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The Seattle Art Museum is internationally recognized for its excellent collection of Asian, African and Native American art and for its fine collection of modern art produced by Pacific Northwest artists. The permanent collection includes 21,000 pieces and while it doesn't have huge collections of European art, it does have plentiful local art and wonderful visiting exhibits. The museum is centrally located downtown near the waterfront and Pike Place Market.
Charles and Emma Frye arrived in Seattle in 1888. Throughout a 25-year period, they amassed an unrivaled collection (eventually more than 230 pieces) of fine art painted by both American and European artists, mostly from the 19th and 20th Centuries. A trust in Charles Frye's will made provisions for a free public art museum, and today anyone can view the collection at no charge. Located on First Hill, the Frye Art Museum also includes the Gallery Cafe. Free parking is also available across from the main entrance.
The Museum of Pop Culture is one of the most interesting stops in Seattle. Located at the Seattle Center, this museum takes you through music history by immersing you in nearly 80,000 artifacts including photos, sound archives, costumes and musical instruments from notable artists. Most exhibits are interactive, allowing visitors to literally play with them. Also here is the Science Fiction Museum & Hall, which honors the greatest minds in the genre.
Located at the Seattle Center, this hands-on museum features IMAX movies and laser shows, in addition to ever-changing exhibits that include displays on dinosaurs, whales, robots and much more. Previous exhibits have included a tropical butterfly house and an insect village. This is a fun and educational place to take children but adults will learn a lot and enjoy themselves as well. Check website for ticket prices; package deals are also available. Children under four are not admitted to planetarium shows. There is an on-site cafe as well.
Seattle Children's Museum is a fun museum for kids and, in fact, the whole family. Enter a world of imagination, where interactive displays allow children to learn in a creative and interesting ways. Visit and explore the wonder of a mountain forest, sail the seven seas to exotic lands and test your creativity at an Imagination Studio. Don't forget to check out their daily programs or listen to a story at their noon story time!
The African American community has a pronounced presence in the US. Their history and culture is documented and preserved at the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM). Situated in the heart of Seattle, this museum opened its doors to the public in 2008, and has generated wide interest among history & culture researchers and enthusiasts all alike. The museum is sprawled across 17,000 square feet and exhibits the works of eminent African American artists. A five-panel series chronicles the life and times of George Washington Bush, the first African American in the city. Besides its exciting museum pieces, NAAM also houses a beautiful gift shop filled with collectibles. Refresh yourself at the on-site cafe, after taking a round of the museum. NAAM is worth a visit!
Located right on the University of Washington campus, Burke Museum is a natural history museum. Exhibits are separated into three main divisions of anthropology, geology and zoology, and focus on the natural and cultural history of the Pacific Northwest. View totem poles, fossils, including the Northwest's only dinosaur skeleton, and many wonders of taxidermy. View displays of Native American art, gems and minerals native to the area.
Explore the history of flight from the Wright Brothers to space travel. Collections at Museum of Flight include commercial, military and civilian crafts. See a 1929 Boeing 80A-1, the sole survivor of its type. The 1926 Swallow was used as the nation's first contracted airmail service starting in April 1926. For those interested in more modern aircraft, there are the dynamic M-21 Blackbird, the fastest and highest-flying aircraft ever built, and the VC-137B Air Force One, which flew President Dwight D. Eisenhower on a historic visit to meet with Germany's Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in 1959. Take a walk through the “Red Barn,” a museum in its own right, where the Boeing Company manufactured its first aircraft. There is also a library with an extensive selection of aviation information, as well as a museum store and a cafe on the premises.