspired by Pop art (1966). Also on view is an evening ensemble comprising a raffia coat and a silk dress embroidered with wooden beads

(1967) loosely based on African art. In addition to ensembles fully accessorized in the “total look” favored by Saint Laurent, numerous photographs, drawings, and production documents offer a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into the creative workings of the fashion house and the private life of the couturier. Collection boards from 1962 to 2002—every Saint Laurent haute couture show—feature sketches and swatches that retrace 40 years of the maison de couture’s fascinating history. A room of muslins, the hand-sewn forms ateliers use to create a first draft of couture garments, offer a unique look into how the garments were constructed.

The exhibition concludes in an explosion of color with a procession of evening wear ranging from black silk (1977) to blue-green chiffon (1985) to red silk crepe (1985) gowns to a white damask wedding gown (1995)—the traditional ending to an Yves Saint Laurent couture show.

The multifaceted exhibition is curated by Florence Müller, guest curator and Denver Art Museum’s Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art and curator of fashion in collaboration with Chiyo Ishikawa, SAM’s Deputy Director of Art and Curator of European Painting and Sculpture…..

After SAM, the exhibition will travel to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts from

May 6–August 27, 2017….

British Vogue has a concise biography.

Jo Craven wrote about Saint Laurent in  British Vogue:

Yves Saint Laurent’s legacy as a king of fashion designers, who created a masterpiece of a brand, keeps growing.

  • Yves Saint Laurent was born in 1936 and grew up in Oran, Algeria
  • At 17, he left for Paris where he showed his drawings to Michelde Brunhoff – director of French Vogue – who publishedseveral of them immediately
  • Following a stint at fashion school, Yves Saint Laurent was introduced to Christian Dior where he worked until Dior’s death in 1957
  • After taking over as art director for Dior, Yves Saint Laurent launched his first collection for the company, the Ligne Trapéze, that year. It was a resounding success and won him a Neiman Marcus Oscar
  • In 1962, after completing National Service, Yves Saint Laurent set up his own fashion house with Pierre Bergé
  • In 1966, he introduced le smoking – his legendary smoking suit. His other inventions include the reefer jacket (1962), the sheer blouse (1966), and the jumpsuit (1968)
  • In October 1998 Yves Saint Laurent showed his last ready-to-wear collection for the Rive Gauche label he had founded more than 30 years before. He carried on his haute couture until 2002
  • After a brief stint with Alber Elbaz as designer, in 1999 Tom Ford arrived to take control at the house. The brand entered the stratosphere where it remains today, covering perfume and menswear as well as womenswear.
  • At his last show, in 2002, a tearful Yves Saint Laurent tookhis final bow as his long-time muse, Catherine Deneuve, sang MaPlus Belle Histoire d’Amour. Stefano Pilati, who replaced TomFord in 2005, continues Yves Saint Laurent’s message that “dressingis a way of life”.
  • Yves Saint Laurent died after a long period of ill health at his home in Paris on June 1, 2008. He was 71.

http://www.vogue.co.uk/article/yves-saint-laurent-biography

SAM’s exhibit of 110 fashion exhibits is organized around the following themes as described in the Gallery Guide:

The Little Prince of Fashion

The Beatnik Couturier

The Celebrity Couturier

A Living Legend

Never Too Much

Contradictory Impulses

The Genders

A Modular Wardrobe

The Alchemy of Style

African Art

The Pop Movement

Mondrian and Pop Art

From Darkness to an Explosion of Color

Claire Marie Healy wrote about Bowes Museum, County Durham and their exhibit of Saint Laurent:

Before the exhibition opens this weekend, here’s just five reasons why a dip into the YSL archives is more relevant than ever.

HIS TAKE ON ANDROGYNY STARTED A REVOLUTION

When Saint Laurent debuted Le Smoking in 1966 – a menswear-inspired tuxedo, tailored for women – it became an instant classic for women who wanted to appear equal parts glamorous and strong. Entering the cultural consciousness at a time when many second-wave feminists avoided discussing fashion directly, it radicalised eveningwear and irrevocably transformed the way women dressed. Made iconic by famous devotees like Nan Kempner, Betty Catroux and Bianca Jagger, the look told the world that if women are ever going to wear the trousers, they should be able to wear them to their wedding day and Studio 54 alike.

HE MADE ART AND FASHION COLLIDE

While mining one another’s inspirations is now par for the course in the fashion and contemporary art worlds, Saint Laurent was among the first to tap the gallery for the runway. Sending out clothing inspired by Andy Warhol, Van Gogh and Georges Braque in the ’60s and ’70s, his 1965 Mondrian collection is the most enduring collaboration: containing six shift dresses in homage to Piet Mondrian, the colourful designs punctuated the modernist spirit of an entire generation.

