Seattle Art Museum (SAM), Seattle

Seattle Art Museum (SAM), Seattle

Architect Robert Venturi, a winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize, was credited with making the wry observation that "less is a bore." You can judge for yourself if you agree by visiting the museum he co-designed with his wife Denise Scott Brown. Commonly known as SAM, this downtown building is just one of the Seattle Art Museum's three sites, the other two being the Seattle Asian Art Museum and the Olympic Sculpture Park.

The exterior of SAM is clad with limestone, terracotta, marble, and granite, featuring a Hammering Man that hammers four times a minute from 7 am to 10 pm. Inside, the grand staircase and galleries also uphold Venturi's belief that "civic architecture should be popular; it should be liked by a range of people. It should not be esoteric."

Galleries in the museum are devoted to collections that include Japanese art, African art, and Pacific Northwest tribal art, plus special exhibitions from around the world. A major expansion completed in 2007 saw the gallery space increase by 70%, enabling SAM to attract large, high-profile exhibitions and to add a very good restaurant and wonderful store.

Why You Should Visit:
Calming and relaxing gallery with a very nice permanent collection. Selections from heavy hitters while dedicating ample space to Pacific Northwest-style art and culture – including a great introduction to Alaskan art and totems.
The museum is particularly strong on modern art: both non-representational and representational. Strong, too, in 3D works. Add to this the very good museum shops, amongst which a gallery where local artists exhibit and the works are for sale.

Tip:
Don't miss the sculpture in front, the Hammering Man that hammers four times a minute from 7am to 10pm. He rests his arm each evening, and all day on Labor Day.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Seattle. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Seattle Art Museum (SAM) on Map

Sight Name: Seattle Art Museum (SAM)
Sight Location: Seattle, USA (See walking tours in Seattle)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Seattle, Washington

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Creating your own self-guided walk in Seattle is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Seattle Architecture Walking Tour

Seattle Architecture Walking Tour

In terms of towering skyscrapers abuzz with commerce, upscale shopping & dining, and splendid theaters, Downtown Seattle resembles many American cities. At the same time, it is also unexpectedly pleasant with hills, outdoor sculptures, and peek-a-boo views of Elliot Bay's sparkling water. Still, the diverse architectural landscape of the city is distinctive primarily for its landmark...  view more

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Pioneer Square District Walking Tour

Pioneer Square District Walking Tour

Pioneer Square, the district where Seattle was founded in the mid-19th century, had gone through its boom and near-bust until a period of preservation managed to save it for a new life. Today, this is the most historic part of Seattle that holds a special place in the city's yesteryear and is home to several noteworthy landmarks and attractions.

One of the most prominent sites in the area...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles
Seattle Introduction Walking Tour

Seattle Introduction Walking Tour

Overlooking Puget Sound's Elliott Bay on the West Coast of the United States, the port city of Seattle is renowned for its surrounding waters, mountains, evergreen forests, and thousands of acres of parkland. The largest metropolitan area in today's Washington State had been inhabited by Native Americans for at least 4,000 years prior to the European pioneers. The first European to set...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles
Fremont Neighborhood Walking Tour

Fremont Neighborhood Walking Tour

Fremont is a vibrant neighborhood in Seattle, renowned for its quirky and artistic character. Among other things, this famous district is home to some of Seattle's most beloved and controversial sculptures.

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At the height of its counterculture days, Fremont renamed...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Seattle Center Walking Tour

Seattle Center Walking Tour

Immediately north of Downtown Seattle, you will find the ever-popular Seattle Center. Developed for the 1962 World's Fair, this 30-hectare (74-acre) park and arts & entertainment center contains numerous landmarks. It is also where Seattle's biggest festivals, concerts, film screenings, and theatrical performances are held.

At the heart of this bustling area stands the iconic...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Historical Religious Buildings Tour

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Seattle, Washington, boasts a wealth of religious sites of various denominations – together reflecting the city's diverse spiritual heritage. Besides being purely centers of faith, these buildings are an important part of the city's historical heritage, some of them standing as architectural marvels, each with its unique story.

Trinity Parish Church, founded in 1865, is...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles

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