Tacoma Art Museum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Tacoma Art Museum
Tacoma, WA - Tacoma Art Museum 01.jpg
Established1935 [1]
Location1701 Pacific Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98402 (United States)
TypeArt museum [1]
DirectorStephanie A. Stebich[2]
CuratorRock Hushka

The Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) is a museum in Tacoma, Washington emphasizing art and artists from the Northwest and broader western region. Founded in the 1935, the museum has strong roots in the community and anchors Tacoma’s downtown university and museum district.[3][4]


The Tacoma Art Museum developed out of the Tacoma Art League, an informal gathering that began around 1891. In the 1930s, it was renamed the Tacoma Art Society, before finally becoming the Tacoma Art Museum 1964.[4] The museum is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting the visual arts of the American Northwest, with the mission of bringing people together through art. The museum’s permanent collection includes the premier collection of Tacoma local Dale Chihuly’s glass artwork on permanent public display.

In 1971, the L. T. Murray family (owners of the Murray Pacific Northwest timber company) gave the Tacoma Art Museum a three-story building at 12th Street and Pacific Avenue. Built in 1922, the building at 1123 Pacific Avenue previously housed the National Bank of Tacoma. In May 2003, the Tacoma Art Museum moved from this location into a new, 50,000 square foot (4,650 m²) building located at 1701 Pacific Avenue, which was designed by Antoine Predock.[4] Nearly twice the size of its previous location, the new $22-million steel and glass structure provided the space to exhibit more of the permanent collection. In designing the building, Predock drew inspiration from the region’s light, its relationship to the water, the neighborhood’s industrial history and character, Mount Rainier, the Thea Foss Waterway, and the surrounding structures in what is now known as the Museum District.

Completed in November 2014, an additional $15.5-million building project has added approximately 16,000 square feet (1500 m²), and houses the new Haub Family Collection of Western American Art.[5][6] This collection establishes Tacoma Art Museum as the only major museum of Western American art of this caliber in the Northwest. It also enables the museum to fully explore the art history of the West while integrating its Western and Northwest collections.

Curatorial information[edit]

The museum exhibits more than 3,000 pieces in its collection, two-thirds of which are classified as Northwest art. Since 1934, Tacoma Art Museum has built a permanent collection that includes work from artists such as Mary Cassatt, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Edgar Degas, Robert Henri, Edward Hopper, Robert Rauschenberg, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Jacob Lawrence, John Singer Sargent, and Andrew Wyeth.[4]

Nearly seventy percent of the collection consists of works from Northwest artists such as Guy Anderson, Morris Graves, Jacob Lawrence, Jared Pappas-Kelley, Akio Takamori, Mark Tobey, and Patti Warashina.[7][8][9]

Untitled - Stone Wave, a major work by sculptor Richard Rhodes, occupies the central court of the museum.

The museum has gained some note for being more open to overtly gay or queer art than most American museums. In 2012, it presented the Hide/Seek show that was censored at the National Portrait Gallery; TAM will present the show uncensored, and will follow it two years later with another show curated by Jonathan Katz, Art, AIDS, America.[10]


  1. ^ a b Tacoma Art Museum: About, Tacoma Art Museum, retrieved 2017-06-23
  2. ^ Tacoma Art Museum Selects Stephanie A. Stebich as New Director
  3. ^ Suzanne Loebl (January 2002). America's Art Museums: A Traveler's Guide to Great Collections Large and Small. Norton. pp. 411–. ISBN 978-0-393-32006-0.
  4. ^ Clemans, Gayle (2014-11-20). "Haub donation at Tacoma Art Museum ranges widely, like the West". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
  5. ^ Fisher, Rich (2016-11-30). "'Syncretic,' a New Exhibit at 108 Contemporary, Will Display Work by the First Class of TAF Fellows". Retrieved 2017-04-07.
  6. ^ Tacoma Art Museum: About, ARTINFO, 2008, archived from the original on 2008-09-07, retrieved 2008-07-30
  7. ^ "Art Museum's New Acquisitions Feature Works by Northwest Artists". Tacoma Weekly. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  8. ^ Clemans, Gayle. "Tacoma Art Museum's 'Northwest' exhibit asks the viewer to take some time". Seattle Times. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  9. ^ Jen Graves, "This Gay Art Show: A Revolution at Tacoma Art Museum", The Stranger, 3 August 2011, p. 26.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°14′51″N 122°26′12″W / 47.2475°N 122.4368°W / 47.2475; -122.4368