The Seattle Art Museum or SAM is Seattle's newest addition to art. The new downtown museum seamlessly integrates old and new buildings, creating timeless, light-filled spaces for art and for people. The downtown expansion of the Seattle Art Museum opened with 118,000 sq. ft. of new space, with the ability to expand into additional space in phases, in correlation with the growth in audience and collections.
Designed by Brad Cloepfil ofAllied Works Architecture, SAM's downtown museum expansion features a striking vertical design and continuous ribbon of space that allows for the expression of natural light. It opens SAM up to the city, connecting street activity to the life insidethe museum. The expansion accommodates the museum's growing collections, programs and audiences while enhancing downtown Seattle's cultural and economic vitality.
From wall texts to audio guides to computer screens and public programs, SAM offers multiple means and different perspectives to bring works of art to life. Often the voices are those of artists, curators, and collectors.
The Seattle Art Museum's facilities arewheelchair accessible. Services to assist disabled visitors include drop-off area and parking, wheelchair loans, hearing-impaired services, hearing-impaired telephones, hearing-impaired services for public tours, and visually impaired services. Magnifiers for use in the galleries, Educational Resource Rooms and library are available at the First Avenue and Union Street Coat Check.
The SAM SHOP is located in the new North Building on the First Floor next to the new SAM TASTE Restaurant. Visitors can enter from the street level on First Avenue or from Sarkowsky Hall at the new museum entrance. Museum members receive a15% discountat all SAM SHOP locations. The SAM Shop is closed on Mondays.
TASTE Restaurant at the Seattle Art Museum features simple yet upscale, reasonably priced foods created with "fresh from the market'' ingredients.'' You will enjoy a seasonally changing assortment of small and large plates from its sustainable-focused menu, created by executive chef Craig Hetherington and award winning artistic desserts by pastry chef Elise Fineberg, and a list of excellent Northwest wines and beers.The restaurant offers $2 Tuesdays and punch cards for those who frequent the eatery on more than an occasion.
Free public tours are available at SAM. Tour times and topics vary throughout the year. Visit SAM's calendar for a schedule of upcoming tours.Tours are free with museum admission. The popular Highlights of the Collection tour offer a 60-minute highlight where visitors are encouraged to view and discuss outstanding works of art from across SAM's collection. From a spirited masquerade to a sixteenth-century Italian Room, discover the art that makes SAM unique. SAM offers docent-led tours for private groups of 10-60 people upon request. Private tour groups pay a flat-rate tour fee in addition todiscounted admission. Tours are 60 minutes in length and must be scheduled four weeks in advance.
The museum is easily reached by using the Metro bus system. Detailed rider information is available by calling the Metro.