Mary Randlett, seen here at her home in Olympia in 2003, photographed many of the artists of the Pacific Northwest since 1949. Cascadia Art Museum will host a memorial for Randlett on Sunday. She died on Jan. 11 at age 94. (Associated Press)

Mary Randlett, seen here at her home in Olympia in 2003, photographed many of the artists of the Pacific Northwest since 1949. Cascadia Art Museum will host a memorial for Randlett on Sunday. She died on Jan. 11 at age 94. (Associated Press)

Memorial for noted photographer Mary Randlett set for Sunday

Randlett began photographing major Northwest artists and writers in 1949.

Cascadia Art Museum is hosting a memorial for the late Northwest photographer Mary Randlett at 11 a.m. Sunday.

Randlett, who died Jan. 11 at age 94, is best known for her black-and-white images of the region’s landscapes and portraits of regional artists.

“Mary Randlett’s photographic vision of the Northwest is big-hearted, intricate, and tender and fully inhabited by the animals, tides, forests, mountains, and spirits that dwell there,” according to the University of Washington’s description of “Mary Randlett Landscapes,” which is a “visual record of the Northwest at its most pristine and poetic” published in 2007.

She captured “what others may take for granted … overcast days with endless and often exquisite variations of gray clouds, raindrops on puddles, dripping branches, and distant shafts of sunlight breaking through the cloud cover,” the description continues.

In addition to her keen eye for landscapes, Randlett photographed important Northwest artists such as Mark Tobey and Morris Graves, beginning in 1949. She also photographed poet Theodore Roethke at his Seattle home in 1963, images that earned her international attention. They were the last ones taken of Roethke before his death later that year.

The University of Washington’s description for “Mary Randlett Portraits,” a collection of 90 portraits that was published in 2014, stated that her “portraits are known for their effortless intimacy, illuminating her subjects as few ever saw them — something noted by many of those whom she photographed.

“Randlett’s photographs represent an artistic and literary history of the Pacific Northwest. No other book brings together these important historical figures from the rich past and present of this region,” the UW description stated. “‘Mary Randlett Portraits’ documents the region’s artistic legacy through one woman’s camera lens.”

The Cascadia Art Museum called Randlett an “important Northwest icon.”

“She lived for art,” Cascadia Art Museum curator David Marin told the Seattle Times. “Money never meant anything to her. I think she was a better artist than many of the people she photographed, but she never would have thought that.”

What’s more, Randlett’s salty language “could make paint peel,” Martin told the Times.

Cascadia Art Museum is at 190 Sunset Ave. E. in Edmonds. Refreshments will be served.

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