Seattle 2016: Poster prizes selected by you!

The Joint Conference Poster Session will be held Friday, March 11 • 12:30pm – 2:00pm, in the Grand Ballroom at the Westin Hotel.  All conference attendees will receive a ballot in their registration packet.

LunchServedHere3Grab lunch and visit this exhibition of 40 posters representing innovative practice at art institutions, chat with presenters and vote for your favourites.

Prizes will be awarded in five categories:

  1. Best of Show: Awarded to poster judged most excellent overall in display and presentation
  2. Most Creative: Awarded to poster judged most imaginative or original in form, theme, presentation or topic
  3. Most Engaging Presenter: Awarded to presenter that best conveys information in an appealing or captivating manner
  4. Best Display: Awarded to poster with most effective use of visuals to describe one’s research or project
  5. Most Inspiring: Awarded to poster that motivates the viewer to take action
Winners will be recognized with certificates and noted on the conference Sched.

Seattle 2016: Getting to the Welcome Party and Convocation Reception

We look forward to seeing all Seattle Joint Conference attendees at the Welcome Party Reception on Wednesday, March 9, 7:00pm to 10:00pm.  We will be walking the short distance from the Westin Hotel to the Seattle Art Museum (SAM).

If you would like to walk with a group, please congregate at the assembly area at the foot of the North Tower escalator in the Westin Lobby. Groups will leave for the SAM  between 6:45pm and 7:30pm.  The distance is approximately 0.5 mile.

If you have any mobility issues, there will be a small van available to shuttle you to the museum. Because seating is limited, we ask that if you would like to use this van, please put your name on a sign-up sheet at the Registration Desk.

During the Welcome Reception, attendees will have access to all of the Seattle Art Museum’s galleries, including the current special exhibition, Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic.

The SAM will open all of their stores for the evening, especially for us. Please take time to visit the Special Exhibition Store, SAM Books on the Main Level, and the SAM Shop on the Lower Level. The SAM Shops will be giving attendees at 10% discount and will be doing giveaways in the Special Exhibition Store and the SAM Shop during our event. Please note that this promo is one night only and while supplies last.

For the Convocation Reception on Friday, March 11, 2016, we’ll be riding in chartered coaches to the Seattle Public Library. Please meet at the assembly area at the foot of the North Tower escalators, after Convocation, between 8:00pm and 8:45pm.  We will lead you downstairs to board the coaches at the Westin’s Westlake Avenue entrance.

Thank you, and safe travels!
Alan Michelson
Traci Timmons
Josh Polansky


Seattle 2016: Packing for Seattle? Leave room in your suitcase!

Leave room in your suitcase for what you’ll be bringing back from the Super Market: Curated and Crafted!

This year’s fundraiser has both an onsite silent auction in Seattle and an online Etsy store consisting of fabulous wares, handmade by members of both ARLIS/NA and VRA.

The Etsy store is available 24/7 and we’re adding more stuff all the time.  Browsing for that perfect gift (for yourself)?  Don’t wait to buy it!  Once it’s sold, all that’s left will be your regrets. Admire treasures already sold on the Etsy site

SeattleCityofLitWondering how much room to leave in your bag?  Preview some of the great silent auction items collected so far.  This year, you’ll also be able to add on USPS flat-rate shipping at the silent auction, for the heavier items that you don’t want to pack.   So get your credit card handy as you’re sure to find something that you can’t live without.

Learn more at the Super Market blog, the conference website, and the Etsy store.

The Super Market Committee:
Dayna Holz, College of San Francisco
Traci Timmons, Seattle Art Museum
Cindy Abel Morris, University of New Mexico

Seattle 2016: Tour and Reception Assembly Point

The area around the North Tower escalators on the Westin Hotel’s Lobby Level will be used as the assembly point for all tour departures and transportation to the Welcome Party and the Convocation Reception.


Please assemble at this staging area 15 minutes before your scheduled departure.  Tour guides will have signs identifying themselves




If you prefer to take a taxi to the Welcome Reception at the Seattle Art Museum, they can be hailed from the porte-cochere on the Westin’s main entrance, located on Westlake Avenue, on the Sixth Avenue side of the hotel.

Related posts:


Seattle 2016: Grab & Go Lunch on Friday, 12:30pm, Grand Level

To make it easier for conference attendees to visit the Poster Session in the Grand Ballroom, on Friday, March 11,  we have arranged for boxed lunches to be available for sale on the Grand Level between 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.


We hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity to stay in the Westin, view the 40 posters and interact with their presenters.

