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“Small but mighty”
Review of Seattle Art Museum

Seattle Art Museum
Ranked #25 of 440 things to do in Seattle
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Lockers / storage, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
105 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Small but mighty”
Reviewed July 12, 2013

While the SAM may not have the hugest collection in America it certainly has quite an interesting and eclectic one. I love this place.

Visited March 2013
Thank ELBSeattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,200 reviews from our community

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English first
Tallahassee, Florida
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Worth the Buck”
Reviewed July 11, 2013

Don't be put off by the high cost of entry, it's just a suggestion. I donated a buck for my ticket. The place looks huge and it sort of is but the art work is really only on two of four floors. Over all my opinion of the museum is going to be bit judgy as I've spent most of my schooling in art school, and I have a BS in Art Ed. The classic work is few but good, the museum is nice enough to allow you to take pictures (no flash) and they don't place ropes in front of paintings so you can really get close and admire the finer details of the paintings or sculptures. The museum how ever will not allow photos of their current exhibits, I know sad. I enjoyed few of the works mostly those that used classic approaches, or some high level of skill. I would say that covers about a third the work offered.

Which brings me to the "WTH did I just see, that's what goes for art now". For example they had a strip of fabric mounted on the wall, nothing special just alternating orange and off white stripes. How about a line drawn with a marker or a splotch of water color on ruled paper, yeah same as in school. Anyhow I know it's said the art is in the eye of the beholder, but come on skill is an important part. They had so much wall and floor space to work with but they spaced works out so far. So be ready to walk a lot. I just remembered a slab of steel on the floor was are too. Oh and I did notice that the nicer the work the darker the lighting, which blows for picture taking.

In the end would I do it again, sure if I had a $1 and 1hr+ to spend. But I would skip over the bad crafts and go look at art that took Time, Love, and Skill. Oh and with the money you could save you may be able to buy a book mark in their highly over priced store.

Visited June 2013
Thank opencircut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Holyoke, MA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“A Great Small Museum”
Reviewed July 10, 2013

This is a great 1.5 hour visit on a sight-seeing trip. The SAM has a great diverse collection entirely appropriate to Seattle - a Puget Sound collection, several modern art rooms (not my thing but I get why that's part of the gig there), and a big special collection space. Most of the museum is devoted to aboriginal art from Asia, Africa, Australia, and Washington's native peoples. The staging of the museum was well done - a mix of textile, painting, sculpture, masks, period clothing - that reminds me of 5 star museums like the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Also - the interpreters were the friendliest people I've met in a museum, going out of their way in each room to share their knowledge about the works of art. 2 interpreters talked to me about what I was seeing, and I saw a number of other patrons engaged in this way. I was impressed. Furthermore, the pay-as-you-go ticket price (like at the Met in NYC) makes the art accessible for anyone who wants to see it.

Visited July 2013
Thank megmagrath85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
columbus, ohio
Level Contributor
63 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Fabulous Japanese designers clothing exhibit”
Reviewed July 1, 2013

I think this is the last chance to see this exhibit in the U.S. exciting creativity exemplified in the designs chosen for the exhibit. Besides the many garments both wearable and non wearable there are a number of runway videos playing. Some of the designs bridge to performance art. There was also a wonder mask exhibit.

Visited June 2013
Thank gobucksbeatmichigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
452 reviews
233 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
“nice mix of different genres”
Reviewed June 30, 2013

The SAM is 2 blocks from Pike market and contains an interesting mix of Art from old masters to modern era including some native american art. Well laid out and worth investing a couple of hours in

Visited June 2013
1 Thank ggmck186338
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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