By Dana Dodge
Published March 30, 2011 12:35 PM PST
Walking in the rainy streets of Seattle with no idea of where to go to get a bit of respite from the drizzle outside water? In the U-district, the internationally recognized contemporary art museum, the Henry Art Gallery at University of Washington's campus in Seattle is a great place to spend some time gazing at thought provoking artwork.
When Horace C. Henry decided to donate funds and a collection of 19th and early 20th century paintings to the University, in 1927, the Henry Art Gallery was created as the first public art museum in the state of Washington. Recently, in 1997 the museum was renovated and expanded, quadrupling the building in size - from 10,000 sq. feet to over 40,000 sq. feet. This increase allowed for a new 154 seat auditorium, a multimedia gallery, a cafe, and an outdoor court. They also improved their research, storage, and art handling facilities.
My recent visit to the museum including walking through the Joe Deal and Views of the Altered Landscape, Uta Barth, and Shadows of a Fleeting World: Pictorial Photography and Seattle Camera Club exhibitions. All of these exhibitions centered around photography.
The Joe Deal and Views of the Altered Landscape includes photographs from the 1970's focusing on the building of houses, highways, as well as some images taken at industrial sites. These gritty images create a very apparent focus on how much modern society has changed the landscape. These images of commonplace sites, things we drive by and take no notice of, have become something to inspire awe and wonder.
The Uta Barth exhibit featured various simple subjects. Colors have been changed by the artist in series that catch the eye. One series features newspaper photograph clippings were she has taken time to zoom into the unfocused background, the forgotten "unimportant" part, as the central focus of the series. I took my time to browse her seemingly simple photographs and found them to take up quite a bit of my time, They are quite intriguing, the simple colorations and shapes the objects present an almost otherworldly feel to scenes that one could encounter any day of the week.
The Shadows of a Fleeting World: Pictorial Photography and Seattle Camera Club exhibit was my favorite to walk through. The exhibit consists of photographs from the early 1920's until the late 1930's. The pictures feature images of landscapes, city scenes, still life, and portraiture. Many of the images are impressively clear and appear computer generated, although clearly they are not. Many of the cityscape images give off an air of mystery and deception, even though they are taken during the early Seattle mornings with just nature creating the foggy effect. The port images were quite remarkable. They show how the sea has provided a way of life for many decades and that not much has changed in the way things appear at the ports. The portraitures were among my favorite to view. It amazed me to look into the faces of people from ninety years ago. The photographs of dancers moving were particularly fascinating. Not only were the common poses of ballerinas, and other types of dancers very easy to identify but the grace that the photos captured was splendid. This exhibit is something you do not want to miss.
You can visit this great museum Wednesday through Sunday. Wednesdays from 11:00am to 4:00pm, Thursdays and Fridays from 11:00am to 9:00pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00am to 4:00pm. Students with Ids, and children under 13 get in free, Seniors (62+) admission costs $6 and General admission is $10.
Molly's Cafe, located in the building, is open Tuesdays through Sundays, so if you get hungry roaming the halls of the gallery stop in for a snack!