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Tacoma Art Museum

Tacoma Art Museum
Established 1963 [1]
Location 1701 Pacific Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98402 (United States)
Type Art museum [1]
Director Stephanie A. Stebich [2]
Curator Rock Hushka
Website Tacoma Art Museum

Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) serves the diverse communities of the Northwest through its collection, exhibitions, and learning programs, emphasizing art and artists from the Northwest and broader western region.

TAM is a public-spirited institution with nationally recognized exhibitions and innovative educational programs. Named by USA Today as one of the “Top 10 Great Places to See Art in Smaller Cities,” the museum has developed a reputation for presenting art in a thought-provoking yet accessible manner with a strong commitment to Northwest art through its acquisition and exhibition programs. Founded in 1935, the museum has strong roots in the community and anchors Tacoma’s lively downtown university and museum district.


Tacoma Art Museum was founded by a group of volunteers in 1935 and has since grown to become a national model for regional, mid-sized museums. The museum is dedicated to exhibiting and collecting Northwest art, with the mission of connecting people through art. The museum’s permanent collection includes the premier collection of Dale Chihuly’s glass artwork on permanent public display.

Tacoma Art Museum opened at its current location on May 3, 2003, when it moved from a former bank building that was built in 1920. Nearly twice the size of its previous location, Tacoma Art Museum’s $22-million Antoine Predock-designed structure provides 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, and houses the new Haub Family Collection of Western American Art. 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. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Tacoma Art Museum family!

Curatorial Information

Tacoma Art Museum has more than 3,000 pieces in its collection, two-thirds of which are classified as Northwest art. Since 1935, 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, John Singer Sargent, and Andrew Wyeth.

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.[1][3][4]

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 will present 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.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Tacoma Art Museum: About, ARTINFO, 2008, retrieved 2008-07-30 
  2. ^ Tacoma Art Museum Selects Stephanie A. Stebich as New Director
  3. ^ "Art Museum’s New Acquisitions Feature Works by Northwest Artists". Tacoma Weekly. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Clemans, Gayle. "Tacoma Art Museum's 'Northwest' exhibit asks the viewer to take some time". Seattle Times. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Jen Graves, "This Gay Art Show: A Revolution at Tacoma Art Museum", The Stranger, 3 August 2011, p. 26.

External links

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