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Safeco makes large art donation to Washington Art Consortium

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on Feb. 23, 2010 at 9:55 pm |
February 23, 2010 9:55 pm

Safeco Insurance announced recently that it has donated more than 800 works from the Safeco Art Collection to the Washington Art Consortium, an educational cooperative of seven Washington museums including the Tacoma Art Museum. The Safeco collection is the oldest and most renowned corporate collection of exclusively Northwest art, said the corporation in a press release, and this donation represents the company’s “continued commitment to the Northwest community.”

Among the donation are works of art by internationally known Northwest artists Jacob Lawrence, Fay Jones, Morris Graves, Barbara Thomas and George Tsutakawa, and includes includes nearly 500 works on paper, 130 works on canvas and panel and more than 180 three-dimensional objects including glass, ceramic, bronze and mixed media. The donated works will be exhibited during the coming year at WAC member museums following an exhibition of selected works at the Wright Exhibition Space in Seattle this April. Safeco will also continue to display works in its offices.

WAC members include the Tacoma Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Henry Art Gallery, the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane, Whatcom Museum of History and Art, Museum of Art at Washington State University and the Western Gallery in Bellingham.

“Safeco has a rich legacy in art in investment expanding more than 30 years, so it was important to find a donation partner that could preserve the collection in such a way that would honor the rich history of the Northwest and its art,” said Michael Hughes, Safeco President. “The Washington Art Consortium is our perfect partner, and we look forward to watching the collection come to life in museums across our state.”

“It’s an honor to be the stewards of an art collection that represents the Northwest’s rich artistic heritage,” said Stephanie Stebich, president of Washington Art Consortium and director of Tacoma Art Museum. “This donation is unparalleled in its size, its importance and its impact on Northwest culture. The Washington Art Consortium is proud to accept the donation and keep the collection available to the community for generations to come.”

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