Visiting the Seattle Art Museum

The Seattle Art Museum offers rich displays of classic art along with innovative exhibits of multi-cultural art, offering an interesting, enriching experience for visitors of all ages.

The art museum here in Seattle (or SAM, as it is sometimes called) has a number of different displays at different locations. Perhaps the best known is the downtown location of the Seattle Art Museum.

This building, on First Avenue downtown near Pike’s Place Market, is easily recognized because of the large “Hammering Man” that stands outside the building. Hammering Man is a 48 foot tall, 28,000 pound steel sculpture dedicated to the museum in 1992 by artist Jonathan Borofsky. Hammering Man moves his hammer up and down four times per minute, resting every evening and once a year on Labor Day. He stands guard outside the Seattle Art Museum as a landmark and a tribute to workers in the Seattle area.

When you visit the downtown location of the Seattle Art Museum there are plenty of opportunities to make your experience as rich as possible. Though sometimes it is nice to wander the halls of a museum in solitude, a guided tour can turn your visit into a true learning experience

Docents lead tours on the different collections on different days and times throughout the week. If you have interest in a particular collection it would be worthwhile to check the tour schedule to find the best time for you to go (check for the most up to date information.)

Another branch of the Seattle Art Museum is the Seattle Asian Art Museum. In full recognition of Seattle’s prominence on the Pacific Rim, the Seattle Art Museum owns an extensive collection of Asian art. For those with an interest in Eastern religion, viewing the Asian Art Museum’s display of Buddhist art can be enlightening and educational. Through art, this collection follows the spread of Buddhism throughout India and the rest of Asia.

The newest addition to the Seattle Art Museum’s offerings is the Olympic Sculpture Park. With this park, the Seattle Art Museum transformed a 9-acre industrial site into a lush green meadow full of beautifully striking outdoor art. This park offers a Z shaped path that wanders in and around sculptural displays and gardens.

An environmental feat as well as an artistic one, the Olympic Sculpture Park restores beauty and life to a part of the Seattle area by using ecologically sound principles in landscaping, creating a salmon habitat, even providing for rainfall capture on-site. Admission to this beautiful outdoor space is free.

For the kids a visit to the Seattle Art Museum provides much more than just walking around looking at paintings on the wall. The stewards of the Seattle Art Museum have made sure to provide interactive, entertaining activities for the kids. Kids can become artists themselves in the WaMu Open Studio. Every second Saturday of the month provides even more fun for kids and families with cultural and artistic festivals.

If you need a break from all of the physical activity and fun that can be found in the Seattle area the Seattle Art Museum is a perfect way to experience the more cultural side of the Pacific Northwest.

Make sure you check out the Go Seattle Card for a great way to see tons of Seattle attractions, including the Seattle Art Museum, for a great price.

Back from the Seattle Art Museum.