Painter Mark Tobey moves to Seattle in 1923.

  • By Priscilla Long
  • Posted 7/17/2002
  • Essay 3893

In 1923, the painter Mark Tobey (1890-1976) moves to Seattle. Tobey will emerge as a leading painter of the Northwest School, the first to become internationally known.

Tobey was 32, an artist slightly known as a portrait painter who had worked as a fashion illustrator in New York. He moved to Seattle from Chicago after a brief failed marriage and began teaching at the Cornish School for the Arts.

Tobey went on to become renowned for his "white writing" paintings that influenced the development of Abstract Expressionism, especially the work of Jackson Pollock.


Deloris Tarzan Ament, with Photographs by Mary Randlett, Iridescent Light: The Emergence of Northwest Art (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002), 21.

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