Seattle Art Museum to feature series of paintings from Paul Allen’s private family collection


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

The public will get a chance to view some of the significant pieces in the private art collection of Paul Allen, the late Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist, as part of a year-long exhibition at Seattle Art Museum.

“A Cultural Legacy: A Series of Paintings from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection,” (July 24 – July 20, 2020), is an iterative single-painting exhibition that will feature works by Lucian Freud, Sandro Botticelli and Georgia O’Keeffe.

In addition to his cultural pursuits around sports and music, Allen, who died last October at age 65, had a lifelong interest in the visual arts. His collection spans centuries, genres and media, SAM said in a news release on Monday, and he was a frequent lender to the museum.

A 2017 exhibition titled “Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection,” featured 39 works from his collection and showcased key moments in the development of the landscape genre. SAM said which Allen hoped it would “inspire people to renew their commitment to protecting Earth’s natural beauty for generations to come.”

allenart2-630x630.jpgSandro 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,” SAM director and CEO Kimerly Rorschach said. “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.”

allenart3-630x762.jpgGeorgia O’Keeffe, White Rose with Larkspur No. 1, 1927. Oil on canvas, 36 x 30 inches. (Paul G. Allen Family Collection)

“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.”

The new exhibition, which opens Wednesday, will be on view in the museum’s third floor galleries, adjacent to its collection of modern and contemporary art. The artworks (pictured above) and dates include:

Large Interior, W11 (after Watteau) (1981–1983) by Lucian Freud, on view July 24 – Nov. 18. The Madonna of the Magnificat (c. 1480–1489) by Sandro Botticelli, on view Nov. 27 – March 23, 2020), concurrent with SAM’s major fall exhibition, “Flesh and Blood: Italian Masterpieces from the Capodimonte Museum (Oct. 17 – Jan. 26, 2020), featuring works from the High Renaissance and Baroque periods. White Rose with Larkspur No. 1 (1927) by Georgia O’Keeffe, 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.

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