Paul G. Allen, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist, had a lifelong interest in the visual arts and stewarded the development of a collection that spans centuries, genres, and media. He was a frequent lender and donor to the Seattle Art Museum, including making a substantial financial contribution in support of the creation of SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park.
In 2017, Allen lent 39 works from the collection for Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection, an exhibition co-organized by SAM, the Portland Art Museum, and the Paul G. Allen Family Collection. The exhibition showcased key moments in the development of the landscape genre, which Allen hoped would “inspire people to renew their commitment to protecting Earth’s natural beauty for generations to come.”
A Cultural Legacy will be on view in the museum’s third floor galleries, adjacent to SAM’s significant collection of modern and contemporary art. Large Interior, W11 (after Watteau) (1981–1983) by Lucian Freud is on view July 24–November 18, 2019. Next is The Madonna of the Magnificat (c. 1480–1489) by Sandro Botticelli (November 27, 2019–March 23, 2020), on view concurrent with SAM’s major fall exhibition, Flesh and Blood: Italian Masterpieces from the Capodimonte Museum (October 17, 2019–January 26, 2020), featuring works from the High Renaissance and Baroque periods. Finally, White Rose with Larkspur No. 1 (1927) by Georgia O'Keeffe will be on view April 1–July 20, 2020, concurrent with Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstract Variations (March 5–June 28, 2020), focusing on O’Keeffe’s early drawings, paintings from the 1920s and 1930s, and photographs of the artist by Alfred Stieglitz.