The lunch menu is below:

  • Wraps $ 9.50
    Turkey & Cheddar
    Ham & Swiss
  • Salads $9.50
    Chicken Caesar salad
    Chef’s Chop salad (Vegetarian)
  • Potato Chips $3.00
  • Cookie $2.00
  • Apple or Banana $2.00
  • Bottled Water $3.00

Thank you very much!

Alan Michelson,  Conference Co-Chair

Seattle 2016: Museum discounts

Hello Seattle Conference Attendees,

We are happy to offer an array of museum ticket discounts to our 2016 Joint Conference guests, listed below.  Thank you to Bridget Nowlin, Angela Weaver and Traci Timmons for arranging all of this!

dale chihuly garden and glass
Attribution Dale Costello, “
09 Chihuly Glass” (CC BY 2.0)

Chihuly Garden and Glass
305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA
Seattle Space Needle

Discount offered for visits during the conference, March 7-10.
Special Combo Ticket with Space Needle: A discount to the adjacent Space Needle is also offered in combination with Chihuly Garden and Glass.  The combo ticket is $33.60 with taxes and both must be visited in the same day. The promo code and website will be found in an email shared with conference participants.

Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington
4100 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA
Free admission with conference badge
Closed Mondays & Tuesdays

Nordic Heritage Museum
3014 NW 67th St, Seattle, WA
$2 off the $8 admission with conference badge
Closed Mondays

Northwest African American Museum
2300 S Massachusetts St, Seattle, WA
$2 off admission with conference badge
Closed Mondays & Tuesdays

Pacific Science Center
200 2nd Ave N, Seattle, WA
20% off exhibit admission with conference badge

Seattle Art Museum
1300 1st Ave, Seattle, WA
50% for admission; 10% off in shops with conference badge
Closed Mondays & Tuesdays

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian American Experience
719 S King St, Seattle, WA
$7 admission (regularly $14.95) with conference badge
Closed Mondays

Museum of Glass
1801 Dock St, Tacoma, WA
$2 off $15 admission with conference badge
Closed Mondays & Tuesdays

Seattle 2016: What our members are saying

To celebrate the ARLIS/NA + VRA 3rd Joint Conference, “What Our Members Are Saying” includes a guest post by Visual Resources Association (VRA) members as well as our own ARLIS/NA folks.

Serenity Ibsen is Technical Services and Archives Librarian, Pacific Northwest College of Art, and VRA member: “I am so grateful for my amazing colleagues who are always willing to share information and experiences. I look forward to meeting some of them in person in Seattle and to catching up with my chapter. This will be my first VRA conference and because it’s local this year, I was able to requisition institutional support to attend. I’m excited that this will be a joint conference with ARLIS/NA because I also have friends who are ARLIS/NA members and I’m happy that members of both organizations will be in the same place soon.”

Suzanne Rackover is Manager, Library & Archives, Paul D. Fleck Library & Archives, The Banff Centre,  serving multiple roles in the Joint Conference organizing committee, the Development Committee and ARLIS/NA Northwest chapter executive: “I joined ARLIS/NA in my second year of library school at McGill in 2009. I already knew some members of theMontreal-Ottawa-Quebec chapter since the art and art library community in Montreal is fairly tight knit. However, the chapter meetings helped me get to know these individuals in a professional capacity and showed me what a welcoming community ARLIS/NA is.”

Read other What Our Members are Saying posts to lead about the breadth and depth of our members’ experience within ARLIS/NA.


Seattle 2016: Joint Conference Convocation and Awards Ceremonies

Join your colleagues and friends in a celebration of scholarship and professional excellence.

Friday, March 11, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Grand 3 Ballroom, The Seattle Westin

Sarah Bergmann, Director of the Pollinator Pathway, will give the conference keynote address, followed by a joint ARLIS/NA + VRA awards ceremony.

Note that some awards will be given at the individual ARLIS/NA and VRA membership meetings (details below).

We will then continue the celebration.

Seattle Public Library
1000 4th Ave

Coaches will be provided for transportation to the reception.  If you prefer to enjoy a 15 minute walk to the reception, meet official conference shepherds in the Westin lobby to go in a group.