HE FREED THE NIPPLE BEFORE INSTAGRAM WAS A THING

The on-going fight to #freethenipple on present-day social media reveals the trailblazing nature of Saint Laurent’s taste for sheer throughout his design career. Rebelling in a different way in the era of the miniskirt, Saint Laurent’s models would always go braless under sheer organza blouses and couture gowns with a feathered trim. And much like today’s campaign, the decision was less about pleasing the onlooker, and more about asserting equality between the sexes.

HE CHAMPIONED DIVERSITY IN FASHION

In a fashion industry where white-washing is still an issue, it’s worth revisiting the designer who went against the grain with his focus on diverse casting in the ’60s and ’70s. Saint Laurent made major strides in diversity that are still being felt today, tapping black models like Iman, Rebecca Ayoko and Katoucha Niane for his muses over the years. Queen Naomi herself – who just this week spoke out against industry racism – even credited the designer with giving her her first Vogue cover. As she said on news of his death in 2008, “He has done so much for people of colour.”

HE STARRED IN HIS OWN CAMPAIGNS

Today, you’re increasingly likely to see a designer star in his or her own campaign – or, in the case of Donatella for Givenchy, another label’s campaign altogether. But several decades before Marc Jacobs’ beefed up body illustrated the benefits of nude self-promotion, Yves Saint Laurent’s (slightly less oiled) physique broke new ground in fragrance advertising in 1971. Photographed by Jeanloup Sieff, the black and white image for YSL Pour Homme was hardly published anywhere at the time – though it would come to resonate with the gay community in later years. http://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/25429/1/how-yves-saint-laurent-changed-fashion

When Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé began saving pieces from each collection, they obviously believed the work of Saint Laurent was important and so artistic and creative that the pieces could be considered art. Zandra Rhodes and the director of the Design Museum, Alice Rawsthorn debated in the Guardian article, Is fashion a true art form?  https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2003/jul/13/art.artsfeatures1  Suzy Menkes also address the question in the New York Times article, Gone Global: Fashion as Art?  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/fashion/is-fashion-really-museum-art.html  Moi is not prepared to say whether fashion is art. Saint Laurent’s clothes are certainly beautiful at times, creative, and slightly ahead of the culture, but not so far ahead as to not be commercially viable. One notices that many designers have been influenced by his line and vision, Rachel Roy comes to minds. Let intellectuals debate the art issue. What SAM has done is told the story of a genius and how that genius evolved and grew using fashion to express his creativity and demons.

Dr. Wilda gives a definite thumbs up, you will be awed and challenged.

Resources:

The Turbulent Love Story Behind Yves Saint Laurent’s Revolutionary Rise                               http://www.npr.org/2014/06/24/323552220/the-turbulent-love-story-behind-yves-saint-laurents-revolutionary-rise

Yves Saint Laurent, Giant of Couture, Dies at 71                                                                    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/02/fashion/02laurent.html

Which Yves Saint Laurent Biopic Should You Watch?                                                             http://fashionista.com/2015/05/which-yves-saint-laurent-biopic-is-better

Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent                                                                    http://www.fondation-pb-ysl.net/en/Accueil-825.html

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Dr. Wilda Reviews Seattle Art Museum upcoming 2015 -2016 season: SAM wants to be YOUR museum

16 Nov

Moi joined other media and supporters of Seattle Art Museum (SAM) for a complimentary lunch at the Triple Door which was catered by Wild Ginger. There was an air of anticipation in the crowd about what was next on the SAM agenda. The 2014 season had been very successful with international shows like Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon http://seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/peru The curator staff at SAM seems to be both imaginative and resourceful. Given the stratospheric prices art is going for at auction, the question is how resourceful and creative could the SAM staff be? The answer which came during the event was the SAM staff was just as resourceful as ever and they are making an attempt to be Seattle’s art museum by appealing to many different segments of the community.

