The Week Ahead @ Henry

This week will be an auditory adventure — full of sounds, sun, and… paddles?


Performance: Seattle Phonographers Union

Thursday, July 24, 7-9 PM

Field Recording a Glacier. Photo courtesy of Steve Peters.

Field Recording a Glacier. Photo courtesy of Steve Peters.




Join exhibiting artist Steve Peters for a live performance and sonic investigation with the Seattle Phonographers Union in conjunction with With Hidden Noise, on view through September 7.

The Seattle Phonographers Union is a collective that improvises with unprocessed field recordings to explore the ways in which we recognize, differentiate, map, and navigate our sonic environment.

$5 Henry members

$10 General public

Buy your tickets HERE!


Summer Field Studies: Friendship Trail

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 1-5 PM


no wake












This week, Summer Field Studies features an afternoon in which participants will paddle through the Lake Washington Arboretum in search of musical acts, hidden in the bushes. Led by Nautical Adventure Seeker Clyde Petersen of Boating with Clyde.

The event is BYOBoat, and will meet on Foster Island.


Now on view:

Electro-dynamic Drawings: Andrew Deutsch and Stephen Vitiello

With Hidden Noise 

Rineke Dijkstra and Thomas Struth: See•ing

Ken Price: Inside/Outside


Upcoming events:

Thursday, July 31, 12:30-1 PM

Public Tour: Art Break!

Saturday, August 2, 10 AM-10 PM

Performance Tour: How to get THERE (the Dam) from HERE (Seattle) with Molly Mac

Sunday, August 3, 10 AM-10 PM

Performance Tour: How to get back THERE (Seattle) from HERE (the Dam)

Be sure to check out Molly Mac’s second post on the blog!










The Road is ON with Molly Mac (part 2)

Today’s post is the second of three written by artist Molly Mac, who will be host/tour guide/performer for “How to get THERE (the Dam) from HERE (Seattle) with Molly Mac.” 



So far the biggest hurdle in my project is the way we use or don’t use these silly QR codes. It only takes 60 seconds or so to download a QR code reader on your phone.  You can go to the app store or the Google play store (to get one for free – there are lots of different ones). You can also just grab a friend’s phone or something.

To scan a code you open the reader app and it looks kind of like a camera. You don’t actually take a picture. You just frame up the code in the screen and wait. When the phone recognizes the code it makes an approving sound, does a tremble buzz in your hand, and then takes you directly to a website.















Is it possible to whisper into the shape of a shout?

I don’t know but I’m trying anyway, and I’m using my phone and my thumb and 4 color-coded voices.



That thumb above was 7:09 pm on a July (2014) Tuesday in Seattle. If you listen really closely you can hear a dog barking, and you can hear me catch my breath when the phone buzzes onto the code, and the little digital thunk-clicks my thumb makes on the screen.

It smells like mowing the lawn.  Tastes like an egg salad sandwich (again).  If I turn my head 180 degrees (west?) then it looks like this:
















All ready to go. But there’s still the whisper-shout problem.

And also some combination of phone, and screen, and thumb, and kidneys, and Camry, and glacial geography, and heroes, and shame, and stops on Google maps, and 4 color-coded voices:






which is important,


Because sometimes,

A fact is motivated by advice.

like this:






A fact is motivated by a secret.

like this:






A fact is just a fact.

like this:






A secret is motivated by advice

((advice tried to duck out of the portrait:








A secret is motivated by a fact

like this:






A secret is just a secret (among facts)

like this:






Advice is motivated by a secret

((advice is still trying to hide from the portrait:







&sometimes (pretty often),

Advice is motivated by a fact.

like this:






Advice is not just advice.

Look closely.














And I know I could have just made all of this sound nice and YELLOW, but then how would you ever know the difference?





If you don’t scan or click the codes you could make up your own stories for these templates. Or just sign up to keep going with me… August 2-3. You should book soon if you want to come.


In the meantime, here is a low-res, color coded fan letter: I color coded it after I sent it. I blurred it before I uploaded it. I promise to explain all this on the trip.





Please support our power2give project!

Our growing permanent collection features a rich holding of prints and photographs that span the earliest days of photography to the latest digital print technologies.

Ken Price and Black Sparrow Graphic Arts. Untitled. 1995. Screen print on paper. Henry Art Gallery, gift of Burt and Jane Berman, 2006.43.4.
Ken Price and Black Sparrow Graphic Arts. Untitled. 1995. Screen print on paper. Henry Art Gallery, gift of Burt and Jane Berman, 2006.43.4.


