Seattle Art Museum (SAM) is a tourist attraction and one of the most popular photographic subjects in downtown Seattle for its exterior alone. The giant robotic stone mason creatively (not really) known as Hammering Man attracts travelers that pass by 1st Avenue, prompting them to snap pics of his iron stature which stands taller than the strip's street lamps. Cameras have to be tucked back into bags and pockets however when paying the entry fee into the art gallery/museum, leaving the eyes to soak up the sensory stimulation within.
Expansive almost to a fault (you'll hear the odd complaint that SAM fills its wide open space with too few exhibits) the gallery is set up in a manner that encourages a casual pace, not demanding that you shuffle along quickly as tour groups press against your backs. There is a dominating sense of cultural interconnectedness within SAM as works that celebrate everything including Native American arts from the Pacific Northwest to Japanese works from Asia Pacific are displayed within. In addition to the culturally enriching experience SAM also merges space and time continuums, blending post modern contemporary with historical pieces that earn "museum" its place in the title of this praised Seattle landmark.
Pike Place and the waterfront will always play first fiddle for those visiting Seattle but keep in mind that you can practically guarantee a rainy day if staying in town for an entire week. It is at that point that we cannot name a better day's destination than the Seattle Art Museum.
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