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“Try the Frye Instead of SAM”
Review of Seattle Art Museum

Seattle Art Museum
Book In Advance
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$75.00*
and up
Pre-Cruise Seattle Sightseeing Tour
Ranked #26 of 450 things to do in Seattle
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: SAM has been the center for world-class visual arts in the Pacific Northwest since 1933. Visit SAM to see a museum carved into the city, as much a part of Seattle's landscape and personality as the coffee, rain, mountains, Pike Place Market, and the Space Needle. Our three distinct locations celebrate the region's position as a crossroads where east meets west, urban meets natural, local meets global. Our collections, installations, special exhibitions, and programs feature art from around the world and build bridges between cultures and centuries. ​
Useful Information: Stairs / elevator, Wheelchair access, Lockers / storage, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Seattle, WA
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Try the Frye Instead of SAM”
Reviewed November 19, 2012

The locals refer to the Seattle Art Museum as "SAM", which is cute name for a cute institution with delusions of grandeur. Most residents of Seattle are quite provincial and wouldn't know a great art museum from a Tijuana schlock shop full of black velvet paintings of Elvis Presley. SAM was built because all great cities have an art museum, and so Seattle had to have one, too. Unfortunately, they didn't have any art to put in it after they built it. There are one or two interesting objects (a very cool cape-like thing made of dog tags), but mostly it is just stuff to fill up the rooms.

This is not to say that Seattle does not have great art. Check out the private (and free) Frye Art Museum, which is full of works by the great masters. It is a secret Seattle gem, located in the semi-residential/hospital section of town, east of I-5. (704 Terry Ave)

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank DickfromSeattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Women's art exhibit not kind to women”
Reviewed November 17, 2012

I think an exhibit of all female artists should be more diverse than what I saw. Too much of the work was about seventies feminists and their weird hang ups about body type and beauty. Don't women artists have more to offer society than their neurosis?

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank dukedoggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Wonderful collection!”
Reviewed November 15, 2012

From the coat check on up, this is a wonderful experience. The Galleries are well-spaced and carefully hung so as not to overwhelm the visitor. Never miss the Porcelain Room or the decorative arts exhibits on that floor: they are beautifully presented and thoughtfully constructed. Despite being from out of town (and, indeed, a Canadian!), I took a membership here because such quality needs active support. I'll go every time I visit this friendly, beautiful city!

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank Patricia K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloomfield Hills
Level 6 Contributor
225 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“Fine Museum...excellent exhibit”
Reviewed November 13, 2012

The exhibit of women artists from the Pompidou museum in Paris was excellent. Museum space lovely. Entry a bit expensive, even with senior discount, but that's the way most museums seem to be these days.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank Caslin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island City, New York
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
“SAM is a nice place to visit when it is raining”
Reviewed November 8, 2012

Great exhibits - saw the one about ELLE - women artist, fabulous restaurant TASTE. A nice place to spend the day when it is raining out

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank Daisy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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