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The Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM) in Volunteer Park is a designated city landmark. From 1933 to 1981, the building housed the main Seattle Art Museum (SAM).
The "Art Ladder": the main staircase of the 1991 Robert Venturi-designed wing of SAM.
The Naval Reserve Armory, now home to MOHAI.
Artist and musician Whiting Tennis (left) performs with his band at an opening at the Henry Art Gallery.

Seattle, Washington is home to four major art museums and galleries: the Frye Art Museum, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle Art Museum, [1] and the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Several Seattle museums and cultural institutions that are not specifically art museums also have excellent art collections, most notably the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, which has an excellent collection of Native American artwork.

Seattle is also home to well over 100 commercial art galleries, at least a dozen non-profit art galleries, and perhaps a hundred artists' studios that are open to the public at least once a month. About half of these galleries and studios are concentrated in one neighborhood, Pioneer Square.


Name Neighborhood Type Summary
Ballard Locks Museum/Visitor Center Ballard History Artifacts and exhibits of Hiram M. Chittenden Locks dedicated in 1917 website
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center Lower Queen Anne History website, innovations and inventions around the world to make life better
Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture University District Natural history Part of the University of Washington, includes fossils, natural history dioramas, Native American artifacts, Pacific Rim cultures exhibit, gems and minerals
Center for Wooden Boats South Lake Union Maritime Historic wooden sailboats, rowboats and other boats, locations in Lake Union Park and Cama Beach State Park
Center on Contemporary Art Seattle Art website, contemporary exhibitions at various locations
Chihuly Garden and Glass Lower Queen Anne Art Studio glass of Dale Chihuly, located in the Seattle Center
Coast Guard Museum Northwest SoDo Military Includes U.S. Coast Guard ship models, uniforms, photos and artifacts
Connections Museum Georgetown Technology website Working telephone switching systems, old telephones and payphones, teletypes
Daybreak Star Cultural Center Magnolia Art Native American art gallery and cultural center operated by United Indians of All Tribes
Museum of Pop Culture, aka MoPOP Lower Queen Anne Media Popular culture, includes rock & roll and popular music memorabilia, interactive exhibits, Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame
Frye Art Museum First Hill Art website, Painting and sculpture from the nineteenth century to the present
Georgetown Steam Plant Georgetown Technology Steam engines in the former power plant
Giant Shoe Museum Downtown Commodity Located in Pike Place Market, collection of giant shoes [2]
Henry Art Gallery University District Art The art museum of the University of Washington, includes rotating exhibitions of contemporary art
History House of Greater Seattle Fremont History - Local History and heritage of Seattle and its neighborhoods
Jack Straw New Media Gallery University District Art website, non-profit multidisciplinary audio arts center
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Pioneer Square History Seattle's role in the Klondike Gold Rush
Last Resort Fire Department Museum Downtown Firefighting website, vintage fire trucks, equipment, uniforms, located at the HQ for the Seattle Fire Department
Living Computer Museum SoDo Computer History of the development of computers with vintage computers displayed for interactive public use
Log House Museum West Seattle Local history website, operated by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society
Museum of Flight South Aerospace Incorporates Boeing's original manufacturing plant, the largest private air and space museum in the world includes private and military aircraft
Museum of History and Industry South Lake Union History Washington's history and culture. Largest heritage organization in the State of Washington, with a collection of over 4 million artifacts, photographs, and archival materials, primarily related to the history of Seattle and the greater Puget Sound region.
Museum of Museums Capitol Hill Contemporary Art Three floors of visual art and installations, with a gift shop, movie theater, and classroom space. website
National Nordic Museum; formerly known as Nordic Heritage Museum Ballard Ethnic - Nordic Heritage of Seattle's Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish immigrants; expanded in 2018 with a new building and permanent exhibition focused on a broader understanding of Nordic life and culture as it has evolved over the last twelve thousand years.
Northwest African American Museum Central District Ethnic - African American African American heritage in the Northwest
Northwest Nikkei Museum Central District Ethnic Operated by the Japanese Cultural Community Center, heritage and history of the Pacific Northwest’s Nikkei community
Northwest Seaport South Lake Union Maritime Includes the Arthur Foss tugboat, Lightship 83
Olympic Sculpture Park Downtown Art 9-acre sculpture park
Pacific Science Center Lower Queen Anne Science Exhibits include health, dinosaurs, space, human body, Puget Sound, technology
Photographic Center Northwest Capitol Hill Art website, includes a contemporary photography gallery
Pioneer Association of the State of Washington Madison Park History, Genealogy, Library, Oldest history organization in the State of Washington, meeting since 1871, incorporated 1895; headquarters at historic 1910 Washington Pioneer Hall on the shores of Lake Washington; Pioneer Hall is on the United States National Park Service register of Historic Places.
Seattle Art Museum Downtown Art 3 facilities: main museum with diverse collections, Seattle Asian Art Museum and the Olympic Sculpture Park
Seattle Asian Art Museum Capitol Hill Art Asian art, facility of the Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Central College M. Rosetta Hunter Art Gallery Capitol Hill Art website
Seattle Children's Museum Lower Queen Anne Children's Located in the Seattle Center
Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame SoDo Sports Located at T-Mobile Park
Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum Downtown Law enforcement History of policing in the Pacific Northwest
Seattle Pinball Museum Chinatown-International District Amusement website, vintage pinball machines
Seattle University Galleries First Hill Art Hedreen Gallery at the Lee Center for the Arts, [3] Kinsey Gallery, [4] Vachon Gallery [5]
Steamship Virginia V South Lake Union Maritime 1922 steamship
The Unity Museum University District Envisioning One Humanity website
Wing Luke Asian Museum Chinatown-International District Ethnic - Pan Asian Pacific American Culture, art and history of Asian Pacific Americans

Defunct museums

See also


  1. ^ Langner, Erin. "Paul Kuniholm Pauper Exhibits At Seattle Art Museum". Seattle Art Museum. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  2. ^ "Giant Shoe Museum". Roadside America. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Hedreen Gallery". Seattle University. Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Kinsey Gallery". Seattle University. Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Vachon Gallery". Seattle University. Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Seattle, Washington: Seattle Museum of the Mysteries (Closed)". Roadside America. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  7. ^ "Official site". Northwest Museum of Legends and Lore. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Port to end pact with maritime museum". Seattle PI. February 26, 2008. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Official site". Western Bridge. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  10. ^ "Western Bridge Melts into the Air". The Stranger. November 7, 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Wright Exhibition Space to close, art going to SAM". Seattle Times. July 14, 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2016.