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Originally published October 26, 2013 at 7:12 PM | Page modified October 28, 2013 at 8:52 AM

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5 must-visit museums in Seattle

Seattle Times art writer Michael Upchurch offers a peek of upcoming exhibits at five of his favorite museums.

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1 Seattle Art Museum

This is the biggie, smack in the heart of downtown, with a lively if eclectic permanent collection.

Touring exhibits this fall include “Going for Gold,” a selection of textiles, jewelry and decorative objects from SAM’s permanent collection (through Dec. 8).

Opening Oct. 17 and running through Jan. 5, 2014, is “Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon,” billed as “a major exhibition of Peruvian art that includes rarely seen sculpture, metalwork, painting and textiles spanning 3,000 years.”

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursdays, 1300 First Ave., Seattle; $11-$17, free to children 12 and under (206-654-3100 or

2Museum of History & Industry

This historical museum recently moved from an offbeat location in Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood to the splendidly refurbished Naval Reserve Armory on the south shore of Lake Union.

It’s in easy striking distance of downtown and perfectly situated to bring Seattle’s maritime past to life. Of course, it touches on other aspects of the city’s history and character, too: the 1962 World’s Fair, Boeing, Microsoft and more.

10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle; $12-$14, free to children 14 and under (206-324-1126 or

3Seattle Asian Art Museum

Home of the original Seattle Art Museum, this Art Deco building on Capitol Hill accommodates both a permanent collection and touring exhibits.

On display this fall: “A Fuller View of China, Japan and Korea,” a survey of how SAM’s founding director, Dr. Richard Fuller, laid the foundation for the museum’s impressive Asian art collections (through April 13, 2014); “Hometown Boy: Liu Xiaodong,” a solo show of a contemporary Chinese artist (through June 29, 2014); and “Inked: Wan Qingli,” satirical ink drawings by a Chinese artist who came of age during the Cultural Revolution (through June 29, 2014).

SAAM isn’t the only attraction in Olmsted-designed Volunteer Park. Outdoors, don’t miss Isamu Noguchi’s sculpture, “Black Sun” (inspiration for Soundgarden’s 1994 hit “Black Hole Sun”). Near the museum is the Volunteer Park Conservatory, which just celebrated its centennial. There are views to take in, too, including a 360-degree look at the city from the top of Volunteer Park Water Tower, which houses an informative Olmsted exhibit.

SAAM, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursdays, 1400 E. Prospect St., Seattle; $5-$7, free to children 12 and under (206-654-3100 or

4 Henry Art Gallery

This appealing museum on the University of Washington campus focuses on modern and contemporary art, with an emphasis on experimental media.

Two new photograph-centric shows opened this fall: “David Hartt: Stray Light” (work said to address “social, cultural, political, and economic complexities ... with a cool, dispassionate eye”) and “The Photographs of Ray K. Metzker” (elegant, playful, black-and-white photography). Solo shows by sculptors Jason Dodge and Haegue Yang opened in October. All four shows run into early 2014.

11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays, 15th Ave. N.E. and N.E. 41st St., Seattle; $6-$10, free to children 13 and under (206-543-2280 or

5 Frye Art Museum

This small art museum on Seattle’s First Hill has developed an intriguingly schizoid character in recent years. Its founding collection focuses on the Munich Secession in late 19th-century Germany, and on Nov. 2 the Frye will join forces with Munich’s Museum Villa Stuck to present a Franz von Stuck retrospective (including the artist’s iconic painting, “Sin,” the pride of the Frye’s collection).

11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursdays, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle; free (206-622-9250 or

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