Awards at Convocation

  • ARLIS/NA Worldwide Books Awards for Publications
  • ARLIS/NA H.W. Wilson Foundation Research Award
  • VRA Nancy DeLaurier Award
  • ARLIS/NA Melva Dwyer Award
  • ARLIS/NA George Wittenborn Award
  • ARLIS/NA Distinguished Service Award
  • VRA Distinguished Service Award

Awards at the ARLIS/NA Annual Membership and Business Meeting
Friday March 11, 2016 9:00am – 10:30am
Grand 3 Ballroom The Seattle Westin

  • ARLIS/NA Freitag Internship Award,
  • ARLIS/NA Gerd Muehsam Award
  • ARLIS/NA Travel Awards
  • Sotheby’s Institute of Art Research Award

Awards at the VRA Annual Business and Membership Meeting
Thursday March 10, 2016 7:30am – 9:30am
Grand 3 Ballroom The Seattle Westin

  • VRA Foundation Internship Award
  • VRA Foundation Award
  • VRA Travel Awards


Seattle 2016: SCIP postcard maker space

In Seattle, come make a postcard with ARLIS/NA SCIP (Stimulating Creativity In Practice) Special Interest Group (SIG).

SCIPlogoThe SCIP SIG is a group of artist/librarians who are interested in promoting the creative process from their art making and bringing that energy into librarianship and libraries. For the Seattle Conference we are presenting a postcard maker space.  This ongoing space/activity allows attendees to take a break from sessions and other conference activities to create unique one-of-a-kind postcards that we can mail direct from Seattle. All of the materials are provided by our group volunteers.

We will be set up near the conference registration for easy visibility. It is open to all attendees of the conference, so stop by, say hello, get to know your fellow colleagues from VRA/ARLIS, and bring your most creative ideas! 

Peter Klubek, SCIP SIG coordinator

Seattle 2016: Featuring Seattle Architecture

Downtown Seattle has a wealth of interesting architectural sites.  The following list, grouped by stylistic period and date, is designed to give you some downtown highlights that you could see on your own.

Most of the building names link to entries in the Pacific Coast Architecture Database that provide additional detail.  This  Google Map should help you find them. A more detailed guide to Seattle architecture and map can be found under About Seattle on the conference home page.

Gothic Romanesque Revival  1890s

Pioneer Building (1892),  Elmer H. Fisher, Architect,  600 1st Avenue
This building, built on the site of pioneer Henry Yesler’s first steam-powered lumber mill, remains at the heart of Seattle’s cultural history. Built just after the devastating Fire of 1889, the charismatic vagabond architect Elmer H. Fisher designed this eclectic, 6-story office building, strongly influenced by the work of H.H. Richardson. More than any other single designer, Fisher placed his stamp on the Pioneer Square central business district after 1889.

Squire-Latimer Building (1890), a.k.a. the Grand Central Building, Comstock and Troetsche, Architects,  208 1st Avenue South, Pioneer Square.
This large asymmetrical building contains a delightful central atrium that is worth a visit. It was the original home of the Grand Central Baking Company, a delicious destination.

Union Trust Building (1893), Skillings and Corner, Architects,  119 South Main Street;  Annex (1902) at 117 South Main, Pioneer Square.
Like the Squire-Latimer Block, this former bank building fell on hard times by the 1950s , but was rehabilitated by the architect Ralph D. Anderson in 1965.

Austin Bell Building (1890), Elmer H. Fisher, Architect, 2326 1st Avenue
This Gothic Revival building has a quirky eclecticism to it. It suffered a large fire in the late 1990s after which it was gutted and turned into apartments. Belltown is filled with renovated and new apartment buildings for downtown workers and those who work in South Lake Union.

Classicism 1890s-1920s

Savings Bank of Puget Sound (1909), John Graham and Company, Architect, 815 2nd Avenue
This section of 2nd Avenue became Seattle’s banking district in the early 1900s. This templar bank facade was designed by the versatile, English-born architect, John Graham, Sr, who built a long-lasting firm that would eventually design many Seattle landmarks, including the Space Needle 50 years later.

Coliseum Theatre #2 (1916), B. Marcus Priteca, (1916),  500 Pike Street
Seattle architect Benjamin Marcus Priteca, an important designer of movie palaces on the West Coast, designed the Coliseum Theatre #2. The theatre was removed to accommodate a Banana Republic store in 1994. The building’s exterior demonstrates the delicate and orderly terra cotta classical ornamentation at which Priteca excelled.

Terra Cotta Buildings 1900s-1920s

Cobb Building (1910), A.H. Albertson, Architect,   1301 4th Avenue     
Located in Seattle’s Metropolitan Tract, original site of the University of Washington, the Cobb Building was one of the first skyscrapers in Downtown Seattle designed to cater to doctors and dentists for their offices. Its elaborate terra cotta, including the heads of an American Indian chief, is remarkable.

