The administrators of the Seattle Art Museum and the Clark Art Institute of Williamstown, Mass., have made a wager on Sunday’s Super Bowl that will have the winning team’s museum receive a painting for a three-month loan.
Should the Seahawks win, the Seattle Art Museum will receive Winslow Homer’s West Point, Prout’s Neck (1900). Should the Patriots win, the Clark will receive Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast by Albert Bierstadt (1870).
“We knew they had a great collection of Winslow Homers,” SAM’s director, Kim Rorschach, said over the phone, of how they decided what painting they wanted in the wager. She was pleased with the one they asked for in return. “It’s an Atlantic Ocean seascape versus a Pacific Ocean seascape,” she said, “so it made sense.”
“We thought it would resonate more than, say, a French 19th-century painting, not that we wouldn’t love that too,” she added.
This museum has a bit of a gambling problem. They made a similar bet for last year’s Super Bowl with the Denver Art Museum. That wager was thematically appropriate too: SAM won brief custody of a bronze cowboy sculpture called The Bronco Buster (1885) by Frederic Remington.
Oddsmakers put the Patriots slightly ahead of the Seahawks for Sunday, but Rorschach said she wasn’t worried.
“Are you kidding me?” she said. “Look what happened in the championship game, how we pulled that out. I’m totality confident that the Seahawks will prevail, no question in my mind.”