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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

The Old Paratrooper

The Old Paratrooper


Mark Tobey

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

Best known for his abstract paintings, Tobey made figurative works throughout his career, including a group of realist watercolors of workers and visitors at Seattle's Pike Market. Here he combines his abstract and figurative tendencies. Uniting the man with the bundle on his back, Tobey fills the silhouette with calligraphic designs. The fantastical image of the aged parachuter embodies cosmic energy and expansiveness.
Ink and watercolor on paper
23 7/8 x 17 5/8 in. (60.6 x 44.8 cm), sheet size
Gift in memory of Eunice P. Clise from her children
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryNew York, New York, Willard Gallery, 32 East 57 St. from a label on reverse

Seattle Asian Art Museum, "38TH Annual Exhibition of Northwest Artists"

San Francisco, California, "California Palace of the Legion of Honor, ,"Mark Tobey", March 1951 (3/1951 - 1951)

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, "Collection Highlights: 1945 to the Present", September 12, 1996 - June 1, 1997. (09/12/1996 - 06/01/1997)

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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