Henry Art Gallery

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Henry Art Gallery
Henry Art Gallery 01.jpg
Henry Art Gallery on the University of Washington campus
Established 10 February 1927 (1927-02-10)[1]
Location University of Washington campus
Seattle, Washington
Coordinates 47°39′23″N 122°18′42″W / 47.6564°N 122.3117°W / 47.6564; -122.3117Coordinates: 47°39′23″N 122°18′42″W / 47.6564°N 122.3117°W / 47.6564; -122.3117
Type Art museum
Founder Horace Chapin Henry

The Henry Art Gallery ("The Henry") is the art museum of the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, USA. Located on the west edge of the university's campus along 15th Avenue N.E. in the University District, it was founded in February, 1927, and was the first public art museum in the state of Washington.[2] The original building was designed by Bebb and Gould. It was expanded in 1997 to 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2), at which time the 154-seat auditorium was added. The addition/expansion was designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects.


The museum was named for Horace C. Henry, the local businessman who donated money for its founding, as well as a collection of paintings he had begun collecting in the 1890s after visiting the Chicago World's Fair.[3] Some years prior, Henry had added gallery space to his own home on Capitol Hill, and from 1917 until the foundation of the Henry Gallery, he effectively operated a wing of his home as a free museum, open to the public 10 hours a week. In contrast to Charles and Emma Frye of Seattle's Frye Art Museum, Henry made no effort to control the future of the museum he financed; indeed, he specifically disavowed any such intention.[3][4]


The Henry's exhibition program is largely devoted to contemporary art and the history of photography. Recent exhibitions include Ann Hamilton: the common S E N S E (Oct 2014), Katinka Bock: A and I (2013), Maya Lin (2006), Lynn Hershman Leeson (2005–06), Doug Aitken (2005), Axel Lieber (2004–05), and James Turrell (2003), and group exhibitions such as W.O.W. - The Work of the Work, 2004–05, which explored contemporary art's appeal to non-visual senses and the body of the viewer.


The Henry's collection includes over 25,000 objects. The collection includes strong holdings in photography, both historical and contemporary, due to the partial gift and purchase of the Joseph and Elaine Monsen collection. In 1982 the Henry inherited a sizable collection from the University of Washington's former Costume and Textile Study Center. The Henry also holds a James Turrell skyspace, Light Reign, which is illuminated at night by color-shifting LEDs behind frosted glass. Like the Seattle baseball stadium, the skyspace has a retractable roof.

The Henry has made their collections available for research or general public interest by providing in-house and online public access though the Eleanor Henry Reed Collection Study Center and the online collections database. These resources allow students and the general public to more fully explore collections for personal or professional research. Objects in the collection can be accessed on-site, by reservation only, through the Reed Collection Study Center or academic classes, adult study groups, and researchers.


  1. ^ About the Henry, Henry Art Gallery, retrieved 2015-01-05 
  2. ^ Henry Art Gallery opens in Seattle in February 1927, HistoryLink, May 30, 2002 
  3. ^ a b Regina Hackett (2007), "The Henry Behind the Henry", Artguide Northwest 
  4. ^ Jen Graves (November 22, 2007). "The Pepsi Challenge: The Henry's and the Frye's Original Collections Together for the First Time: Can You Guess Who Collected What?". The Stranger. p. 29. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 

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