Recently, we acquired 300 objects that need to be matted and photographed to make them accessible to our visitors. Included are works by German Avant Garde photographer Ilsa Bing; Magnum photographers Leonard Freedand Danny Lyon; and renowned artist Andy Warhol.

The Henry’s print collection has been featured in numerous publications and on PBS Television’s History Detectives series. Our photography collection is a vital resource that supports our educational and community partnerships.

Our power2give project will ensure that these works of art are preserved for generations and will prepare them for display in our exhibitions, for study by students and the public at the museum, and for access through the collection search resource featured on our website.

Please make a gift to help us undertake this project over summer 2014!


The Week Ahead @ Henry





The Seattle Foundation’s Give BIG is a one-day, online charitable giving event to inspire people to give generously to nonprofit organizations who make our region a healthier and more vital place to live. Each donation made to the Henry on The Seattle Foundation’s website by midnight on Tuesday, May 6 will receive a prorated portion of the matching funds. The foundation will “stretch” all donations up to $5,000 per donor, per organization to grow your gift.


During Give BIG, individual donors will be drawn at random to win a Golden Ticket! The winner will have an additional $1,000 added to their donation, and will also receive a $100 Starbucks gift card! Everyone wins!

Donate to the Henry here!

Mindfulness Meditation

Thursday, May 8, 12:30 – 1:00 PM

Give us thirty minutes and just see how stress melts away in the face of art and being still. These 30-minute “drop-in” mindfulness-meditation sessions are held on the second Thursday of each month. Meditations begin promptly at 12:30. Free and open to the public.

Mirror Check

Sunday, May 10, 2:30 pm

In Mirror Check, a performer uses a small, round hand-held mirror to inspect all visible parts of her exposed body. Mirror Check — one of Jonas’ earliest works — marks an important theoretical and artistic turning point in her practice, when mirrors cease to be a material utilized in her sculptures and become actual instruments in her live performances.

Formulary for a New Wildness

Saturday, May 10, 1:00 – 2:30 PM

Feelings (Wonderland Trail).

Feeling Wild? Curious about the Pacific Coast Trail? Artist Susan Robb will be hiking the trail and creating new media, social media, and site responsive art in her project Wild Times. While she hikes the PCT, we will visit the Skyspace with artist Eric Olsen and psychotherapist Nicole Wiggins for 90-minute explorations into what it means to be wild within ourselves and contemporary culture. Free with Museum Admission.

Henry Behind the Scenes: Camera Nipponica with Guest Curator Catherine Roche

This post is written by Catherine Roche, Guest Curator for Camera Nipponica: Photographs from Japan, 1880-1930.

Camera Nipponica is an unusual exhibition for a museum, as it features a collection of Japanese black and white portrait photography in which neither the photographers nor the sitters are known individuals. There are no bold names in the artist line, and no high ranking figures (as far as we can tell) in front of the lens. Rather, there are simply ordinary people—brides and grooms, fathers and sons, sisters and brothers—posing outdoors or in studio settings, commemorating a moment in time. Writer W.G. Sebald, who famously inserted caption-less photographs into his masterful and uncanny literary works, once said,

I’ve always collected stray photographs; there’s a great deal of memory in them.

Photographs are reservoirs of memory, and so-called “found” or vernacular photographs are partly so compelling because they resonate with memories to which we don’t have access. We are left only to speculate, on who the subjects were, what the occasion was, what they were thinking and feeling, and what has happened to them since.

Unknown photographer. Untitled portrait in Camera Nipponica: Photographs from Japan, 1880-1930
Unknown photographer. Untitled portrait. 1900/1920. Gelatin developing-out paper print. Henry Art Gallery, gift of Susan Tehon


There is one photograph in the exhibition that particularly intrigues me. It depicts two girls—sisters, most likely—wearing light, summertime yukata with checkerboard patterns and bold, abstract graphics. With raised paper fans and stylized gestures, the girls seem to be performing the Bon Odori, a sort of folk dance typically performed in the heat of August to welcome the spirits of the dead. Their masklike faces are painted with thick white makeup and bold crimson lips, yet the face paint cannot conceal their distinct personalities. There is an eerie, almost Diane Arbus-like quality to this photograph that makes it memorable. What is likely simply a studio portrait of two sisters in their festival best—in one sense the most ordinary of family photos—has somehow been made strange, and thus unforgettable.

