History Isn't Set In Stone: Rediscovering Northwest Women Painters

Oct 8, 2012

A lot of people say 'there's no point in trying to right old wrongs,' 'what's happened has happened,' 'you can't change the past.' But Seattle's David Martin thinks differently. Over the past 26 years he's managed to change Northwest art history by bringing regional artists back from obscurity.

David told KUOW's Megan Sukys that his love affair with Northwest art began with a painting he saw in a Boston art gallery back in the early '80s. It’s called "Demolition," by the late Seattle–based painter Yvonne Twining Humber.

The painting depicts a building in Seattle being torn down after the Depression. At the time, it was a sign of progress. Now, the painting represents the personal relationship David formed with Yvonne, a relationship that helped him find many more artists who were overlooked because of their gender, race or sexual orientation.

In recent years, David has been able to bring the work of these artists to local museums with award–winning shows that have drawn major media interest, including the New York Times. He's also written books about the artists that have been sought out by people around the world.

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