The Seattle Art Museum and Three Ways You Can Visit for Free!

There are many interesting museums in Seattle and several ways you can visit them for free. Continue reading to learn more about the Seattle Art Museum and how you can visit for free!

The Seattle Art Museum

Location: 1300 First Ave., Seattle, WA

Hours: Closed Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday 10AM-5PM, Thursday 10AM-9PM, Friday-Sunday 10AM-5PM. Always check the SAM website before visiting for the most updated information.

Parking: The Seattle Art Museum does not have parking. You will have to find street parking (free on Sundays) or park in a garage. Street parking costs between $2-3/hour and is limited to two hours. Parking garages range in price. If you plan to spend more than two hours at the museum, you will need to park in a garage.

Admission Fee: General Admission for adults is $19.95. This does not include entry to any of the special/temporary exhibits.

There are THREE ways you can visit for FREE.

1) Museum on Us: Show your Bank of America (or Merill Lynch) card and ID and get free general admission (for one person only) the first weekend of each month. Go on a Sunday to take advantage of free street parking.

2) Seattle Public Library Card: Cardholders can reserve tickets for general admission through the library website site for free.

3) First Thursdays: The first Thursday of every month is free. Special exhibition tickets are half price on this day.

Museum Overview

The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) in downtown Seattle is made up of two floors of permanent displays. They also feature temporary exhibitions from around the world. Check the website to see what they have before you visit. The Seattle Art Museum also features some interactive art displays, videos, short skits, and small documentaries.

The first floor of the museum is made up of Modern and Contemporary Art, as well as displays representing First Nations, and Asian cultures.

Modern and Contemporary Art Collection

Bronze Statue that is part of the First Nation’s Collection

A display on the 1st floor representing important First Nation issues such as treaty rights, and environment. Designed by Sonny Assu.

The second floor is made up of exhibits representing Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. I liked the second floor better and wished that I had started there. Contemporary and Modern arts are not my thing.

Part of the African Collection

Part of the African Collection: Acali Masks

Collection of porcelain tea sets and dishes

Part of the Islamic Art Collection

I spent about 2 hours browsing through the collections. I like art, but I don’t know much about it and wasn’t particularly interested in any specific exhibition there. If you do have particular interests and you love art museums you will need more time. If you also plan to visit one of the temporary exhibits, you will need even more time.

Even if you aren’t a major fan of art, I think everyone will find something worth their time at the Seattle Art Museum. Since Seattle has a lot of rainy days, consider visiting the Seattle Art Museum as an alternative if outdoor activities are not an option.

Let us know what you thought of the Seattle Art Museum in the comments below!

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