Meet YOUR Matisse: Put SAM's Only Matisse Painting on View

Seattle Art Museum

100% of $7,500
$0 of $7,500 to go
Terms and Conditions

About This Project

Since 1991, when Paysage d’Hiver aux Bords de la Seine, Seattle Art Museum's only Matisse painting, was acquired, its condition has required a lengthy stay in museum storage. The cost to bring this beautiful and important work to the public, including conservation and proper framing, is $7,500 and we need YOUR help to put this Matisse on the gallery walls!

If this painting looks different from other works by Matisse that you’ve seen, that’s because it is! This painting, from his formative period, reveals Matisse to have been a participant in a late variant of Impressionism, a route he took to get to his better-known style—and Matisse painted this as the art world transitioned from Impressionism to Modernism, making Paysage d’Hiver aux Bords de la Seine a rare glimpse of the artist caught between movements.

This Matisse painting is an avant-garde, post-Impressionist fantasia of color painted just before he adopts the radical style known as Fauvism. A decades-old varnish was recently removed from the surface of the painting, but the Matisse will require further conservation to clean away dirt that was locked under the varnish and into the brushstrokes on the canvas. Additional work is necessary to replace the current 1950's frame with a more appropriate period frame that provides a more authentic experience and allows the painting to really shine and speak to each viewer.  The painting's current frame mutes the bold colors the artist used, and its weak carving undermines the assertive brushstrokes of the painting.

Putting the Matisse on view is part of a larger effort to re-envision the European galleries at SAM Downtown. Currently, the European suite of galleries leaves off at the 18th century, and the Modern/Contemporary galleries begin in the 1930s. The new installation (scheduled for March 2014) fills in those formerly absent decades, tracing the precursors to and the rise of modernism. This Matisse painting is an important highlight from SAM's collection and will be a stunning representation of 20th century European art in these newly re-installed galleries.

Your donation of any amount will help SAM put this stunning and pivotal work by Henri Matisse on view for our community to enjoy.  

The $6,975 raised for this project will go directly to the effort to put the painting on public view, including:

  • The purchase of an appropriate period frame for the piece
  • Craftsmanship to size and restore the selected period frame
  • Conservation materials
  • Staff time to complete conservation and framing work
  • Power2Give administrative fees ($525)

Thank you for your consideration and support of the Seattle Art Museum!

Donor Benefits

Donate any amount and receive a personalized thank you note from Chiyo Ishikawa, the Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art and Curator of European Painting and Sculpture and eUpdates on the "Meet YOUR Matisse" project.

Donate $50.00 and we’ll recognize your support by including your name on an acknowledgement placard, affixed to the gallery wall next to the Matisse painting from March to August 2014.

Donate $150.00 and we’ll invite you and a guest to attend a group tour of newly re-installed European Art Galleries at SAM Downtown, home to the Matisse painting, with curator Chiyo Ishikawa (dates to be determined in March 2014).

Donate $1,000.00 and receive a private tour for your group of up to 12 guests of the newly re-installed European Art Galleries at SAM Downtown, home to the Matisse painting, with curator Chiyo Ishikawa (on a mutually agreeable date from March 2014 forward).

Benefits listed in any category include those at lower levels.

Paysage d'Hiver aux Bords de la Seine, ca. 1904-05
Oil on canvas
Henri Matisse
French, 1869-1954 
Seattle Art Museum, Gift of Norman Davis, 91.88 © 2013 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York