Collecting American paintings was a venture in art appreciation for the Weyerhaeuser family. The fondness for collecting American paintings, fostered by museum co-founders Carl and Edith Weyerhaeuser, went back several generations. Frederick E. Weyerhaeuser, uncle of Carl, purchased George Inness’s Eventide-Tarpon Springs, Florida in 1916 from Vose Galleries. Charles Weyerhaeuser recalls that his father, Carl, tried to acquire paintings for each of the children, and it is apparent from some of his correspondence that a painting was purchased only if it was found generally pleasing to all.
The collection was grown to encompass fine representations from influential developmental phases of American landscape painting, with a lesser amount from other genres. Among the holdings are works by; Hudson River School painters, Albert Bierstadt and Jasper Francis Cropsey; American Impressionists, Childe Hassam, Dennis Miller Bunker, and John Singer Sargent; as well as several paintings by George Bellows, a devoted second generation painter of The Aschcan School. Since its initial development by the Weyerhaeuser family, the American painting collection has grown to include additional areas of American painting including work by contemporary painters George Nick and Eric Aho.