Voting Home / Museum of Northwest Art
Nominated for: BEST Museum
The inspiration began in the 1930s and 40s when four Northwest artists, Guy Anderson, Kenneth Callahan, Morris Graves and Mark Tobey, who drew artistic sustenance from nature and Asian influences, created a fresh style and a regional identity. All of these artists spent time in the Skagit Valley, and two made their homes here. A magnet for artists since then, the Valley was a natural birthplace for a museum devoted solely to Northwest art.
The museum opened on October 3, 1981, as a small regional museum devoted to presenting the works of major Northwest artists in a continual exhibition and serving as a source of education on Northwest art. The vision of photographer Art Hupy, the museum lived, for its first 14 years, on the second floor of the historical Gaches Mansion in La Conner. As early as 1982 the museum board began to look for a space more suitable for housing works of art when they contemplated the purchase and renovation of the La Conner Town Hall. Plans for relocation and expansion simmered over the next decade while support for the regional museum grew. During this time the museum mounted exhibitions designed to illuminate both the artist and their art. Among the many artists shown were Mark Tobey, Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora Mace, Clayton James, Philip McCracken, Mary Randlett, William Ivey, George Tsutakawa, Paul Havas and Skagit Valley artists.
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