Press Release  July 24, 2019

The Cultural Legacy Of Paul G. Allen, now at the Seattle Art Museum

Courtesy Seattle Art Museum

Lucian Freud, Large Interior, W11 (after Watteau), 1981-1983. Oil on canvas, 73 x 78 inches. Paul G. Allen Family Collection.

SEATTLE, WA – The Seattle Art Museum presents A Cultural Legacy: A Series of Paintings from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection (July 24, 2019–July 20, 2020). The iterative single-painting exhibition features works by Lucian Freud, Sandro Botticelli, and Georgia O’Keeffe from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection, one of the most significant private collections in the United States. On view one at time, the paintings will connect thematically to other work at the museum.

Courtesy Seattle Art Museum

Georgia O'Keeffe, White Rose with Larkspur No. 1, 1927. Oil on canvas, 36 x 30 inches. Paul G. Allen Family Collection.

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.

Courtesy Seattle Art Museum

Sandro Botticelli, The Madonna of the Magnificat, c. 1480-1489. Tempera on panel, 24 3/4 inches diameter. Paul G. Allen Family Collection.

“Paul Allen was a tireless champion of art with an incredible commitment to this city. His cultural legacy surrounds us,” says Kimerly Rorschach, SAM’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO. “We’re honored to have this opportunity to present this series of paintings that reflect his appreciation for extraordinary art, and his belief that art connects us to each other and to the world.”

“Art demands something of us: to slow down, to view the world differently, to see ideas and possibilities previously unknown,” said Greg Bell, Chief Curator, Art Collections at Vulcan. “We are grateful to be able to share these works with the Seattle Art Museum and our community, so that we may continue to enrich the arts and culture of the region.”

As the leading visual art institution in the Pacific Northwest, SAM draws on its global collections, powerful exhibitions, and dynamic programs to provide unique educational resources benefiting the Seattle region, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond. SAM was founded in 1933 with a focus on Asian art. By the late 1980s the museum had outgrown its original home, and in 1991 a new 155,000-square-foot downtown building, designed by Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates, opened to the public. The 1933 building was renovated and reopened as the Asian Art Museum in 1994. The building is currently undergoing a renovation and expansion with a scheduled reopening in fall 2019. SAM’s desire to further serve its community was realized in 2007 with the opening of two stunning new facilities: the nine-acre Olympic Sculpture Park (designed by Weiss/Manfredi Architects)—a “museum without walls,” free and open to all—and the Allied Works Architecture designed 118,000-square-foot expansion of its main, downtown location, including 232,000 square feet of additional space built for future expansion. The Olympic Sculpture Park and SAM’s downtown expansion celebrated their tenth anniversary in 2017.

From a strong foundation of Asian art to noteworthy collections of African and Oceanic art, Northwest Coast Native American art, European and American art, and modern and contemporary art, the strength of SAM’s collection of approximately 25,000 objects lies in its diversity of media, cultures, and time periods.

Seattle-based Vulcan Inc. is the engine behind philanthropist and Microsoft cofounder Paul G. Allen's network of organizations and initiatives. Empowered by Paul's vision to make a positive difference in the world, we work to be catalysts for change. We share a commitment to improving our planet through catalytic philanthropy, inspirational experiences, and scientific and technological breakthroughs. As we look at tackling some of the world's hardest problems, we join Paul in always asking: “What solution should exist that doesn’t?” We are a unique group of professionals – from technologists to biodiversity experts to filmmakers to investors to research scientists to art curators – who thrive in the face of the challenge and opportunity to help solve big problems in unconventional ways.

Subscribe to our free e-letter!


Latest News

10 Must-See National Pavilions in the 2024 Venice Biennale

The 60th edition of the International Art Exhibition, titled…

Rachel Jones’ Abstract Psychic Landscape of Teeth and Color

Whether it be through the image of a mouth or the emotional…

Nils-Udo, Nests, and Immersive Environmental Art

With Earth Day approaching, it feels appropriate to bring…

Marina Abramović: Challenging Art Through The Use of Her Body

Often referred to as “the grandmother of performance art…