Smith Tower (1914), Gaggin and Gaggin, Architects, 506 2nd Avenue
L.C. Smith, a typewriter magnate from Syracuse, NY, saw Seattle as a fine spot to invest in real estate. He wanted to make a real estate splash here in this booming young city. The Smith Tower was, from 1914 until 1968, the tallest building on Seattle’s skyline, and one of the tallest west of the Mississippi River. Its composition represented an amalgam of the Singer Building and the Metropolitan Life Building, both in New York City.

Arctic Club Building #2 (1917), Augustus W. Gould, Architect, 700 3rd Avenue
This was the second club building for the Arctic Club, a group founded in 1908 composed of businessmen who had struck it rich in the Klondike Gold Rush. It is noted for the terra cotta walruses on its exterior.

J.S. Graham Department Store #2 (1915), a.k.a. the Doyle Building, Doyle and Merriam, Architects, 1527 2nd Avenue
This small, four-story department store is one of the finest terra cotta buildings in Seattle. It was one of a handful of buildings in Washington State designed by A.E. Doyle, the prominent Portland architect.

Eclectic Revivalism 1900s-1930s

Rainier Club  (1904), Kirland Kelsey Cutter,  820 4th Avenue
This exclusive, private club was designed by one of Spokane’s finest architects, Kirtland J. Cutter, who later migrated to Seattle and then to California. It had its stylistic roots in English Jacobean residential architecture. It is the site of the Donor Recognition and International Guests Reception on Thursday, March 10.

Camlin Hotel (1926), Carl Linde, Architect,  1619 9th Avenue
Tudor Revival architecture was very popular in Seattle during the 1910s-1920s, and this 11-story apartment hotel, built during the Roaring ‘20s, is one of Downtown Seattle’s most ornate examples.

Great Northern Railway, King Street Depot #2 (1906), Reed and Stem, Architects, 303 South Jackson Street
This magnificent train station, designed by the Minneapolis and New York City architectural firm of Reed and Stem, recently had its waiting room renovated, making it a must-see space. Reed and Stem designed Grand Central Station (1913) in New York and the Michigan Central Station in Detroit (1913). It has classical elements as well as a tower inspired by the Campanile di San Marco in Venice.

Fifth Avenue Theatre (1926),  Richard Reamer, Architect, Gustave Liljestrom, Designer, 1308 5th Avenue, Rainier Square
This is one of the finest and most unusual movie palaces in the U.S. Robert Reamer and Gustave Liljestrom collaborated on the theatre, with the latter designing the interior patterned on the throne room of the Imperial Palace in Beijing’s Forbidden City. Its scale was doubled from the original.

Sullivanesque 1890s-1910s

Merrill Place (1905), Multiple architects,  1st Avenue South and South Jackson Street
Merrill Place is a conglomerated office building composed of four buildings, Schwabacher Hardware Company Building (1903-1905), Seller Building (1906), Hambach Building #4 (1913) and Schwabacher Warehouse Annex (1909). The former Schwabacher Hardware Company’s Warehouse has one of the city’s finest Sullivanesque friezes over the front door.

Corona Hotel (1903). Bebb and Mendel, 606 2nd Avenue
This small, four-story building has some of the finest Sullivanesque ornamentation in Seattle. It makes a beautiful pair with the smaller, Art Deco Hartford Building next door.

Art Deco 1920s-1930s

Northern Life Insurance Company, Office Building #2 (1929), Albertson, Wiison and Richardson, Architects,  1218 3rd Avenue
This is probably Seattle’s greatest Art Deco gem. Its architect, A.H. Albertson, sought to mimic the color recession that he saw in a view of Mt. Rainier. Composed of 10 color zones, tts brickwork goes from a darker concentration at the base to a lighter brick mix at the top. Like many Art Deco skyscrapers, its exterior resembled that of Eliel Saarinen’s second-place Chicago Tribune Tower entry. Check out the ornate lobby and its gold light.

United States Government, Federal Office Building #2 (1933) a.k.a. the Old Federal Office Building,  James A. Wetmore, Acting Supervising Architect of the Department of the Treasury, 909 1st Avenue
This was one of the first federal government experimentations with a style other than Classicism during the 20th century. Taking up an entire city block, it occupies the site where the Great Seattle Fire started on June 6, 1889.

Woolworth Building (1935),  Harold B. Hillman, Architect, Woolworth Construction Department, 301 Pike Street
This was the second F.W. Woolworth five-and-dime in downtown Seattle, and was one of the few non-governmental buildings erected here during the Depression. Woolworth occupied it from 1935 until 1994, when it closed and became a Ross Department Store.

