Seattle Art Museum Offers New Work of Art to Denver Art Museum for the Outcome of Super Bowl XLVIII

Tsuji Kakō, Sound of Waves. Six-paneled screen, one of a pair; ink and color on gilded paper; 65-1/2 in. x 12 ft. Gift of Henry and Mary Ann James.
Seattle Art Museum (SAM) has withdrawn its offer of a Forehead Mask by the Nuxalk Nation to the Denver Art Museum (DAM) and instead will offer a treasure from SAM’s Asian Art collection, Sound of Waves by Tsuji Kakō. The offer is based on the outcome of Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. 

“We have the greatest respect for the Nuxalk’s art and culture and intended the Forehead Mask to be a cultural exchange with the Denver region,” said Kimerly Rorschach, SAM’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director. “The Nuxalk Nation asked us to withdraw the offer in conjunction with the Super Bowl and we are doing so in respect for their wishes.”

“The Forehead Mask was chosen because it is a stunning example of our great Northwest Coast art collection,” said Barbara Brotherton, SAM’s Curator of Native American Art. 

SAM and DAM are offering temporary loans of major works of art depending on the outcome of the Super Bowl. The winning city will receive a three-month loan of the prized artwork. All shipping and expenses will be paid by the city that loses the big game. 

The new offer from SAM is Sound of Waves, a dramatic six-paneled Japanese screen from 1901 by Tsuji Kakō (1870-1931). It measures approximately 5 feet by 12 feet and features a powerful eagle with outstretched wings in a panoramic view of the seashore that stretches across the entire painted screen. 

Sound of Waves is a masterpiece from our great Japanese art collection and a reflection of Seattle’s close connection to Asia,” said Rorschach. “But we are still confident that The Broncho Buster will be heading to Seattle.” 

Frederic Remington, The Broncho Buster. Modeled 1895, cast by 1902. Bronze; 23-1/4 in. Denver Art Museum; The Roath Collection.
The Broncho Buster, a bronze icon of the West by Frederic Remington from the renowned western American art collection at the DAM, is still offered by Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM.

“We are looking forward to this cultural exchange and giving the stunning screen a place of honor in our Asian art galleries,” said Heinrich. “The DAM is thrilled to support the community and get behind the Bronco Nation.”

In 1895, Frederic Remington first endeavored to sculpt and the resulting work is one of the most enduring visual images of the American West. The bronze horse symbolizes the spirit and tenacity of the Wild West. Popular from the time of its creation, The Broncho Buster stands today as an icon of the region and is thought of as the first action bronze of a western hero.

Super Bowl XLVIII will be played Sunday, February 2. Dates of the loan are still being finalized.