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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)


Photo: Paul Macapia



Mark Tobey

born Centerville, Wisconsin, 1890; died Basel, Switzerland, 1976

Regionalism merges with abstraction in Tobey’s view of Pike Place Market. Its subject—the market’s sprawling Rummage Hall and the trade in used goods that occurred there regularly during World War II—anchors the painting in a specific place and time, while its style—fragmented Cubist forms energized by the artist’s ubiquitous white line—conjures the anxious frenzy of the crowded scene.
Transparent and opaque watercolor on paperboard
38 3/8 x 25 7/8 in. (97.5 x 65.7 cm)
Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection
Provenance: Purchased from Mark Tobey's one-man show at the Seattle Art Museum, April 8-May 3, 1942.
Photo: Paul Macapia
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Retrospective Exhibition of Mark Tobey, April 8 - May 3, 1942. No catalogue.

{Tacoma, Washington, College of Puget Sound, Mark Tobey Drawings and Paintings, 1942. No catalogue?}

Portland, Oregon, Portland Art Museum, Paintings by Mark Tobey, July 7 - Aug., 1945 (San Francisco, Museum of Art, 1945; Detroit, Michigan, Detroit Institute of Arts, 1946). Cat. no. 3, reproduced.

New York, New York, Museum of Modern Art, Fourteen Americans, Sept. 9 - Dec. 8, 1946 (Poughkeepsie, New York, Vassar College, Jan. 5-26, 1947; Palm Beach, Florida, Society of the Four Arts, Feb.7 - Mar. 7, 1947; Cincinnati, Ohio, Modern Art School, Mar. 20 - Apr. 17, 1947; San Francisco, California, San Francisco Museum of Art, May 1 or May 6 - June 1, 1947; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Louisiana State University, June 15 - 30, 1947). Text by Dorothy C. Miller with statements by the artists and others. Cat no. 156, not reproduced.

Utica, New York, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Ten Painters of the Pacific Northwest, Oct. {5}, 1947 - Oct. {26}, 1947 (Albany, New York, Albany Institute of History and Art, Nov. 1947; Buffalo, New York, Albright Art Gallery, Dec. 1947; Baltimore, Maryland, Baltimore Museum of Art, Jan. 1948; Andover, Massachusetts, Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Feb. - Mar. 29, 1948). Text by Harris K. Prior. Cat. no. 40, not reproduced. [Exhibition and catalogue prepared by Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute].

{San Francisco, California, San Francisco Art Association, The Western Round Table on Modern Art, April 8-9, 1949.}

Seattle, Washington, Sponsored by the Seattle Art Museum for the United States Information Agency, An Exhibit of Eight American Artists, Painting and Sculpture, Jan. 10 - Feb. 3, 1957 (Copenhagen, Denmark; Frankfurt; Berlin; Nuremburg; Munich; Hamburg; Essen; London, Institute of Contemporary Arts Gallery, Nov. 8 - Dec. 7, 1957; York, England; Bordeaux, France; Paris, France; St. Etienne, France; 1957-1958). Text by Dr. Richard E. Fuller. Cat no. 22, reproduced. [Under the patronage of the American Ambassador H.E. John Hay Whitney]. [Two simultaneous circuits, European: Five paintings from SAM, Guy Anderson, Kenneth Callahan, Morris Graves, Mark Tobey (2); Pacific: Five paintings total from SAM, Guy Anderson Kenneth Callahan (2), Mark Tobey (2)].

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Mark Tobey: A Retrospective Exhibition From Northwest Collections, Sept. 11 - Nov. 1, 1959 (Portland, Oregon, Portland Art Museum {Dec.}; Colorado Springs, Fine Arts Center, Jan. - Feb. 1960; Pasadena, California, Pasadena Art Museum, Feb. - Mar. 1960; San Francisco, California, M. H. DeYoung Memorial Museum, Mar. - Apr. 1960). Text by Edward B. Thomas. Cat. no. 66, not reproduced. [Condensed from 224 paintings shown in Seattle to 95 paintings for traveling circuit].

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Milwaukee Art Center, Ten Americans, Sept. 21 - Nov. 5, 1961. Text by Edward H. Dwight. Cat. no. 52, not reproduced. [The Ethel E. Wehr Memorial Exhibition].

Valparaiso, Indiana, Sloane Galleries of American Paintings, Valparaiso University, Art of the Northwest Coast, Jan. 28-Feb. 24, 1962. Cat. no. 22, not reproduced.

Seattle, Washington, Fine Arts Pavilion, Seattle World's Fair, Seattle Art Museum, Mark Tobey Exhibition, Apr. 21 - Oct. 21, 1962. [Exhibition was adjacent to the Art of the Ancient East exhibition gallery].

Fort Worth, Texas, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Artist's Environment: West Coast, Nov. 6 - Dec. 23, 1962 (Los Angeles, UCLA Art Gallery, 1963; Oakland, Oakland Art Museum, 1963).

Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, Mark Tobey and the Seattle Public Market, August 8-September 8, 1963. [At the conclusion, a smaller group was selected and traveled the U.S. for two years, organized by the Museum of Modern Art Department of Circulating Exhibitions; Subsequent catalogue, Mark Tobey: The World of a Market, published 1964. Text by Mark Tobey. No cat. no., reproduced pl. 4.

