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New Exhibition at the Frye Art Museum Honors Museum Founders
Mihály de Munkácsy. The Prisoner, 1871–73. Oil on panel. 31 x 39 1/2 in. Charles and Emma Frye Collection.


SEATTLE, WA.- Newly appointed director of the Frye Art Museum Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker honors Charles and Emma Frye’s visionary patronage with an exhibition featuring a selection of important works from the Museum’s Founding Collection. The exhibition, Living Legacy, will be on view September 1, 2009 through January 10, 2010.

The exhibition is based on works from the Frye Founding Collection, established in the first decade of the twentieth century by Charles Frye (1858–1940) and his wife Emma (1860–1934). A first-generation American of German descent, Charles reputedly saw his first oil painting at age thirty-five in 1893. By 1909 the Fryes were already avid collectors, evident by their loan of a French painting to Seattle’s Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, a World’s Fair celebrating the development of the Pacific Northwest.

Significant purveyors of European culture in Seattle for the remainder of their lives, Charles and Emma Frye focused their collecting efforts on late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century German art, a reflection of a singular moment one hundred years ago when a number of influential American collectors and museum curators sought to establish close cultural ties between Germany and America. The Frye’s collection included exemplary works by the founding members of one of Europe’s most influential artists’ association, the Munich Secession, and important works by the generation of German artists preceding them. It also included fine French and American paintings. Charles Frye’s dream to bequeath the collection to the people of Seattle became a reality in 1952 when the Frye Art Museum opened to the public.

Curated by Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, recently appointed director of the Frye Art Museum, Living Legacy features works that exemplify the vision and collecting practices of Charles and Emma Frye as they assembled the 232 works of art that would become the Frye Art Museum’s Founding Collection.

Living Legacy will be presented in Frye Viewpoints galleries 1 and 2 from September 1, 2009 through January 10, 2010.






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