There was the announcement that the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection gift to SAM’s permanent collection will be on display:

In celebration of this gift, SAM will be featuring highlights of the collection throughout the modern and contemporary galleries beginning in the spring of 2015. In addition, the museum is organizing a major exhibition for the summer of 2016 that will feature abstract works from the Wright Collection as well as works in the SAM collection and other key loans….http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/about-sam/press-room/the-wright-collection-of-modern-and-contemporary-art-comes-to-seattle-art-museum

This gift is the backbone which will enhance exhibits like Pop Departures. http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/pop and City Dwellers which showcases contemporary art from India. http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=27436 Future contemporary exhibits have a wonderful platform from which to launch. SAM is blessed with three great venues, SAM Downtown, Olympic Sculpture Park, and the Asian Museum at Volunteer Park. All three venues have some exciting exhibits coming up. Sam Vernon will be at Olympic Sculpture Park from Mar 28 2015 – Mar 6 2016 http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=28606

At the Asian Art Museum, there are two exhibits of note in addition to the permanent collection. Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop will be on view from Nov 22 2014 – Apr 5 2015 in Tateuchi Galleries. Japanese artist, Chiho Aoshima will have an exhibit from April 25 – October 4, 2015. http://www.artspace.com/chiho_aoshima

Here are the highlights of the upcoming season:

  1. Native American Art

Indigenous Beauty

Feb 12 – May 17 2015

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries                                                                                                           http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/indigenous

  1. Native Coast Art

Seattle Collects Northwest Coast Native Art

Feb 12 – May 17 2015

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries                                                                                                             http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=27983

  1. Global African Art

Disguise: Masks and Global African Art

Jun 18 – Sep 7 2015

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries

http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/disguise

  1. Impressionism

Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art

Oct 1 2015 – Jan 10 2016

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries                                                                                                                        http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=27987

  1. Samuel F.B. Morse

Samuel F.B. Morse’s Gallery of the Louvre

Sep 16 2015 – Jan 10 2016

Seattle Art Museum

Third Floor Galleries                                                                                                                                           http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=27988

  1. Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic

Feb 11 – May 8 2016

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries                                                                                                         http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=29707

  1. Seeing Nature

Seeing Nature

Feb 16 – May 21 2017

Seattle Art Museum

Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries

Co-organized by the Seattle Art Museum, the Portland Art Museum, and the Paul G. Allen Family Collection, Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection

http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/Details?EventId=30737

The headline from the SAM preview is SAM wants to be YOUR museum. The upcoming exhibits have a strong ethnic component and hopefully will draw crowds that don’t necessarily come to SAM. Through loans, guest curators and strong collaboration, SAM is assembling art works which show very good examples of an art theme and there are various themes for the upcoming season. For those who don’t live in Seattle, but who may be planning a trip, you might want to come during an exhibit time.

The 2015 – 2016 and beyond season is definitely a thumbs up.

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Dr. Wilda Reviews Seattle Art Museum’ 2014 – 2015 seasons: SAM is at a fork in the road

19 Nov

Moi was pleased to be included in Seattle Art Museum’s (SAM) preview of the 2014 – 2015 seasons. Media from all over the region gathered for lunch at the Triple Door. Lunch was provided courtesy of the Triple Door and Wild Ginger. The 2014 – 2014 season has what is now mandatory, a knock-your-socks major exhibit or two, a nod to the ethnic diversity of the region, an example or two of art mediums other than painting as well as the grand installation at the Sculpture Park. The headline is that SAM produces another stunning season, it won’t disappoint. The backstory is that SAM is at a fork in the road. It is hard to say about an institution, like SAM, who has been in existence over 85 years, what do you really want to be when you grow up, but that is the question at this moment in SAM’s history. This review has two parts, the review of the 2014 – 2015 season and some of the challenges faced by museums like SAM. Executive Director, Kimerly Rorschach disclosed that SAM will be starting the planning to produce a five year strategic plan and that Barney A. Ebsworth has given SAM a major piece, Echo for the Sculpture Garden. This gift highlights one of SAM’s major challenges, its acquisition budget.

Among the upcoming exhibits at SAM are:

William Cordova

September 20, 2013–January 19, 2014

Robert Davidson: Abstract Impulse

November 16, 2013–February 16, 2014

Leo Berk: 2013 Betty Bowen Award Winner

November 7, 2013–February 23, 2014

From Abstract Expression to Colored Planes

March 16, 2013–November 9, 2014

Light in the Darkness

A Fuller View of China, Japan and Korea

August 10, 2013–April 13, 2014

Hometown Boy

Liu Xiaodong

August 31, 2013–June 29, 2014

Inked

Wan Qingli

August 31, 2013–June 29, 2014

Sandra Cinto

Encontro das Águas (Encounter of Waters)

April 14, 2012–February 17, 2014

Miró: The Experience of Seeing

February 13–May 25, 2014

DECO JAPAN: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920–1945

May 10–October 19, 2014

This is just a sample of what is coming. Other exhibits of note include La Toya Ruby Frazier’s photographs, City Dwellers: Contemporary Art from India, and Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art. Upcoming events can be found at http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibit/exhibit.asp

Despite the dazzle, SAM’s strategic plan has to examine some serious issues. A 2008 blog post by Ross Dawson examined some of the issues.

