Exhibit showcases WSU museum expertise

Video by Matt Haugen, WSU News
PULLMAN, Wash. – The new Museum of Art/WSU exhibit “Art for Architecture” seems larger than life. And the patrons assembled for the opening reception Thursday, Sept. 29, could be described that way too.
The retrospective of architect Jim Olson’s career drew artists, architects and art collectors from Seattle and New York City. The show is an example of how Chris Bruce, director of the museum at Washington State University, is using his connections in the art world to debut top-flight exhibits in Pullman.
The exhibit also shows how art connects with other aspects of higher education at WSU, said eminent Northwest architect Olson. He said his work brings together the disciplines of landscape architecture, interior design, architecture and art.
The art/architecture connection has been appreciated by his art collector clients, some of whom were at the reception.
Jeff Brotman, co-founder and chairman of the board of Costco, called Olson “a genius.”
Olson remodeled the Brotman’s 1950s Lake Washington home three times before it was torn down to make room for their new Olson-designed home. It boasts 22-foot ceilings and natural lighting to showcase the art they have collected for more than 30 years.
Olson made trips to Pullman to consult with Bruce during the nine months the exhibit was in the works. Owners of Olson-designed homes contributed some of their art for the show.
Part of the exhibit is a room from Olson’s Puget Sound cabin, which he began designing when he was about 18 years old. One wall is covered with a woodland scene in order to convey the view through his cabin windows, which frame the scene to create a natural work of art.
The show will be at the museum through Dec. 10.
Chris Bruce, Museum of Art/WSU, 509-335-6150, cbruce@wsu.edu