Pacific Northwest Art Collection Returns to Public View

Sheraton Seattle Hotels Art Collection Reintroduced Following Expansion

Sheraton Seattle Art Collection // (c) 2008  
Extensive collection of glass made
in the early 1980s by artists
affiliated with Pilchuck Glass Studio.
(c) Spike Mafford

The Sheraton Seattle has reintroduced artworks from its significant Pacific Northwest art collection, now back on public view after being safely stored during the hotel's $130 million renovation and expansion. The world-class collection includes important paintings by well-known Pacific Northwest master artists such as Mark Tobey, Morris Graves, Jacob Lawrence, Alden Mason, Guy Anderson and George Tsutakawa, a major installation by sculptor in glass Dale Chihuly, and an extensive collection of glass made in the early 1980s by artists who have been affiliated with Pilchuck Glass School.

First installed in 1982 when the Sheraton Seattle was built, Sheraton Seattle Hotel’s prestigious art collection showcases works by the finest artists of the Pacific Northwest region. One of the capstones of Sheraton Seattle’s collection is Dale Chihulys Flower Form 2, originally created in 1985, which has just been reinstalled in a new presentation in Sheraton Seattle’s lobby. Dale Chihuly is a native of Tacoma, WA and co-founder in 1971 of the world renowned Pilchuck Glass School, located in Stanwood, WA. Recognized as the most important artist working in the medium of glass today, Chihuly is also credited with energizing the contemporary studio glass movement. The complexity of his sculptures, created by utilizing gaffers and a team of assistants, has elevated the art of glass blowing from the creation of small decorative objects to multi-part large-scale sculptural installations. Chihuly’s works are included in more than 200 museums throughout the world.

Other highlights of Sheraton Seattle’s collection include a new installation of 27 pieces of glass from the 1980s made by artists affiliated with Pilchuck Glass School, including William Morris, Flora C. Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick, Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova. When the hotel first opened, these glass pieces were originally presented in an installation in the private dining room of the hotels premier restaurant, Fullers, named for Dr. Richard E. Fuller, the first director of the Seattle Art Museum. A group of significant paintings by Northwest masters, also shown in Fullers during the 80s and 90s, is now on view in the hotel’s lobby, where visitors can enjoy works by Mark Tobey, Morris Graves, Jacob Lawrence, Kenneth Callahan, Guy Anderson, Paul Horiuchi, George Tsutakawa, William Ivey, Walter Isaacs, Richard Gilkey, Margaret Tomkins, Ambrose Patterson, William Cumming and Portland artists Carl Morris, and Louis Bunce.

When the hotel was built in 1982, Sheraton Seattle Hotels collection of more than 2000 original artworks was considered the largest permanent public installation of contemporary art in the Pacific Northwest, and it was heralded for its comprehensive and representative presentation of high quality contemporary art of the region.

Other artworks from the hotels collection, including large paintings and mixed media works by Paul Horiuchi, Alden Mason, Mary Ann Peters, Peter Millett, Jeffrey Bishop, Paul Heald and William Hoppe, have been installed in public areas in the lobby and on the second and third floors in the Pike Tower and the Union Tower. A large diptych in clay by ceramic master artist Robert Sperry (1927-1998) is on view in the lobby as well.

Guests and visitors alike are surrounded by significant original artworks everywhere they turn at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel, underscoring the hotels goal since 1982 of bringing important fine art of the Northwest region to the public while creating a widely accessible visual art resource for the community. In addition, Sheraton Seattle’s commitment to art extends well beyond the hotels art collection, which is always available for the public to view at no charge, 24 hours per day, every day of the year. As an example of this commitment, this year, on October 18, Sheraton Seattle will host PONCHOs 18thInternational Wine Auction to benefit arts organizations in the Northwest.