In Thinking about the future of museums: fourteen key issues, Dawson opined:

Below are fourteen key issues in the future of museums.

What is a museum?

On the face of it, a museum records and makes accessible artefacts the past that have cultural value. The curatorial process is one of showing people things that enrich them. Museums need to have a clear idea of why they exist. In most cases (in addition to any financial imperatives) the objective is to benefit society, by educating and creating culturally richer and more well-rounded members of society.

Entertainment vs. education and onto experience.

Entertainment and education are quite different intents, but they can be integrated to achieve both aims. Certainly the demand from younger people has shifted strongly to only paying attention if content is truly entertaining. Beyond that, museums are fundamentally about providing experiences. People will seek engaging and powerful experiences, and if museums can provide them, their can fulfil their roles.

Complement formal education.

Recent developments of school and adult education have not kept pace with external change. There is in particular an important role for experiences that help prepare people for the future.

Speed of response.

Exhibitions are a slow medium, often taking 6 months or far more to put together. This means that any exhibit will be historical rather than truly contemporary. As people grow used to a faster informational cycle, ways of bringing together information quickly in a meaningful way is often required to engage people.

Being credible and authoritative.

In a world of infinite information, people are looking for credible sources. The brand and identity of a museum can assist in being a preferred source of information.

Physical vs. Virtual.

A museum is in almost all cases a physical space with physical exhibits. Yet access can also be provided online, including in three dimensional worlds. It is not a question of choosing between them, or even doing both. Rather the issue is how to integrate both physical and virtual so they complement each other.

Potential for geolocational tagging.

As a specific form of integrating the physical and virtual, I think geolocation is a very useful technology. This can for example enable visitors to geo-tag exhibits, making their comments visible to others moving through the physical space. Video glasses or mobile devices can allow people to pick up on and add to conversations about what they are seeing and interacting with.

Engaging younger generations.

Today schoolchildren going on a museum visit often do their reports by typing notes and taking pictures on their mobile phone. However they are far from passive consumers, and unless you allow them to be active in engaging with content, you will lose them.

Getting museum experts to interface directly with users.

The existing interface between the knowledge of the museum staff and users is the exhibit. Social media and social networks are ways to enable this more direct connection, interaction, and knoweldge sharing.

Energizing the community.

Because museums touch so many schoolchildren, they have an opportunity to engage them far beyond their visits. MIT’s ThinkCycle, which takes an open source approach to designing solutions to problems thaat touch many underprivileged people.

Helping people to answer new and important questions.

Therapeutical cloning, genetically modified food, embryonic genetic modification, are all new technologies that we as individuals and a society must work out how to respond. A museum can help people to understand these issues to help people to make up their own minds in an informed way.

Moving from gatekeepers to enabling access and building communities.

Not so long ago museums were essentially gatekeepers, choosing from all of the wonderful things they have access to, which will be on display. Now that access can be provided digitally, the issue becomes more one of making these valuable resources more accessible and visible, and building communities to share perspectives.

Museums as media organizations.

During the discussions it struck me that museums are basically media organizations, providing and editing (i.e. curating) content. Exactly the same issues apply, including that of whether to control or open out the editorial process.

From interacting with exhibits to interacting with people.

A great interactive exhibit is one that makes people visiting the museum to interact with each other. There are many fabulous technologies that can take the old push-button style of interactive exhibits into an entirely new dimension. However building live and asynchronous social networks on many levels is really where interactivity needs to go. Both stimulating and enabling conversations is where museum interactivity needs to go.

I think the issues facing museums are extremely interesting, and relevant across a far broader domain, as they fundamentally deal with the intersection of the virtual and physical in our experiences. Despite the rise of the virtual, there is extraordinary value in physical artefacts. To move into the future we absolutely need to understand and draw on our past. Physical objects are the crystallized manifestations of our collective thoughts and history. Museums are on an extraordinary journey which will see many thrive, and often look very different to how they do today. http://rossdawsonblog.com/weblog/archives/2008/05/thinking_about.html

So, SAM literally has to decide what does it want to be when it grows up.

Looking at attendance figures, SAM is one of the top museums in the country. See, Top 100 Arts and Culture Museum Ranking    https://sites.google.com/site/silviaresanswers/Home/top-100-arts-and-culture-museum-ranking  According to the Art Career Project, SAM is number six in the list of 30 Must-See Art Museums In The U.S:

6. Seattle Art Museum – Seattle, Wash.

The museum actually owns and operates three separate facilities, including the main museum, the Asian Art Museum located in the city’s Capitol Hill, and the Olympic Sculpture Park on the waterfront. All three are tremendous visits and are home to some magnificent works of art. The collection has more than 20,000 works  and few museums can boast such a impressive array of different types, from every corner of the world.

