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The Frye Art Museum

Seattle Attractions--Museums

 

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FRYE MUSEUM CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS APRIL 13, 2012 AND WILL REOPEN JULY 15, 2012

 

Frye Art Museum

 

 

Sun Maiden by Lillian Genth (from the Permanent Collection)

 

 

 

INDEX

 
  Introduction
  History
  Museum Store
  Cafe
  Photography
  Hours
  Phone Number
  Museum Web Site

 

704 Terry Avenue,  First Hill neighborhood

Please click here to open a separate map of First Hill.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Frye Art Museum Building

Entrance on Terry Avenue

 

Museums come in all shapes and sizes.  Giant museums like the Art Institute of Chicago and the Metropolitan Museum of Art have their esteemed place in the art world but you cannot hope to see more than a small portion of their holdings in one visit.  Medium-size regional museums like the Seattle Art Museum are excellent venues because they have extensive collections and they can also host major exhibitions such as the recent Picasso blockbuster.  You are still challenged to try to enjoy seeing all of their collections on one visit.

Small museums like the Frye Art Museum are a treat because they are easy to visit and you can see everything under their roof in an hour or so. 

The Frye Art Museum is one of the delights of visiting Seattle's First Hill.  It is a nice complement to seeing the majestic St. James Cathedral, the Sorrento Hotel, and the historic homes on First Hill. 

Frye Art Museum

 

HISTORY

The museum was established in 1952 at the bequest of Charles and Emma Frye.  Charles had made his fortune in the meat-packing business and he and Emma were avid collectors of conservative paintings.  The Frye's donated their 232 piece art collection to become the Founding Collection of the Frye Art Museum.  The Frye's stipulated in their gift that the Frye Art Museum would always be free to the public. 

The permanent collection of the Frye is composed mainly of late 19th and early 20th century German and American paintings.  The artwork strongly leans toward conservative paintings. 

The art displayed at the Frye consists of displays of its permanent collection along with mostly contemporary art exhibitions. 

On my recent visit to the Frye, 150 paintings from the permanent collection were displayed in the grand salon style that was so popular in the late 19th century. In this style, the paintings are hung from the floor to the ceiling. The room with the permanent collection was well-lighted and had limited seating.  This style of exhibiting paintings has its pluses--you can see a large number of paintings without walking far.  The downside is that the paintings mounted near the ceiling are a challenge  to see.  I enjoyed many of the paintings on display and the grand salon style is a treat to savor.  

 

 Frye Art Museum Permanent Collection

Permanent Collection on Display in the Grand Salon

 

The Frye has frequent exhibitions that typically feature contemporary art.  The current exhibition, Degenerate Art Ensemble, features the Seattle performance company by the same name.  I saw a delightful exhibition several years ago spotlighting the art nouveau work of Alphonse Mucha.

Frye Art Museum

Permanent Collection on Display in the Grand Salon

 

The Frye is housed in an attractive, international style building designed by Paul Thiry who also designed Seattle's Museum of History and Industry. 

MUSEUM STORE

 

The Frye has a small but interesting museum store.

 

 

 

 

MUSEUM CAFE

 

The cafe offers appetizers, salads, soups, and sandwiches.  Drinks include Caffe Vita coffee, soft drinks, wine and beer.  The cafe staff are very nice and offer excellent service.  Special note--they make their own chocolate chip cookies.  The cookies are off the charts good.  A cup of their espresso and the chocolate chip cookies make any break worth taking. 

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

Photography is allowed in the museum.  You cannot use flash or tripods.

 

 

 

HOURS

The museum is open daily except for Monday. 

Hours are 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except for Thursdays (11:00 to 7:00 p.m.).

 

PHONE NUMBER

( 206) 622-9650

 

MUSEUM WEB SITE

 

Please click here to go to the Frye Art Museum's web site.

 

 

 

 

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