Vintage Christmas Cards by Northwest Artists, 1900-1990s

Cascadia Art Museum is proud to announce the return of our annual exhibition of vintage Christmas cards by noted Northwest artists and designers.

For most of the 20th century, regional artists created original works of art to send to their fellow artists, friends and families to celebrate the Holiday Season. The cards were created using an array of various mediums such as woodcut and linoleum blocks; etching and drypoints; screenprints, as well as watercolor, oil, collage and other materials.

This collection includes examples by many familiar names as well as some creative individuals now forgotten by time. The earliest card is a 1909 watercolor by John Davidson Butler (1890-1976), given to his parents the same year he exhibited his paintings at the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition in Seattle. This card stands in sharp contrast to the unconventional and somewhat bizarre foldout produced by the iconoclastic Seattle architect Robert Reichert (1921-1996) nearly fifty years later. Many of the cards reflect the era in which they were created. Most notable is the 1952 Charles W. Smith (1922-2009) image of a tired Santa, resting in a Hardoy chair with a Calder-like mobile hanging from above.

The artists often included elements from their chosen fields. These can be seen in the whimsical cards of jewelry designer Coralynn Pence (1909- 1994) and the wood veneer cards of furniture designer/craftsman, Evert Sodergren (1920-2013).

George Tsutakawa (1910-1997) tenderly documented his growing family over the years while Orre Nelson Nobles (1894-1967) produced extraordinary images with the assistance of his students from Ballard High School.

A book featuring many of the cards from our collection is available in our gift store.

  • December 2, 2021 - January 9, 2022