Seattle Art Museum (SAM) and New England’s Clark Art Institute are wagering temporary loans of major paintings based on the outcome of Super Bowl XLIX between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. The masterpieces that have been anted up showcase the beautiful landscapes of the Northwest and the Northeast respectively.
The majestic Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast from 1870 by Albert Bierstadt from SAM’s American art collection is wagered by Kimerly Rorschach, SAM’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO.
Winslow Homer’s masterpiece, West Point, Prout's Neck (1900), one of the greatest works in the Clark’s noted Homer collection, is wagered by Michael Conforti, director of the Clark Art Institute.
The winning museum will receive a three-month loan of the prized artwork. All shipping and expenses will be paid by the losing museum.
“I am sure that this beautiful Homer painting will be coming to Seattle after our Seahawks defeat the Patriots for another Super Bowl win. We are already making plans to host this incredible work of American art in our galleries so that the 12s can enjoy it,” said Rorschach.
“The way we see it, nobody loses with this wager,” said Conforti. “Albert Bierstadt was raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts, so we will be very happy to welcome the work of a native son back to New England following the Patriots’ win on game day. Having just opened our new building, we’ve got just the right spot to show this remarkable Bierstadt and know our visitors will love the chance to see it.”
Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast, 1870 by Albert Bierstadt
In 1870, Albert Bierstadt painted one of the most novel subjects of his career: Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast. This spectacular, eight-foot-wide view of Puget Sound resulted from newly reawakened interest in a region the artist had visited only briefly seven years before. This painting is more than just a landscape painting. It is also a historical work, a narrative of an ancient maritime people, and a rumination on the ages-old mountains, basaltic rocks, dense woods, glacial rivers, and surf-pounded shores that have given the Northwest its look and also shaped its culture.
Clark Art Institute’s Wager:
West Point, Prout’s Neck, 1900 by Winslow Homer
Homer considered West Point, Prout’s Neck one of his greatest seascapes, the culmination of his intense study of the coast of Maine where he spent his last years as an artist. Waves crash against massive rocks as bands of brilliant color stretch across the horizon, casting a rosy glow over the ocean. “The picture is painted fifteen minutes after sunset—not one minute before,” wrote Homer, who went on to explain that recording such a fleeting moment took “many days of careful observation.” The brilliance of Homer's color and brushwork expresses brilliantly the power of nature.