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Seattle Sights: Seattle Art Museum

Indulge Your Creative Side at the Seattle Art Museum

Seattle Art Museum may not be one of the first places you think of for entertaining your busy family. However, after you check out any of its three spectacular locations, SAM may just move to the top of your list.

The museum boasts three separate locations: the main museum in downtown Seattle, the Seattle Asian Art Museum on Capitol Hill, and the Olympic Sculpture Park on the shores of the Puget Sound. Though it started as a mere 1,926 pieces at its opening in 1933, the museum now displays over 25,000 pieces and is a fantastic place to experience a variety of works with a focus on modern and ethnic pieces.

Seattle Art Museum

The Main Museum: Seattle Art Museum

The Main Museum building is located in the core of Seattle’s bustling downtown.  Illuminated galleries showcase a number of collections, temporary installations and special exhibits.  The art museum highlights include a look back into Northwest history in their Native American galleries, and a global wonder with their sizable collection of Australian Aboriginal art.  With both local and worldwide exhibitions, the museum is a rich cultural experience.

Don’t miss “Hammering Man” a tribute to the working man, located outside the main entrance.  This 48 foot kinetic sculpture is one of a number located in cities around the world.  Designed by Jonathan Bergman, it works around the clock- with four hammer movements a minute 24 hours a day 364 days a year.  The “Hammering Man” rests his weary arm every year on Labor Day.

Seattle Art Museum open Wednesday through Sunday year round.  SAM Collections and Installations are free to all the first Thursday of every month, and free to seniors the first Friday of every month.  TICKETS

Seattle Art Museum | 1300 First Avenue, Seattle

The Asian Art Museum

Asian Art MuseumOnce the main museum, the Art Deco building in Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park opened to the public as The Seattle Asian Art Museum after a three year renovation in 1994.  While the collection started with displays of Chinese and Japanese art, it has since expanded to include art from Korea, the Himalayas, the Philippines, India and Vietnam.  The current exhibit through October 9th may just give you the blues.  Mood Indigo: Textiles from Around the World is a study in how textiles dyed in indigo can affect the mood.  You’ll see everything from a silk court robe from China to an ancient fragment from Peru and Egypt… and learn about the many meanings of this impactful color.

Asian Art Museum | 1400 East Prospect Street

seattle art museum

Olympic Sculpture Park

Olympic Structure Park is a fantastic place to take a leisurely stroll enjoying some of Seattle’s amazing sunshine, breath-taking views of the Puget Sound, and carefully curated art installations. The Olympic Sculpture Park is always free to the public and features works from SAM’s collection, including travelling works.  The landscape is designed to represent native ecosystems complete with plants no longer indigenous to this area. Aside from displaying magnificent artistic masterpieces-Olympic Sculpture Park is also making an environmental difference.  Some of the ecological goals include creating a salmon habitat and reduced runoff.


SAM Shop- FacebokDon’t Forget to Shop SAM

End your experience with a little something to remember your trip, a gift for someone you love, or a fine piece of art.  SAM Bookss, SAM Shop and SAM Gallery offer collections of art, books and locally made jewelry.  Museum members get 10% off at SAM Books and SAM Shop.



Google Reviews

“I love the SAM. Multiple visits now and every time it is enjoyable, even for their permanent exhibits. It's also a good "first" art museum for people new to the art scene. It doesn't get too far out there or appear too high-brow. It is a good mix of high art and art that is approachable by the Everyman.” – Noah Darnell

“I was hesitant to bring my three year old daughter with me but the family room and play area were an amazing respite. Short breaks there allowed us to happily tour the entire museum without incident! The layout and exhibits were calming and well worth admission.” – Michael Kolb

“With beautiful works by the masters and special exhibitions, what's not to love about SAM? I especially appreciate our local artists work like the Glass Exhibition of Chihuly and Pilchuck artists as well as the gorgeous Native American ...MoreWith beautiful works by the masters and special exhibitions, what's not to love about SAM? I especially appreciate our local artists work like the Glass Exhibition of Chihuly and Pilchuck artists as well as the gorgeous Native American work. The abstract work is big, bold and beautiful. The curators are knowledgeable and the pieces are very unique and approachable. Seattle is blessed to have such an amazing museum.”    - Laurie G.


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