Seattle Asian Art Museum (1934), Bebb and Gould, Architects, (1934), 1400 East Prospect Street
Although located outside Downtown Seattle’s confines, it is one of the loveliest Art Deco museums in the U.S. Within the Bebb and Gould office, Walter Wurdeman, who would go on to a brief but successful career in Los Angeles, served as the chief designer.


Norton Building (1959), Skidmore, Owings and Merrill,  SF Office, and Bindon and Wright, Architect, 801 2nd Avenue
This is the finest International Style skyscraper in Seattle, and one of the best on the West Coast. It was designed by Alan S. Robinson and Myron Goldsmith of the SOM San Francisco Office, were thought to have worked on the project.

Columbia Center (1985),  Chester L. Lindsey, Architect, 411 Columbia Street
This minimalist tower composed of intersecting arcs, is the tallest building on Seattle’s skyline and is the second tallest on the Pacific Coast. Its form enables extensive surface area for windows. In a tall building, good windows and a view sell office space.

Rainier Bank Tower (1977), Minoru Yamasaki,  Architect,  1301 5th Avenue
Yamasaki,  a graduate of the University of Washington’s School of Architecture, designed this spectacular building. Hoisted high on a curving plinth, the tower was meant to maximize office space at the higher levels, where rents could command more. Storage space exists within the plinth. The shops of Rainier Plaza, under the bank tower, are to be demolished soon.

Post Modern

Washington Mutual Bank Tower (1988), Kohn, Pedersen, Fox, Architects,  1201 3rd Avenue
Seattle architects resisted Post Modernism, and it is fitting that two of its best downtown examples are by East Coast firms. This tower, built for the then-burgeoning Washington Mutual Bank, has some of the presence of a 1920s skyscraper, and is a notable addition to the skyline. At the very least it represents its stylistic moment well.

Seattle Art Museum #2 (1991), Venturi, Scott Brown Associates, (1991), 100 University Street
This textbook Post Modern building has a lot of the ingredients of the style as defined by Venturi in Learning from Las Vegas, including complex architectural references, super-graphics, and flat ornamentation.  You’ll see this at the Wednesday night Welcome Reception, March 9.


Seattle is undergoing an historic building boom, in which real estate investors from across the U.S. and the world are investing in Downtown Seattle. Count the cranes on the skyline and recall if you have ever seen more in one place.

Seattle Public Library, Main Library #3 (2004), Rem Koolhaas + OMA, (2004), 1000 4th Avenue
Four international architectural firms and one regional one competed for the rights to design this third main library in Seattle. OMA, the avant-garde Rotterdam firm, won the competition and produced this extraordinary and unorthodox composition. Its glass skin admits large amounts of light, welcome in Seattle’s overcast winter months. The building was one of the most-discussed buildings of the mid-2000s, and does not fail to engage the visitor with its bold geometry, huge “living room,” unusual circulation patterns and diverse sets of spaces dedicated to specific tasks.  You’ll get a chance to visit SPL’s main library at the Convocation Reception on Friday night, March 11.

Experience Music Project (EMP)  (2000), Frank O. Gehry and Partners , 325 5th Avenue North
This radical design follows in a series of deconstructionist experiments by Gehry, done from the mid-1980s until the present. Its forms resemble crumpled pieces of colored foil; the crumpled sections’ interiors have a free-form fluidity that suggests the rock music it commemorates. Built for the Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen, this museum was originally supposed to house a collection focused on the life of Seattleite Jimi Hendrix, but disputes with the family stopped this. In the end, it serves as a monument to rock and to Allen’s eclectic collections of pop-culture memorabilia. Don’t miss Captain Kirk’s command chair from the original Star Trek.

The Wave (2014), ZGF Architects with Ankrom Moisan Architects, 521 Stadium Pl South
This complex consists of two connected buildings, NOLO and The Wave, opened in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Built on an underutilized section of the Seahawk Football Stadium north parking lot, the Wave’s overall Modernist simplicity disrupted by canted elements became a familiar architectural direction c. 2010. Another faceted building by ZGF, this one 660-feet high, is currently going up, just above the Rainier Club at 5th Avenue and Columbia Street.

Vulcan Incorporated, South Lake Union Discovery Center (2005) Miller Hull Architects, (2005), 101 Westlake Avenue North
This small demountable building represents a growth effort by Seattle architects to create sustainable and reusable buildings. In this case, this modular, timber-framed visitor center comes apart in four components which can be taken apart and trucked to a new site.

See also the Architecture guide put together for conference attendees.   The Seattle Architectural Foundation offers tours downtown that might interest conference goers.