Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
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 182.9cm)
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, April,1969
Photo: Paul Macapia
Not currently on view


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

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

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

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

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

Seattle, 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, Wash., Washington State University Museum of Art, 3 Degrees of Cool, Jan. 6–Feb. 29, 2004.

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

Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, Big Picture: Art After 1945, July 23, 2016–Ongoing.

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

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 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.

Learn more about Equity at SAM