When William Traver opened his gallery on Fourth Avenue in 1977, there was nothing else in the citys sleepy downtown artist quarter of Belltown. Within a few years, he was joined by other emerging spaces, but of the group, he is the only one still here, now on Union Street. Why?
Fortunately, Traver coincided with the rise of the Pilchuck Glass School. Traver, and later, Traver Sutton, became the go-to gallery for glass artists first from Pilchuck, then from all over the US, and now from all over the world. At the same time, in common with other Seattle galleries like Foster/White, glass was exhibited alongside paintings and sculptures, photography and prints.
For their 40th anniversary, Traver and gallery director Jeffery Kuiper invited 40 artists associated with the gallery over the years and responsible for its success. They include glass giants like Lino Tagliapietra, Dante Marioni and Jane Rosen, along with painters Merrill Wagner and Jef Gunn, and sculptors Rik Allen, Lynn Whitford, Tip Toland and Mark Zirpel. With high standards for lighting and exhibition design, Traver was also the first Seattle gallery to regularly issue catalogues, monographs, and posters.