Northwest Modernists Their Lives & Times

Brilliantly inventive and profoundly affected by the world around them, the artists of the Northwest school created art that cannot be separated from the history that surrounded it.

Use this interactive timeline to learn more about the Northwest Modernist artists' lives, careers, and the global events that helped shape their generations.;xNLx;;xNLx;Instructions;xNLx;;xNLx;1. Firmly touch the timeline ruler at the bottom of the screen to navigate to the year you would like to explore.;xNLx;;xNLx;2. To learn more about a particular event, firmly touch that event panel to enlarge it.;xNLx;;xNLx;Note: Artists' life events are contained in purple panels. Global events are contained in green panels.;xNLx;;xNLx;3. A lightbox will appear that contains more information about that event.;xNLx;;xNLx;Note: If there is a photo in the event lightbox, you can zoom in on it by rolling over the image, then pressing on the magnifying glass icon in the upper right hand corner of the image. To close an event lightbox and go back to the timeline, press on the “X” in the upper right hand corner of the lightbox.;xNLx;

Victory in Europe

Germany surrenders and Victory in Europe Day, or VE-Day, is celebrated across Europe and Britain. The war in Europe comes to an end.

The Allied Forces Land at Normandy, France

D-Day: Allied Forces in Operation Neptune land in France at five separate beach locations and begin their offense across Europe.

Mark Tobey Returns to Seattle from England

With war looming in Europe and Great Britain, Tobey leaves Dartington Hall in 1938 and returns to Seattle in January 1939. He readily joins the artists in discussions at the Callahans' home. Tobey immediately takes on a teacher role, and the younger painters pay deference to him.

New York World's Fair Opens

The 1939 New York World’s Fair opens with the theme, “Dawn of a New Day.” It is the first fair to place an emphasis on the future. Over 44 million people attended the fair and most countries around the world participate in its exhibitions.

Northwest Artists in the Aftermath of the War

As the war comes to a close, the bonds that have united the once close group of simpatico Northwest artists are breaking. Throughout the previous decade they have explored new symbols, techniques, cultures, and spiritualism together, while each forged his own artistic identity. After the war, the group separates and each artist goes his own way. Individually their art evolves, and each gains recognition independently.

Century 21 World's Fair Opens

The Century 21 World's Fair opens at the Seattle Center. The Seattle Art Museum exhibits selections from its Asian art collection along with a Mark Tobey retrospective.

Mark Tobey Moves to Seattle

Mark Tobey is persuaded by a friend, Seattle native George Brown, to leave New York City. Nellie Cornish, founder of Seattle's Cornish School, a progressive school for the arts, takes Tobey under her wing and hires him to teach art.

Richard E. Fuller Moves to Seattle

Richard E. Fuller moves to Seattle with his parents. His father is a well-known surgeon, and Richard studies geology at the University of Washington, earning a doctorate in 1930.

Mark Tobey and Teng Baiye Become Friends

Mark Tobey befriends Teng Baiye, a Chinese art student enrolled at the University of Washington. Teng introduces Tobey to the study of calligraphy and instructs him in Asian aesthetics. Tobey becomes a serious student of Asian arts and philosophy and draws from these sensibilities throughout his career.

7.9-magnitude Earthquake Hits Tokyo

The Great Kantō earthquake destroys a third of Tokyo; it is the strongest earthquake ever recorded up to that time.

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