Something different is up at Cascadia Art Museum, where its current exhibition opens Thursday.
Titled “Northwest Collects,” it features an eclectic mix of artwork collected by people in the Northwest, including a fabulous display of European aesthetic and American arts and crafts furniture, including William Morris and Gustav Stickley originals.
Also on view are prints by photographer Diane Arbus, paintings by the likes of Karl Hofer and Albert Bierstadt and other works rarely seen in the Northwest.
Curator David Martin has hung yet another winning show at Cascadia, which normally focuses on Northwest art from the late 1800s through about 1970.
In the first main exhibit room, be sure to see the work of Charles Salis Kaelin, an American impressionist painter whose family members now live in Edmonds.
Also take note of famous Northwest artist Mark Tobey’s postcard collection (who knew?) in the top drawer of the exhibit chest in that room.
Illustrations by art deco travel poster artist Winold Reiss, Seattle children’s book author Elizabeth Rose Stanton and a Gibson girl print by Charles Dana Gibson are not to be missed.
In the middle room, along with the arts and crafts furniture, see a hand-tooled leather-topped screen last displayed in the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition in Seattle in 1909. Also make note of lamps and other works by Seattle artist Albert Berry, Pasadena, California, artist Dirk Van Era and German immigrant Charles Rohlfs.
Jewelry, ceramics, wood cuts (Frances Gearheart is notable) and more round out the room
“It’s all very unusual stuff,” Martin said.
In the photo and works-on-paper room see an Arbus photo of CNN’s Anderson Cooper as a baby, a Carl Van Vechten portrait of the great gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, drawings of street scenes by Martin Lewis (Edward Hopper’s teacher) and industrial drawings by Danish artist Niels Y. Andersen
Also on view currently is a solo exhibit of paintings and carvings by John Carl Ely, who died at age 32.
Ely grew up in Seattle, earned fine arts degrees from the University of Washington and traveled to New York to continue his studies.
Ely’s work, all from the 1920s, has not been shown since 1930 when the Henry Art Gallery staged a memorial exhibition following the artist’s death the year before.
Note that he used materials (door panels, small pieces of marble) that limited the expanse of his art. Favorites include “Woman Kneeling,” “Face in the Crowd” and “Being and Becoming” of a fern frond unfurling.
Because of the popularity of the fall exhibit, “The Lavender Palette: Gay Culture and the Art of Washington State,” a holdover of some works can be viewed in the museum’s Gateway room.
Martin’s book of the same title is expected to be published and ready for sale in March, so it’s smart that portions of Lavender Palette remain up.
If you go
The current exhibitions are displayed through April 5.
Cascadia Art Museum, 190 Sunset Ave., Edmonds, is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $10. On third Thursdays during Art Walk Edmonds, from 5 to 8 p.m., admission is free. Call 425-336-4809 or go to www.cascadiaartmuseum.org.
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