New York, New York, Museum of Modern Art Department of Circulating Exhibitions, Mark Tobey: Seattle Market Place Gouaches, [as Mark Tobey and the Seattle Public Market in Seattle], 1963-1965 (Cortland, New York, State University Teachers College, Dec.1 - 22, 1963; East Lansing, Michigan, Kresge Art Center, Michigan State University, Jan. 10 - 30, 1964; Columbia, Missouri, University of Missouri, Feb.17 - Mar. 9, 1964 [as Mark Tobey: Seattle Market Place Sketches]; {Newark, Delaware, University of Delaware, Mar. 25 - Apr.15, 1964}; Tucson, Arizona, Tucson Art Center, May 2 - 22, 1964 [as Mark Tobey: Seattle Market Place]; Long Beach, California, Long Beach Museum of Art, June 7 - 28, 1964; Buffalo, New York, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Sept. 14 - Oct. 11, 1964; Aurora, New York, Wells College, Oct. 20 - Nov. 10, 1964; Macon, Georgia, Mercer University, Nov. 28 - Dec. 19, 1964; Poughkeepsie, New York, Vassar College Art Gallery, Jan. 4 - 25, 1965; Geneseo, New York, State University College, Feb. 25 - Mar. 18, 1965; Jacksonville, Illinois, David Strawn Art Gallery, Mar. 28 - Apr. 11, 1965 [as Mark Tobey: Seattle Market Place Sketches]; Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University, 1965; Neenah, Wisconsin, John Nelson Bergstrom Art Center and Museum, June 5 - 26, 1965; Madison, the Wisconsin Memorial Union, University of Wisconsin, July 23 - Aug. 30, 1965; Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, Sept. 13 - Aug. 4, 1965; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Oct. 18 - Nov. 8, 1965; Interlochen, Michigan, Interlochen Arts Academy, Nov. 23 - Dec. 9, 1965).

Dallas, Texas, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Mark Tobey Retrospective, Mar. 20 - Apr. 21, 1968. Text by Merrill C. Rueppel. Cat. no. 14, reproduced.

Seattle, Washington, The Bon Marche, Mark Tobey Paintings From Private Northwest Collectors, Apr. 23 - May 3, 1969. [Exhibition to benefit The Cornish School of Allied Arts].

Osaka, Japan, Expo Museum of Fine Arts, Japan Association for the 1970 World Exposition, Discovery of Harmony, March 14-September 13, 1970.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Tobey's 80: A Retrospective Exhibition from Northwest Collectors, Dec. 3, 1970 - Jan. 31, 1971. Forward by Dr. Richard Fuller. Text by Betty Bowen. Cat. no. 38, reproduced.

Omaha, Nebraska, Joslyn Art Museum, The Thirties Decade: American Artists and Their European Contemporaries, Oct. 10 - Nov. 28, 1971. Introduction by William A. McGonagle. Essay by Allen Porter. Cat. no. 195, p. 47, reproduced.

Miami, Florida, The Art Gallery, Miami-Dade Community College [Miami-Dade South], Mark Tobey 1930-1967: A Selection of Works from the Seattle Art Museum, Dec. 1, 1975 - Jan. 29, 1976. Text by Willis Woods. Cat no. 8, p. 20, reproduced.

{New York, New York, M. Knoedler & Co., Mark Tobey Retrospective, Apr. 10 - May 1, 1976. Possible. May have been addedt to or withdrawn from the exhibition.}

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Northwest Traditions, June 29 - Dec. 10, 1978 (Des Moines, Iowa, Des Moines Art Center, Mar. 19 - Apr. 29, 1979). Text by Martha Kingsbury. No cat no., not reproduced.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Tobey and the Public Market, Oct. 8 - Nov. 2, 1981. [Mark Tobey exhibition at the Pike Place Market, a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the ballot initiative which saved the Market in 1971. Curated by Bruce Guenther]. No catalogue. [Paperback release of the 1964 title, The World of the Market].

Osaka, Japan, The National Museum of Art, Pacific Northwest Artists and Japan, October 2-November 28, 1982 (Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, February 1983).

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Views and Visions in the Pacific Northwest, June 7 - Sept. 2, 1990. No. checklist no.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, The View From Here: The Pacific Northwest 1870-1940, July 1, 2004 - Mar. 27, 2005. No catalogue.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Modernism in the Pacific Northwest: The Mythic and the Mystical, June 19 - Sept. 7, 2014. Text by Patricia Junker. No cat. no., pp. 12, 16, reproduced p. 15, pl. 5.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Art of American Still Life: Audubon to Warhol, Oct. 27, 2015 - Jan. 10, 2016. Text by Mark Mitchell. Cat. no. 116, pp. 244-245, reproduced pl. 116.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, From New York to Seattle: Case Studies in American Abstraction and Realism, Jan. 15 - ongoing.
Published References"Northwest Painting." Fortune (Feb. 1945): p. 164, reproduced p. 165.

Mark Tobey: The World of a Market. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1964; plate 4.

Kass, Ray. Morris Cole Graves: Vision of the Inner Eye. Exh. cat. New York: George Braziller, Inc., in association with The Phillips Collection, 1983; p. 30, reproduced fig. 9.

Rathbone, Eliza. Mark Tobey: City Paintings. Exh. cat. Washington, D.C. : National Gallelry of Art, 1988; p. 40, reproduced p. 39, fig. 10.

Lederman, Marsha. "How painter Mark Tobey changed the course of modern art in the Pacific Northwest," in The Globe and Mail, Tuesday, July 1, 2014, illus.

Balken, Debra Bricker. Mark Tobey: Threading Light. New York: Skira Rizzoli in association with the Addison Gallery of American Art, 2017; p. 77, reproduced pl. 32.

The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.