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Summer Exhibitions Celebrate Former Frye Director and Alaska Connection
Eustace Paul Ziegler. Canoe on Lake, 1909. Oil on glass. 21 x 44 1/16 in. Frye Art Museum, 1983.002.08.

SEATTLE, WA.- The Frye Art Museum’s summer exhibitions celebrate the tenure of former Frye Director Ida Kay Greathouse, the role that Alaska played in the history of the Museum, and the artwork of Fred Machetanz, who captured the rugged mountains and brilliant light of Alaska.

Ida Kay Greathouse: A Tribute (June 19–September 19, 2010)
Honoring Frye Art Museum Past Director Ida Kay Greathouse, the Frye presents Ida Kay Greathouse: A Tribute, an exhibition of major works of art selected by Mrs. Greathouse during her 25-year tenure as Director.

Mrs. Greathouse became the Frye director in 1966, after the death of her husband, Walser Greathouse, the Frye's first director and executor of Charles Frye's will. Having witnessed her husband's astute collecting during his directorship, Mrs. Greathouse focused on American art, complementing her first acquisitions—William Harnett’s A Wooden Basket of Catawba Grapes and Walt Kuhn’s Acrobats in Dressing Room—with works by William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, Edward Hopper, George Luks, John Singer Sargent, Everett Shinn, and N. C., Andrew, and Jamie Wyeth. During her tenure she also enhanced the Founding Collection’s French paintings with impressionist works by Berthe Morisot, Pierre-August Renoir, and Alfred Sisley, among others.

Under Mrs. Greathouse’s leadership, the Frye also moved in new collecting directions, acquiring significant works by early-20th century Russian-trained émigrés Nicolai Fechin, Leon Gaspard, and Sergei Bongart, as well as 20th century Alaskan landscapes by Ted Lambert, Sydney Laurence, Fred Machetanz, and Eustace Ziegler. As early as 1970, Mrs. Greathouse voiced interest in adding a new gallery to display the Museum’s collection of Alaskan art. Her dream became a reality in 1984 when the Frye unveiled its Alaska Wing, a popular feature of the Museum during Mrs. Greathouse’s directorship and later renamed the Greathouse Gallery in her honor.

Providing the first overview of her collecting accomplishments, Ida Kay Greathouse: A Tribute features important acquisitions made over the nearly three decades Mrs. Greathouse led the Frye until she retired in 1993. While including a number of French paintings, the exhibition focuses primarily on American objects, demonstrating the key role played by Mrs. Greathouse in moving the Museum from its initial mandate to showcase European art to becoming an active exhibitor of 20th century American art.

Ida Kay Greathouse: A Tribute is curated by Director Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker. Collection Research: Jayme Yahr. Collection Management: Donna Kovalenko. Project Coordination: Laura Landau.

Northern Latitudes: The Frye and Alaska (June 19–September 19, 2010)
Honoring the special role that Alaska has played in the history of the Frye Art Museum, Northern Latitudes: The Frye and Alaska features a selection of the Museum’s Alaskan acquisitions, the majority of which were made by Ida Kay Greathouse, the Frye’s longest-serving director.

Mrs. Greathouse’s dedication to Alaskan art led to the Museum’s construction of an Alaska Wing, which opened in 1984. Including works by Eustace Paul Ziegler (1881–1969); Sydney Laurence (1865–1940); Theodore Roosevelt (Ted) Lambert (1905–1960); and Fred Machetanz (1908–2002), Northern Latitude captures the rugged wilderness and solitude experienced by artists when they sojourned to Alaska and encountered its expansive skies, isolated outposts, and panoramic views of snow-capped Mt. McKinley.

Although Ziegler was a close friend of Frye Art Museum founders Charles and Emma Frye, the couple did not collect Alaskan paintings. They did, however, have business ties to Alaska. In 1891, Charles Frye opened the Frye-Bruhn Meat Packing Company with his younger brother Frank and a childhood friend, Charles Bruhn. Headquartered in Seattle, Frye-Bruhn expanded into Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897, launching stations in several towns such as Juneau, Valdez, Skagway, Haines Mission, and Ketchikan. (The Frye-Bruhn building in Skagway is currently being considered for placement on the National Register of Historic Places.) The Fryes’ businesses and other investments enabled the establishment of the Frye Art Museum, which opened to the public in 1952.

Northern Latitudes: The Frye and Alaska is curated by Jayme Yahr. Collections Management: Donna Kovalenko. Project Coordination: Laura Landau.

On Arctic Ice: Fred Machetanz (June 12–September 6)
Working in the isolated wilderness, Fred Machetanz (1908-2002) produced a body of artwork that encompasses the rugged mountains and brilliant light of Alaska. On Arctic Ice: Fred Machetanz showcases a selection of stone lithographs produced by Machetanz between 1946 and 1980 that depict the flora, fauna, and people of America’s northernmost state.

On Arctic Ice: Fred Machetanz is curated by Jayme Yahr. Collections Management: Donna Kovalenko. Project Coordination: Laura Landau.

The Frye Art Museum | Ida Kay Greathouse | Fred Machetanz |

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