The gift, worth an estimated $3.5 million, according to the Seattle Times, includes nearly 500 works on paper, 130 on canvas and panel, and more than 180 three-dimensional objects such as glass, ceramic, bronze, and mixed media, including pieces by internationally known Northwest artists Jacob Lawrence, Fay Jones, Morris Graves, Barbara Thomas, and George Tsutakawa. Well-known in the local art community for its strength in contemporary Northwest art, the Safeco collection encompasses a diversity of philosophies, ideas, and cultural backgrounds.
The Washington Art Consortium comprises seven major art museums, including the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Washington State University Museum of Art in Pullman. Over the coming year, the works from the Safeco collection will be displayed at each of the WAC member museums, beginning at Seattle's Wright Exhibition Space in April.
"Safeco has a rich legacy in art investment [over] more than thirty 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 Safeco president Michael Hughes. "The Washington Art Consortium is our perfect partner, and we look forward to watching the collection come to life in museums across our state."