Mary Shirley, Leading Art Collector, Has Died


An art collector died?!?! Will she be buried in Arlington National Cemetary?
Oh #1, that was just dumb. If you aspire to do your "handle" justice, you really have to do better than that.
Seriously, "Worst Nightmare", have some goddamn respect for the dead.

Hey, remember when Dr. Memory seriously smacked you down about a week ago? The rest of us do, and it was epic. You got spanked for being a stupid, stupid person.

To Mrs. Shirley's family, I am sorry for your loss. I have terrible mixed feelings about the Olympic Sculpture Garden, because we lost the Waterfront Streetcars for it. But thank you for all the wonderful art.
Collecting at that level must have been one hell of a good time. RIP.
Do not let Mudede send a condolence letter.
They even gave money to little things like the Seattle Art Car Blowout.
I will always remember Mary Shirley for her love of a dirty joke, a glass full and a smoke outdoors. Most importantly she had a kind and gentle spirit slightly belied by that raspy, truck-stop bartender voice. She quietly gave money to artists in need and supported many of the things that make Seattle great. We will miss her big personality and the twinkle in her eye.
Mary Shirley! She was a client at a veterinary hospital where I used to work, and a delightful one at that. Took impeccable care of her cats. Also she was a huge donor to a non-profit I was involved in, even hosting fundraising events at her home. She was a spectacular woman. Rest in peace, Mary. Condolences to the family and to her large circle of friends and community.
I am so sad to hear that Mary has passed away. I really loved working with her and Jon on a portrait commission of them some years ago. All the art events they attended and organizations they supported have brought so much to our community. I believe it was Mary that initiated the art collection that is so extraordinary. Her office was filled with large bound published books of the famed artists they collected. She was so funny. I'll never forget a remark she made at a small event, glass of scotch in hand, she quipped "These hors d'oeurves taste like they were made two weeks ago". We laughed. They were bad. Mary had no problem expressing her feelings and I really enjoyed that about her. To Jon and the family, I am so sorry for your loss. She was an Art Icon to us all.
Several years ago we took care of Mary and Jon's beautiful Tollycraft. It was very busy right before Opening Day and Mary called to see if we could run over and clean the boat at their home. I politely declined due to the workload for Opening Day. Let's just say she would not take no for an answer. After the raspy good natured tongue lashing, we packed up the cleaning supplies after a long day and were on the way. It of course was a pleasure to make sure "Shirley's Temple" was in tip top form for the big day. They took good care of us for our efforts. Mary told us that she wanted a T-Shirt that said "A & A Detail saved my ass." She was a delightful, fun loving lady and we enjoyed working with her. Our thoughts go out to Jon and family.
I have to say these are the best condolence letters I have ever read. I am sure Mary Shirley would have loved it. Sorry I never met her but she made the world a bigger place for all.
A so sad notice of Mary's passage,she brought such a sparkle to each meeting at her new home when installing my first water wall sculpture,she and Jon have been such an asset,a legacy, to the seattle art milieu!
About 1990 I was working for an aquarium maintenance company and I went to the Shirleys in place of their usual tech who was on vacation. They were so friendly and kind. They treated me like I was a real person. In the years I did service work there were plenty of wealthy people who treated me like crap. Not the Shirleys. They helped me understand that people could have great power without loosing their humanity. I will always remember her.
Mary and Jon gave me one of my first major commissions when I was working with rugs as my art form. It was a intimidating at first because she said I could do whatever I wanted -- complete artistic freedom! I'd never had that before with a commission. And they didn't stick the rugs in a bedroom, they put them right out there in the main gallery of their home. I not only lived off of this commission for a year, but it propelled me to the next level of my career. Even though the Shirley's are known for their blue chip art collection, Mary was also a patron to local, much lesser-known artists. And she could've been a snob with all that good taste and money but, like many have noted here, she was as down-to-earth as they come.