Last day to RSVP for Collection in Focus: Installation Art.

There are only a few spots left for this terrific event at the Henry on Friday, May 18, 2012, 7:00 – 8:30 PM in the Reed Collection Study Center

Join Henry Head Preparator and Exhibition Designer Jim Rittimann, Henry Lead Preparator Dan Gurney, and Eric Fredericksen, Director of Western Bridge, for a discussion about select works in the museum’s collection that have challenged museum staff to rethink how art is stored, cared for, and installed. Artworks highlighted in the discussion will include James Turell’’s Skyspace Light Reign and Wolfgang Laib’’s Pollen from Hazelnut.

RSVP by TODAY, May 15 to Rachael Faust, Assistant Curator of Collections and Academic Programs, at

Members’ Choice

What could make the Henry’s OPEN HOUSE even better? Members’ Choice!

On April 20, during the members’ preview at the Spring Open House, Henry members have the opportunity to choose permanent collection objects for display in the Reed Collection Study Center.

Members are encouraged to search the Henry’s collection online for artwork and submit a request. To help focus your search through the Henry’s vast collections, we are asking members to choose objects related to the Henry’s current exhibitions, including Gary Hill, Andrew Dadson, and Ceramics.

Explore the museum’s collection through the online database.

Or explore collection objects through our Digital Galleries.

Once you’ve found your object, please fill out this form.

If you have questions about searching the collection, contact Assistant Curator of Collections & Academic Programs Rachael Faust at

On April 20th, during the members’ preview portion of the Open House, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., drop by the Study Center to see your choice on display alongside works chosen by your fellow members.

Have fun exploring the collection!

Deadline for submissions: Wednesday, April 18th

Inspired by ART at the Henry

Guest Blog Post by Rachel Apatoff

Apatoff is completing her MFA in costume design through the UW’s School of Drama.

UW Drama's 2012 production of Jane Austen's Emma. Photo by Frank Rosenstein.

Diving into a moment in history is one of the most exciting things about being a costume designer. This year when the UW’s School of Drama released their season line-up, I spotted a stage version of Jane Austen’s Emma and knew it had to be the production for my costume design thesis.

Because I’ve always been a voracious researcher, Deborah Trout, Senior Lecturer in Costume Design and my thesis adviser, challenged me to take my love of research to the next level by spending time behind the scenes in museums, photographing and drawing real clothing from the period (1810-1815). Because Emma is set long before photographs, portraits and fashion plates count as primary research, but nothing can rival seeing the objects in person. Taking the time to draw each one enables a profound understanding of construction, which, when translated into the design, gives a truer and less “costume-y” appearance to the costumes on stage.

I was lucky enough do so at four museums across the country: The Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology, New York; Smithsonian National Musuem of American History Museum, Washington D.C.; Chicago History Museum; and the UW’s own Henry Art Gallery.

After searching the Henry’s online collections database, I was aided by Rachael Faust, the Henry’s Assistant Curator of Collections and Academic Programs. She looked at what I’d been able to find on my own, and suggested additional objects. I made an appointment to view the objects in the museum’s Study Center and had the whole room to myself; full of gorgeous objects to be inspected.

Clothes that are 200 years old are obviously quite fragile, if they exist at all, and no other museum except the Henry had accessories, so I was excited to see what shoes and bonnets look like in person.

Nuremberg, Germany. Woman’s bonnet. 1804-1814. Straw; Silk brocade ribbon. Plain weave; Braided; Supplementary weft patterning. Henry Art Gallery, 77.8-265.

In 1815, shoes still were identical– no difference between the shoe for the right or left foot! I can’t do that to the actors, of course, but seeing the shape of those shoes and bonnets in person informed my choices as I was trying to translate my research to the stage. Understanding such small details, never could have been gleaned from fashion plates or paintings.

Woman’s wedding Escarpine. 1800-1850. Leather. Plain weave; Satin weave; Fabricated (leather, cloth). Henry Art Gallery, transfer from Columbia Teacher's College, 66.25-239, m1 and m2.

