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New Exhibit Explores the Legacy of Cornish College of the Arts

Unveiling the history of Cornish College of the Arts

By Jim Demetre March 31, 2016

A group of people looking at art in a museum.

This article originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of Seattle magazine.

THROUGH 5/1  David Martin, curator of the newly opened Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds, may well be our region’s leading authority on Northwest art history.

His extensive knowledge, which encompasses the many forgotten strains of local painters and photographers, has been put to great use in creating Looking Back, Moving Forward: A Centennial Tribute to Nellie Cornish and Cornish College of the Arts, a show that explores the legacy of Cornish on its 100th anniversary. The exhibit, which includes artworks, archival photographs and ephemera—much of it newly uncovered and never before shown—focuses on both the school’s visual and performing arts traditions, frequently highlighting their glorious and often chance intersections.

This remote location, far from the centers of the era’s art world, where choreographer Martha Graham and painter Mark Tobey taught, and dance legends Robert Joffrey and Merce Cunningham studied, is brought vividly to life as we are introduced to the countless other artists and educators who laid the groundwork for Seattle’s now vibrant art scene.

Times and prices vary. Cascadia Art Museum, 190 Sunset Ave., Edmonds; 425.336.4809;


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