In just four short years, Cascadia Art Museum’s annual show of Christmas cards designed by Northwest artists has become a holiday tradition.
“People really love them,” said David Martin, the museum’s curator, who has the task of selecting just which among the several hundred card collection will be among the 200 on view in the annual exhibit.
The show, “Vintage Christmas Cards by Northwest Artists,” with works from the 1900s to the ’90s will be on display at the museum through Jan. 6.
Some of the cards have been included in the holiday exhibit before but are displayed again, such as Danny Pierce’s “Ptarmigan,” created in 1994.
“I have to include it,” Martin said. “People really like that one. It’s gorgeous.”
The woodcut by the Kent artist shows two of the birds in a snowy setting. It’s one of a series of traditional color woodcuts he made for holiday cards beginning in the 1940s and continuing until about a year before he died in 2014.
Although the collection includes cards created over eight decades, most are from the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, Martin said.
“A lot are woodcuts or linocuts, like you would do for a fine art print,” he said. And some are watercolors.
The cards on display “really are works of art done by a lot of famous artists,” Martin said. “They’re beautiful.”
Here’s a look at some of the Christmas cards on display:
Charles W. Smith’s “Santa Resting on a Holiday Chair.” (1952) Smith founded the Industrial Design program at the University of Washington, where he spent more than four decades teaching sculpture and industrial design, according to the website altarts.org.
Klee Wyk Studio’s “Bird Design.” (1956) The Klee Wyk Studio was a cooperative of four artisans who made murals for buildings, incorporating Native American designs in their work. Two of the men had tribal roots with the Quinault and Cowlitz tribes, Martin said.
William J.C. Klamm’s “Christmas” (1949) Klamm was a Seattle painter and illustrator from the 1930s to the ’50s. His series of Christmas cards “show how different all the approaches are,” said Cascadia Art Museum curator David Martin, who called them some of the most striking in the collection.
Corwin Chase’s “Mount Shuksan” (circa 1928) Chase’s card is created in the style of Japanese woodcuts. He and his brother, Waldo Chase, were some of the finest printmakers in Washington during the 1920s and ‘30s, Martin said. The two brothers chose a rather nomadic and Bohemian life, living in teepees in the wilderness and making prints.
If you go
What: “Vintage Christmas Cards by Northwest Artists”
Where: Cascadia Art Museum, 190 Sunset Ave., Suite E, Edmonds
When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, through Jan. 6; closed Monday and Tuesday
Admission: $10 adults and $7 seniors and youth; children 4 and younger free
More: 425-336-4809 or www.cascadiaartmuseum.org