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    Seattle Art MuseumSeattle Art Museum Seattle, Washington
    SAM or the Seattle Art Museum in Washington is housed in three different places, with the main facility downtown, the Olympic Sculpture Park in the heart of Seattle's waterfront and the Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM) on Capitol Hill. The marvelous collection started out in 1933 with just 1,926 works and has continued to grow so that by 2008, it included almost 25,000 works of art showcased in the 312,000 square foot gallery on a nine acre park. The library has grown from 1400 books to 33,252 volumes today. The attendance has grown, since the first year welcomed 346,287 visitors and in 2007 it had reached 797,127 people coming here to enjoy the beauty. Some of the most significant pieces include Alexander Calder's Eagle from 1971, Cai Guo-Qiang's Inopportune: Stage One from 2004, the Judgement of Paris by Lucas Cranach the Elder from the 16th century, Richard Serra's Wake from 2004 also and Mark Tobey's Electric Night from 1944. The museums' ethnic and modern works are outstanding, while their collection of European sculpture and paintings are on the thin side; causing the museum to rely on the traveling exhibitions to fill the gap rather than rely on their own collections. They do have an excellent collection of American 20th century paintings by Mark Tobey and Jacob Lawrence, with some Aboriginal Australian art and various other collections. Currently there are numerous exhibitions in the works that include Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth, Rineke Dijkstra: Ruth Drawing Picasso, Tate Liverpool, Freeing the Figure and many more exciting and interesting shows.

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    Seattle Public LibrarySeattle Public Library Seattle, Washington
    beginning in 1890, the Seattle public library system began, although there had been numerous efforts to establish one as early as 1868, and today, there are 26 branches. Every one of the early purpose constructed libraries were actually Carnegie libraries, even though the central Carnegie library has been replaced twice, but they are still standing. This outstanding library has gone through some difficult periods, like many others in the nation, especially during the Great Depression, when many people that were out of work and had nothing much to do during their days would visit the library and take advantage of the excellent reading materials that were housed there. It wouldn't be until the start of WWII, in 1941, that the funding and the creation of the Friends of the Seattle Public Library would start a great rebound. During the mid 20th century, the library would have numerous "book stations" throughout the city, that would generally rotate the books they kept on hand, but they would loan more than just books, like sheet music, phonograph records, song books and piano albums, reproductions of famous paintings and various other pictures. By 1950, the library was subscribing to 200 newspapers and some 1700 periodicals.

February 23, 2013