After returning from his week travelling through Colorado and California, Ernesto decided to explore some of what Seattle has to offer in terms of a cultural scene. Both he and his wife decided a day trip to the SAM would be a perfect ending to a week of exploring new cities.
Apart from the permanent exhibit, the museum had a temporary exhibit dedicated to French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. Ernesto commented that this particular exhibit was “an excellent example of how somebody can introduce changes to everyday life through fashion.” Ernesto was left wondering, is fashion a reaction to social change, or is it a driving force? “It was an interesting experience,” he explained. “We had been told that Seattle is a city known for grunge culture, where people did not care at all about dressing well. The interest raised by the YSL exhibit (gathering much more people than the rest of the museum) seems to show that people in this city perhaps care more about fashion than we thought.”
Ernesto and his wife also looked at the permanent exhibit. Ernesto enjoyed the “little bit of everything” way the museum is laid out. Of particular interest was the influence of European art in American art during the first half of the 20th century. “It’s really remarkable,” he stated. “Many American painters reflected the tendencies created in Paris a few years before.” On the contrary, during the second part of the century, American art started to create its own styles, with pop art being an example of how American art created it’s own trends, sometimes “defying the tendencies they had once held so prominently.”
Finally, Ernesto noted an interesting comparison between European and American museums. “It is truly remarkable, the relative importance given to local art by local ancient communities. In most European museums, art by ancient local communities is largely ignored,” he stated. “This must be Seattle’s own ‘soul-searching’, to trace roots and find a sense of permanence.”