You had big plans to check out the Olympic Sculpture Park but got lost in a pot de creme at Boat Street Cafe. You can’t wait for first Thursdays — once Grey’s Anatomy wraps. And you’d be pumped about the Seattle Art Museum’s new $86 million makeover — if you’d ever actually been there before.
We know: You want to be in the culture club. But life — and your couch — intervene. Hence, our guide to SAM (which reopens tomorrow and really is spectacular). We couldn’t bring you to the preview party (sorry!), but we can bring you the highlights.
Sweet and Lowbrow
Don’t miss pop culture gems such as Andy Warhol’s “Double Elvis” and “Rorschach” and portraits by Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, and Nicholas Nixon.
Where Worlds Collide
Cross metaphorical borders in the provocative African Galleries and Islamic Art Collection (we love Lalla Essaydi’s “Converging Territories #10”).
Be instantly transported by the late 16th-century Italian room, with authentic wood paneling from Northern Lombardy.
Marthas-in-training will love the Porcelain Room, where design-minded curators arranged 1,000 European and Asian dishes and figurines by color.
Think realism’s overrated? Lose yourself in Jackson Pollock’s “Sea Change,” Mark Rothko’s “No. 10,” and Jasper Johns’s “Thermometer.”
Eat Drink Man Woman
Whet your appetite with Li Jin’s “A Feast” (a meditation on food and Chinese culture). Then head to Taste, the museum’s mod new restaurant, for a Verbena Tini (Square One vodka, limoncello, verbena) and all-organic, locally sourced snacks like rhubarb-chevre tarts. Just go easy.
Because by the time summer rolls around, you’ll be a total exhibitionist.
Seattle Art Museum Downtown, 1300 First Avenue, at Union Street (206-654-3100 or seattleartmuseum.org).
1. Diane Arbus, “Woman in Bird Mask, NYC”
2. Lalla Essaydi, “Converging Territories #10”
3. Mark Rothko, “No. 10”