December 1, 2022 – March 26, 2023

One of the leading Northwest artists of his generation, George Tsutakawa (1910–97) was internationally known for his sculpture and fountain designs. However, a lesser-known aspect of his career was the production of blockprints, watercolors, and works on paper that began in the 1920s and continued throughout his career.

Born in Seattle and educated in Japan, Tsutakawa had early success while still in high school. He attended the University of Washington, where he received an MFA in sculpture in 1950, and became an influential instructor at the university’s School of Art from 1947 to 1976.

Drawn from the Tsutakawa estate, most of the works that will be featured have never been seen previously by the public. These early works display concepts and inspirations that would inform the artists aesthetic throughout a long and distinguished career. Contextual works by Tsutakawa’s instructors and contemporaries provides a broader understanding of his oeuvre.

Learn more about George Tsutakawa at

Please also enjoy this Oral history interview with George Tsutakawa from 1983, hosted by the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.

Our exhibition will be accompanied by a book written by our curator David F. Martin.

144 pages and profusely illustrated.

Published by Cascadia Art Museum and distributed by the University of Washington Press

Image Credits:

  1. George Tsutakawa (1910–1997), Interior, 1946. Watercolor and graphite on paper. Collection of the Tsutakawa Family.
  2. George Tsutakawa (1910–1997), Shipping (later titled Longshore, Union Bay, Alaska), 1931. Linocut. Collection of the Tsutakawa Family.
  3. George Tsutakawa: Early Works on Paper book cover.