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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Fly Your Own Thing

Fly Your Own Thing


Alden Mason

American, 1919 - 2013

While a professor at the University of Washington (1949-81), Mason taught a young budding artist, Chuck Close, and formed a friendship that continues today. Mason recalls that Close, a 1962 graduate, was invited back in the late 1960s as a visiting artist. While there, Close offered Mason the use of his airbrush, a device originally designed to retouch photographs, but nevertheless a suitable tool for painters to experiment with in their work. In Fly Your Own Things, Mason used pencil, oil crayons and the airbrush to articulate the playful and wildly fantastical forms.
Air-brushed pigments, pencil, and oil crayon on paper, board-mounted
23 13/16 x 28 3/4 in. (60.5 x 73 cm)
Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection
Provenance: The artist; purchased by the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA, Oct. 1968
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Wash., Seattle Art Museum Pavilion, 54th Annual Exhibition of Northwest Artists, Oct. 1968. Cat. no. 58, reproduced.

Anchorage, Alas., Anchorage Historical and Fine Arts Museum, Northwest Paintings, Drawings and Prints, 1972

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., Art of the Pacific Northwest from the 1930s to the Present, Feb. 8-May 5, 1974. [Seattle, Wash., Seattle Art Museum, July 12-Aug. 25, 1974; Portland, Oreg., Portland Art Museum, Sept. 17-Oct. 13, 1974]. Cat. no. 71, reproduced

Seattle, Wash., Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Alden Mason: A Selective Survey, Oct. 13-Dec. 6, 1987. Text by Chris Bruce and Regina Hackett. Cat. no. 6

Seattle, Wash., Seattle Art Museum, Alden Mason, Nov. 6, 2010-July 17, 2011

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.

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