If you go
What: Tacoma Art Museum
Where: 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma
When: Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m
To learn more: Call 253-272-4258 or visit TacomaArtMuseum.org.
Imagine a world where it’s free to view and enjoy museum exhibits all year. One can bring the family for free as well.
Well, it takes no imagining for service and family members as well as veterans to visit the Tacoma Art Museum for free now, thanks to donors who recently decided to thank military families for their service with free admittance.
As a longtime participant in the Blue Star Museum program, which offers free admittance to certain museums for active-duty military and their families from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the museum opened its doors free to the military during the summer.
That all changed on Veteran’s Day last fall. Seventy museum donors and the museum’s development department decided the museum could do more to thank local military, according to Adrienne Edmonson, director of marketing and communications at the Tacoma Art Museum.
“We welcome service members and their families and wanted to make the museum more accessible for them,” she said.
Not only are service members and veterans allowed into the museum for free every day throughout the year when the museum is open, but their families are also, Edmonson said.
Exhibits at the museum vary from the current “Animals: Wild and Captured in Bronze,” from big horn sheep to elk buffalo, to the politically charged, “Immigrant Artists and the American West,” which allows visitors to see how art relates to immigration issues.
A few new exhibits also will open later this month, including: “Native Portraiture: Power and Perception,” featuring paintings of or by Native Americans; “Place to Call Home: Settlements in the West,” artwork depicting houses, pueblos and settlements from San Francisco to San Antonio; and “Winter in the West,” a selection of paintings from the Erivan and Helga Haub collection, which celebrate the cold, crisp season of winter.
The Haub family, originally from Germany but longtime Tacoma residents, has honored the museum not only with a donation of more than 300 pieces of Western art, ranging from artwork from the 1700s to current works, but also through donation of a new wing at the museum, currently under construction and expected to open soon.
The museum also offers an extensive display of Dale Chihuly glass, outdoor sculptures, a cafe, museum store and an art studio.