From the Director




What, you say? Indeed. It is a Happy New FISCAL Year for us here at your Saginaw Art Museum, beginning anew on August 1 of each year. And so we celebrate the wonderful year we've had and look ahead with some resolutions for the one before us...

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Guided by the Light | The Inaugural Great Lakes Bay En Plein Air Festival

The inaugural Great Lakes Bay En Plein Air Festival, which was sponsored through the auspices of TheSaginaw Art Museum and pulled together 52 artists from across the state of Michigan with the goal of painting original works of art outdoors, on location, at sites throughout the region between June 15-21st, has resulted in a profound and singular success that resonates...

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Macy's After Hours


Wednesday, September 16


Free event. Refreshments provided. 






Book Club

September's Book:

American Wilderness: The Story of the Hudson River School of Painting by Barbara Babcock Millhouse

Discuss the book and enjoy coffee with Assistant Curator Eric Birkle

Tuesday, September 8th at 10am

See more upcoming books here!




Museum Day Live! 

Free admission on September 26, 2015 with downloadable Museum Day Live! ticket.

Click on the icon below for details:

MDLive logo



Macy's Shop for a Cause




Purchase a $5 pass at SAM. All proceeds benefit the Museum.

Saturday, August 29

25% off all day!




Highlights from the Collection


Karel AppelSunshine People: Smiling in the Sun, 1974

This work is a lithograph on paper by Dutch painter, sculptor, and poet Christiaan Karel Appel who was one of the founders of the 1948 European avant-garde movement known as COBRA. Simply referring to the names of the cities in which the members of the movement resided (Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam), the inspiration for COBRA artwork derives from spontaneity and experimentation. Artists practicing in this style were particularly interested in children’s drawings, “primitive” works of art, and the compositions of Paul Klee and Joan Miró.

The COBRA movement to which Appel belonged was itself part of a larger stylistic movement known as abstract expressionism. Abstract expressionism exhibits a combination of the emotional intensity of German Expressionism with the aesthetic preferences of the anti-figural abstract schools in Europe, such as Cubism, Futurism, and Bauhaus. Although Appel’s works do include figures, he maintains abstract expressionism’s rebellious sensibility by rendering them nearly indistinguishable. For example, in Sunshine People: Smiling in the Sun, the solid blue shape on the composition’s left-hand side suggests the profile of a human face, yet it is without attachment to a human body, and appears to float freely through a sea of color. Indeed, the bright and highly saturated colors convey a lighthearted mood and create a luminous “space,” effectively removing all notions of seriousness just as the artist intended.