A Retrospective: Northwest Master Kenneth Callahan (1905-1986)

- Selected Artworks

About the Exhibition


Thursday, May 11, 2023, 5:30 - 7:30pm


March 29, 2023 - May 25, 2023

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On view is an important and highly curated survey of artworks by the Northwest Master, Kenneth Callahan (1905-1986).

“What interests me is interrelationship of man and nature in one sense- the rhythm of the wind and the wind currents and the patterns in the sand and the rhythm in the waves and the bloodstreams in human beings and animals and everything, rhythms underlie everything and are a part of the unifying thing of everything — that moves in life…”  — Kenneth Callahan

Kenneth Callahan (1905-1986), served as a catalyst for Seattle artists in the mid-20th century through his own painting, his work as director of the Seattle Art Museum and his writings about contemporary art. Born in Spokane and largely self-taught as an artist, Callahan was committed to an art that went beyond the merely illustrative. He traveled widely, absorbing influences from the different countries and cultures he experienced.

His talent was recognized early; his work was included in the first Whitney Biennial Exhibition in 1933 and he went on to a distinguished painting career. Callahan is identified as one of the Northwest Mystics- along with Guy Anderson (1906-1998), Morris Graves (1910-2001), and Mark Tobey (1890-1976)- who all shared a muted palette and strong interest in Asian aesthetics.