Hill man leaves a collection 600 strong

T. Zachary Edge was an ordinary man with an extraordinary art collection. At the time his death from a heart attack on Feb. 21, 2004, more than 600 works of art were found in his small, one-bedroom co-op apartment on Capitol Hill. Over 500 of those pieces will be on public display and made available for subsequent purchase at a celebration of Edge's life and estate sale of his artwork this coming weekend.

Terrence Zachary Edge, or "Zach," as his family and friends knew him, was born July 26, 1940. Born with heart problems, at 21 he became one of the first heart transplant patients in the Northwest.

When Edge moved to Seattle in the late 1970s, he began to work in construction, doing drywall mudding and taping. For years he said, "I plan to mud and tape my way across Seattle before I'm finished." His interest in collecting art began around the same time. Edge's life and work seemed to be scheduled around gallery visits, First Thursday art walks and auctions. He loved making connections with creative people.

Edge moved to Capitol Hill in the early 1980s when he purchased a unit in the San Remo co-op building at 606 East Thomas Street. He loved the Hill for its dynamism and diversity, according to his sister Barbara Metcalf, of Olympia.

Many of the pieces the collection are early works of now-famous artists. The pieces reveal his eclectic taste and an eye for promising new talent. Artists featured in his collection include such notables as William Cumming, Ruth Bernhard, Jacob Lawrence, Lino Tagliapietra, Dale Chihuly, Sonja Blomdahl, Mary Henry and Richard Marquis, as well as many emerging Northwest artists.

According to his sister, while Edge was passionate about the art itself and collecting, it was the people connected to it, the friends of like interest, fellow "connoisseurs" and artists he'd visit or joke with that meant the most to him. Many of the later treasures he purchased were never actually opened. In a small condo, he had also run out of room.

This weekend is a celebration of Edge's passion - a museum-like preview and exhibition of his collection. Free and open to the public, the preview will be followed by a public auction of over 500 pieces. The collection includes works in glass, photographs, paintings, prints, sculptures, ethnographic masks and turned wood. Proceeds from the estate sale will fund a $10,000 gift to Pratt Fine Arts Center to establish the T. Zachary Edge Memorial Award in Glass.

"This is one of the largest and most eclectic art collections that's ever been offered to the public. The family has kept very little, and it's unusual that a collection of this magnitude is being made available to the public," said Greg Robinson, former director of Pratt Fine Arts Center, who helped finalize appraisal of the collection.

ZACH'S Bash: An Estate Auction of the T. Zachary Edge Art Collection takes place on Saturday, April 16, at the Navel Reserve Building, South Lake Union Park, 860 Terry Ave. N. Doors open and a silent auction begins at 5 p.m. Free previews are open to the public on Friday, April 14, from 3 to 8 p.m., and on Saturday, April 15, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, contact TZEdgeArt@aol.com, or Damian Murphy at 351-2496. An online catalog is available at www.tzedgeart.com.[[In-content Ad]]