The other photograph that I keep coming back to is a portrait of a handsome group of men seated before the wooden verandah of a Buddhist temple building in the shade of an evergreen tree. The men are wearing dark kimono and white straw boaters in a mash up of Meiji Japan and the Royal Regatta at Henley-on-Thames. An oval inset includes the portrait of a member of their group who for some reason was absent on “picture day.” Was he merely late, was he sick, or had he died? It is unusual details like these that make these “stray” photographs worth collecting, and recollecting.

Please join us for Camera Nipponica: Photographs from Japan, 1880–1930 before it closes on January 5, 2014.

The Week Ahead @ The Henry

All is quiet on campus as fall quarter draws to a close.

Molly’s Cafe will have reduced hours during winter break. Starting this Thursday and through December 22, the cafe will be open from 10 am – 2 pm. From December 23-Jan 1, Molly’s will be closed. Plan your alternative coffee route now!

Closing in Early January

The three exhibitions in our North Galleries close on January 5th. You only have a few more weeks to see the amazing black and white photography featured in The Photographs of Ray K. Metzker. Michael Upchurch of The Seattle Times said of this exhibition, “Metzker has fun throwing curveballs at your eye by shifting a photograph’s focal point to its outer margins or mischievously decontextualizing a subject so that it takes a moment to register what you’re looking at.”

Meztker installation image
Installation image of The Photographs of Ray K. Metzker. Photo credit: Mark Woods.


Brian Miller at the Seattle Weekly says of David Hartt: Stray Light, “The video conveys the anomie of modern office life, coupled with the sadness of a sagging industry. All the archives, file cabinets, and artifacts of traditional publishing are obsolete. Yet there’s a dusty, lingering optimism to the orange sofas and ’70s palette, to the test kitchen and cosmetics counter. Hartt even duplicated the crazy rug pattern—almost like that in The Shining—on the floor of the Henry’s small video gallery.”

Hartt installation image
Installation image of David Hartt: Stray Light. Photo credit: Mark Woods.


Camera Nipponica: Photographs from Japan 1880 – 1930 showcases examples of souvenir albumen prints and delicate glass lantern slides from the Meiji (1868–1912) and Taishō (1912–1926) eras. The exhibition also highlights a larger selection of vernacular portrait photography taken mostly by unknown Japanese photographers during the same time period.

Installation image of Camera Nipponica. Photo credit: Mark Woods.
Installation image of Camera Nipponica. Photo credit: Mark Woods.

We hope to see you soon!

Henry Behind the Scenes: Portrait of the Staff as Artists

Do art museums attract artists as staff? Do you need an affinity for the arts to work at an art museum? Yes, and it helps.

The Henry staff artistic profile
A word cloud representing the staff of the Henry

Of the Henry’s 38 full-time staff, 26 percent are practicing artists. They identify as painters, illustrators, writers, actors, filmmakers, multimedia artists, photographers, or a combination of mediums.

Laura Kinney, a Gallery Service Representative who also works with our prep crew, works with various media including “painting, drawing, assemblage, bookbinding/bookarts, and eglomise (reverse glass).” She also occasionally works with video and dabbles in website design and coding.

Webster Crowell, also on prep crew, is a filmmaker and the creator of Rocketmen the Series which had a phenomenally successful Kickstarter campaign this summer.

Webster Crowell. Photo By Michael Doucett

When Dustin Engstrom, Executive Assistant to Director Sylvia Wolf, isn’t managing her packed schedule, he’s an actor and playwright.

Dustin Engstrom. Photo By David Wulzen

Four of us are non-practicing artists, meaning we were formally trained and have worked as artists in our respective creative fields, but no longer do. We are a musician, fiction writer, photographer, and sculptor.

Nearly 60 percent of our staff considers themselves to have an “artistic nature.” What’s that mean? It’s a wide-ranging field: arts and crafts, textiles, cooking, decorating, art history/critical theory, cinematography, photography, video, digital media, music, printmaking, art writing, drawing, illustrating, acting, gardening, and serving as an artistic liaison/interpreter.

One staff member, when we were discussing how practicing artists often need “day jobs” in the United States, responded passionately, “Being an artist is a professional occupation. We need to recognize the value it has. Creative content is America’s biggest export.”

At the Henry, we believe that originality and creative thought belong to us all: the working artist, the hobbyist, the supporter, and the audience. Our work at the museum inspires us to push past limits and imagine with more daring. What should we write, film, sculpt, or bake next?