Three to see:

Olympic Sculpture Park

Not only is the scenery surrounding the park a breathtaking sight to behold, but admission is free and the sculptures on display are awe-inspiring. The Eagle by Alexander Calder may be the most famous part of the collection, but don’t miss the Eye Benches, some of the most unique sculptures you will ever see.

The Art Ladder

Chances are if you visit the museum, you can’t miss the “Art Ladder” and its monstrous statues. Just make sure not to pass them by so quickly. The area is free to walk around and the statues are impressive in their size and craftsmanship.

Colors of the Oasis

http://www.theartcareerproject.com/30-must-see-art-museums-in-the-u-s/1044/#sthash.UG2EJ89g.ZPNuo6C5.dpuf

SAM is nationally and internationally recognized for the quality of its presentations, so why this fork in the road talk?

Christopher Knight wrote in the 2007 LA Times article, With new space, Seattle Art Museum expands its vision:

When the Seattle Art Museum turns 75 next year, it intends to be not only the most important general art museum in the Pacific Northwest but to be nationally prominent too. It might just get its wish…

The museum’s regional rank has been secure for years, but mostly by default. The competition is slim.

Even now, if your idea of a first-rate general art museum is one that’s stuffed with European painting and sculpture dating from ancient Greece and Rome to the rambunctious launch of the 20th century, the Seattle Art Museum is not for you. Two of its long-standing strengths are African art and Northwest coastal Native American art. The small European collection is mostly mediocre and not remotely comprehensive. There’s great porcelain, but you won’t find a Picasso painting.

If you’re willing to shift conventional expectations, though, you’ll discover a museum that has been smartly rethinking itself in recent years. What’s new is this larger aspiration….

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-seattleart2may02,0,4475141.story#axzz2l2RvTWDM

Back in 2007 SAM had big aspirations, now the question is where are those aspirations leading?

Charity Navigator has some very interesting information about SAM. Here is some balance sheet information:

Income Statement     (FYE 06/2012)

REVENUE

 

Contributions

   Contributions,   Gifts & Grants

$5,768,913

   Federated   Campaigns

$447,253

   Membership Dues

$4,897,027

   Fundraising   Events

$438,145

   Related   Organizations

$294,013

   Government   Grants

$403,865

Total Contributions

$12,249,216

   Program Service   Revenue

$4,242,610

Total Primary   Revenue

$16,491,826

   Other Revenue

$8,023,516

TOTAL REVENUE

$24,515,342

 

 

EXPENSES  

 

   Program   Expenses

$21,173,594

   Administrative   Expenses

$11,769,768

   Fundraising   Expenses

$2,482,792

TOTAL   FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES

$35,426,154

 

 

Payments to   Affiliates

$0

Excess (or   Deficit) for the year

$-10,910,812

 

 

Net Assets

$240,796,053

See the full report at http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=4449#.UosW_B7Tldh

Judith Dobrzynski wrote in the New York Times article, How an Acquisition Fund Burnishes Reputations:

Although acquiring art is a core mission, private collectors donate 80 to 90 percent of what is on view in American art museums. Fewer than two dozen museums have sizable nest eggs to buy the art they choose.

A few more, notably the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, are wealthy enough to buy steadily by drawing on unrestricted endowments, but have no special funds for acquisitions. Most of the time, when art museums find an object they desire, “we find someone who’s willing to support that acquisition,” said Dan L. Monroe, director of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass.

In lean times like these, when museums are budgeting to the razor’s edge, those with pools for art purchases enjoy a distinct advantage — they are not permitted to use the money, usually about 5 percent of the principal each year, for anything but buying art…

Who has money set aside for buying art, and who does not, has more to do with a museum’s benefactors than with its size or location. The Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, N.H., has more than four times what the Seattle Museum of Art has: $35 million versus less than $7.8 million. That is because Henry Melville Fuller, a trustee, upon his death in 2001 left the Currier $43 million, half designated for the art purchase fund….http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/arts/artsspecial/a-fund-for-buying-art-burnishes-collections-and-reputations.html?emc=eta1&_r=0

In terms of acquisitions, the question for most museums is how do we get there from here?

SAM is a much loved institution in Seattle and the upcoming strategic plan analysis must look at a number of issues, but most important is where does the museum go as it looks ahead to the next 85 years.

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