Picasso, Rembrandt, Goya artworks feared damaged, lost in Seattle art gallery fire

Precious pieces of art are feared lost or damaged after a devastating fire at a Seattle art gallery last week. 

"We did lose a Picasso," Davidson Galleries Manager Rebecca McDonald, told FOX 13 Seattle. "We’re still going through all the art and cataloging it." 

Etchings from Rembrandt, Goya, as well as many other artists, may have been damaged as well. 

"There’s a lot to do and we’re still starting the process," McDonald added. 

According to the Seattle Fire Department (SFD), the blaze started in the alley, most likely caused by a warming fire that extended into the building. Fire investigators ruled it was accidental. Calls for the fire first came in at 6:39 a.m. 

The 2-alarm fire was brought under control by 8 a.m. and there were no injuries. However, there was extensive damage to the building. 

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FILE - Aftermath of art gallery fire in Seattle, Washington.  (Brian Lane/Davidson Galleries volunteer/Rebecca McDonald/Davidson Galleries manager via KCPQ)

Gallery employees told FOX 13 that during the fire, both firefighters and volunteers worked to salvage as much artwork as possible. 

"The first thing they did was bring out the solander boxes, which are black museum boxes," said McDonald. "They brought them out as soon as possible, and some of them were still smoldering. But they knew what they were handling was precious art." 

Davidson Galleries said the gallery had a lot of its work laid out on the floor as it was preparing to move to a new location. 

That new location is where volunteers and employees are now cleaning salvaged artwork. 

"We have people who really know what they’re doing," said McDonald. "We’re focused on what we can save. I don’t care if it’s $5, $10 or $20,000. We’re treating everything as if it’s valuable, and we’re trying to save as much as possible."

The gallery initially planned to reopen in their new space by February. However, given the fire, those plans have been delayed as workers assess the damage and clean the artwork. 

McDonald said the collection was amassed over 50 years by Sam Davidson, who opened Davidson Galleries in 1973. 

"We have artwork from 1490 all the way up to the ink is still drying on the paper," said McDonald. "We have that whole range." 

"It’s a wonderful, wonderful collection," McDonald continued. "We don’t have numbers and have no idea how much value may have been lost." 

For more information on Davidson Galleries, click here. 

FOX 13 Seattle contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.