Guy Anderson, Kenneth Callahan, Morris Graves, & Mark Tobey were the movement’s early participants, and its defining artists, having become known as the “Northwest Mystics“. Their work became recognized nationally when LIFE magazine published a 1953 feature article on them. It was the first such broad recognition of artists from this corner of the world beyond traditional Northwest Native American art forms, which had been long recognized as “Northwest Art”.
These artists combined natural elements of the Puget Sound area with traditional Asian aesthetics to create a novel and distinct regional style, particularly in painting and sculpture, with some drawing, printmaking and photography. Tobey, Callahan, Graves Horiuchi, Tsutakawa and Anderson were all immersed in and greatly influenced by the atmosphere of the Pacific Northwest’s environment.
Seattle was a common locale, which they all shared at points in their lives, and some of them were closely associated for a time with the Seattle Art Museum in Volunteer Park. Over time, the influence of the natural setting of Western Washington, especially the flat lands, meandering river channels, and wide-open skies of the Skagit Valley, became a unifying aspect of their art.
Highlighting this exhibition are select artworks of Guy Anderson, Kenneth Callahan, Morris Graves, Paul Horiuchi, Mark Tobey & George Tsutakawa.