Because every dress was handmade, each is totally unique, down to its decoration. My favorite custom trim was on a sheer white dress in the Henry’s collection. I meticulously drew and photographed the trim and brought my photos to the costume shop’s draper (dressmaker). Together we puzzled out how such trim might be made and applied that technique to a dress that’s on stage in the very first scene! Go see the show, and let me know if you spot it.

Nuremberg, Germany. Detail of woman’s day dress. 1813-1822. Cotton. Leno weave; Twisted. Henry Art Gallery, intradepartmental transfer, 77.8-10.

The UW Drama’s production of Emma will run until February 26 at the Jones Playhouse.

Tickets are available online through the Meany Hall website

Open to the Public!

The Henry’s Study Center is open to the public tomorrow, Thursday 2/16 from 6-7PM. Visitors have the opportunity to see a selection of objects from the Henry’s permanent collection including dresses and photographs from the 1930-70s.

Christian Dior. Woman's dress. c. 1947-1948. Silk organdy with cotton embroidery. Plain weave; Embroidered, machine; Net, machine. Henry Art Gallery, Mrs. Theodore Plestcheeff Collection, 87.4-52.

Objects on display in the Study Center correspond with ideas being presented by UW professor Jessica Burstein in the SAL U class, Eternity in a Ruffle: Fashion in Art, Art in Fashion.

This class, which takes place in the Henry’s auditorium every other Thursday 7-8:30PM, only has 3 session left, 2/16, 3/1, and 3/15. Sign up now through the Seattle Arts and Lectures website or if you have a student the class is free!

Roy McMakin: Untitled

Check out the Henry’s newest video!

This video focuses on an untitled work in the Henry Art Gallery’s collection by contemporary artist Roy McMakin. UNTITLED is a semi-permanent, site-specific installation that is often overlooked by visitors to the Henry because it seamlessly blends in with the museum’s architecture. The work consists of a digital print covering a transom window above the door in the entrance rotunda of the original 1927 Carl Gould-designed Henry Art Gallery building. The print simulates an ideal view through the same window it covers.

ROY MCMAKIN: UNTITLED is the second of a suite of five videos highlighting the museum’s permanent collection. Visitors to the Henry can quickly and easily access the videos through their mobile devices by scanning QR codes printed on the museum’s wall labels. The video series is a collaborative project between the Henry and Solstream Media.

To Learn more about Roy McMakin, check out the Henry’s Digital Interactive Galleries (DIG).

Collections in Focus: Getting to know the Henry’s Permanent Collection

Thursday, December 1, 2011, 6:30 – 8:00 PM
FREE, space is limited, RSVP required
James McNeill Whistler. Two Doorways. 1879 – 1880. Etching and drypoint on laid paper. Henry Art Gallery, Stimson Collection, gift of Dorothy Stimson Bullitt.

The Henry is launching a new program series called Collections in Focus. This public program, hosted in the museum’s Reed Collection Study Center, will feature special guests from the Seattle community speaking about specific areas of the Henry’s permanent collection. The inaugural program will focus on the museum’s print collection.

More than 1,600 objects in the museum’s collection are prints – etchings, woodblocks, lithographs, silkscreens, and more. The print collection ranges from contemporary works on paper by diverse regional and international artists, to significant collections of 19th century European and Japanese prints.

The program will begin with an introduction to the collection by the Henry’s collections staff and continue with short presentations by Universityof Washington Philosophy Professor Ronald Moore and Sidereal Fine Art Press printer Sheila Coppola.

Dr. Moore will speak about the Henry’s collection of James Whistler prints, elaborating on the major shift in aesthetic thinking brought about by Whistler’s work. Coppola will speak about the Platform Portfolio – 16 prints in the Henry’s collection by contemporary artists such as Jeffry Mitchell, Claire Cowie, and Susan Robb, and Jaq Chartier.

A reception in the museum’s café will follow the event.