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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Bird in the Night

Photo: Elizabeth Mann

Bird in the Night


Morris Graves

born Fox Valley, Oregon, 1910; died Loleta, California, 2001

Our world in the Far West. I lived in a remote and extremely quiet part of the state of Washington. It was all stony hills, scrubby forests, and mountains that deflected every sound. . . The sound carried clearly, intensely. Living alone in that forest—kerosene lights, lamps after dark—you spent a lot of time outside, just listening and hearing what happened in the night.

Morris Graves, 1974

Transparent and opaque watercolor on Japanese paper
23 1/2 x 29 in. (59.7 x 73.7 cm)
Gift of the Marshall and Helen Hatch Collection, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum
Provenance: [Willlard Gallery, New York, 1943]; Dr. Benjamin Philip Watson (d. 1976) and Angele Hamendt Watson (1886-1980), New York; {probably Willard Gallery, New York, in 1943}; purchased by Marshall and Helen Hatch, Seattle, Washington, by 1971
Photo: Elizabeth Mann
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryTacoma, Washington, Tacoma Art Museum, Morris Graves, Nov. 2-Nov. 30, 1971. Text by Jon W. Kowalek. No cat no., not reproduced [as Bird in Night].

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Morris Graves and Northwest Masters, July 21 - Sept.17, 1972. [Morris Graves work on view until Aug. 13 only. Part of Seattle-wide Festival 1972 arts event.]

Walla Walla, Washington, Olin Gallery, Whitman College, George Tsutakawa and Morris Graves: Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture, Nov. 5 - Nov. 26, 1978. No cat. no., not reproduced.

Seattle, Washington, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Art in America: Washington Collection, Spiritualism in Northwest Art, July 22 - Aug. 29, 1982.

Fresno, California, Fresno Art Museum, Fifteen Profiles: Distinguished California Modernists, Nov. 7, 1995 - Feb. 7, 1996.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, SAM at 75: Building a Collection for Seattle, May 5, 2007 - Sept.9, 2007. No catalogue.

Seattle, 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., reproduced p. 27, pl. 13.

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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