We are very excited to share this new program with you! At Cascadia, part of our work is to present the art in our permanent collection in the best possible manner. The restoration and conservation of artworks in our collection is an ever-present concern.

In a recent assessment of the permanent collection, we have identified several works that require restoration. We’ve developed Adopt-a-Painting as a way for our supporters to participate in the conservation process. Currently, we are raising funds to restore two works by noted Washington state artist Milt Simons (1923-1973).


Milt Simons

Simons was Seattle’s first African-American art instructor and a well-known local painter from the 1940’s until his untimely death in 1973.

In addition to his activities as a painter, Simons was also a poet, dancer and noted musician.

After serving in WWII, he attended the Burnley Art School where he later taught as well as studying at the Art Students League in New York. He also studied dance with Katherine Dunham and Virginia Ryan. Returning to Seattle, he studied music and composition at the Cornish School of Art.

Simons exhibited in many regional exhibitions including the Northwest Annuals at the Seattle Art Museum, the Frye Art Museum, the Henry Art Gallery and with the National Negro Women’s Association where he won the Grand Prize and seven First Prizes.

Along with his wife, painter Marianne Hanson, Simons had studios and galleries in Seattle and San Francisco. He was instrumental in the development of many art and music programs in Seattle’s minority community.

Besides Cascadia Art Museum, his work is in the collection of the Henry Art Gallery, the Tacoma Art Museum, the Walter O. Evans Collection and the San Francisco Public Library.