Virginia Wright (1929-2020) was born in Seattle to Prentice Bloedel and Virginia Merrill Bloedel and raised in British Columbia. Out of college, she worked for Sidney Janis Gallery in Manhattan and began collecting art. In New York she met her future husband, Bagley Wright (1924–2011). She was instrumental in the founding of the Contemporary Arts Council, Current Editions gallery, the Wright Exhibition Space, and the Washington Art Consortium. Jinny and Bagley Wright both served on SAM’s Board of Trustees; Jinny for 60 years and as President of SAM’s Board from 1986–1992. These years coincided with the construction and opening of SAM’s downtown Robert Venturi building in 1991—the museum’s first major transformation since its opening in 1933, and a major shift in Seattle’s cultural life and to downtown First Avenue. The gift of the Wright Collection to the Seattle Art Museum includes more than 300 artworks, forever transforming the museum into a destination for great modern art.
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