Seattle Times arts writer Michael Upchurch reports:
For more than half a century, the art collection of Bagley and Virginia Wright has been one of the privately held – though frequently shared – treasures of the Pacific Northwest. Now the collection is going public with the gift of the Wright Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art to the Seattle Art Museum.
The collection was built up with SAM in mind, and includes more than 200 artworks by Rothko, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman and dozens of other major figures. It explores art movements ranging from Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting to Pop art, Minimalism and Postmodernism.
In a press release issued on Thursday, Kimerly Rorschach, SAM’s director and CEO, declared: “With their gift, Seattle’s post-war collection becomes one of the most important museum collections in the country.”
The Wrights have played key roles in the history of SAM, notably in pushing for the museum’s move from Volunteer Park to its downtown location in 1991, as well as its 2007 expansion. SAM will display selections from the Wright Collection in the modern and contemporary galleries next spring, and an exhibit focusing on abstract works from the collection (along with other works in the SAM collection and some pieces on loan) is planned for the summer of 2016.