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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

The Three

Photo: Paul Macapia

The Three


Barnett Newman

American, 1905-1970

Oil on raw canvas
76 1/4 x 72 in. (193.7 x 182.9 cm)
Gift of the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum
Provenance: The artist; [M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York]; purchased from gallery by Virginia and Bagley Wright, Seattle, Washington, 1969; to Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, 2015
Photo: Paul Macapia
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryNew York, New York, M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., Barnett Newman, Mar. 25 - Apr. 19, 1969. No catalogue.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, The Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection: Artists of the Sixties, May 23 - June 29, 1969. No catalogue.

New York, New York, Museum of Modern Art, Barnett Newman, Oct. 19, 1971 - Jan. 10, 1972.

New York, New York, Charles Cowles Gallery, The Heroic Sublime, May 31 - July 11, 1986

Los Angeles, California, Museum of Contemporary Art, Individuals: A Selected History of Contemporary Art, 1945-86, Dec. 10 1986 - Jan. 10, 1987.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, The New York School: 1945-1965, Nov. 23, 1988 - Jan. 29, 1989.

Berlin, Germany, Zeitgeist-Gesellschaft, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Amerikanische Kunst Im 20. Jahrhundert, May 8 - July 25, 1993. No catalogue.

Pullman, Washington, Washington State University Museum of Art, 3 Degrees of Cool, Jan. 6 - Feb. 29, 2004.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, SAM at 75: Building a Collection for Seattle, May 5 - Sept. 9, 2007.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Big Picture: Art After 1945, July 23, 2016 - May 16, 2021.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, City of Tomorrow: Jinny Wright and the Art That Shaped a New Seattle, Oct. 23, 2020 - Jan. 18, 2021.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Reverberations: Contemporary Art and Modern Classics, Dec. 22, 2022 - ongoing [on view Dec. 22, 2022 - June 11, 2023].
Published ReferencesHess, Thomas B. Barnett Newman. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1971; p. 78.

Rosenberg, Harold. Barnett Newman. New York: Harry Abrams Inc., 1978 (reprinted 1992); p. 126.

Russell, John. “Art: ‘Heroic Sublime, or the Use of the Stripe.” The New York Times, June 13, 1986.

Heidi Colsman-Freyberger and Richard Shiff. Barnett Newman: A Catalogue Raisonne. New York: The Barnett Newman Foundation in association with New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004; p. 125, 135, 300, 301.

Ishikawa, Chiyo, ed. A Community of Collectors: 75th Anniversary Gifts to the Seattle Art Museum. Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 2007; p. 42, reproduced p. 43.

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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