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Founded in 1935, Tacoma Art Museum celebrates its 75th Anniversary in 2010. Check back for details about ways to help celebrate this momentous occasion.
Until 2003, Tacoma Art Museum had never inhabited a building that was designed and constructed especially for us. Since 1935, when we were founded as the Tacoma Art Association, we had adapted to buildings created for other, starting with The Tower at Jones Hall at the College of Puget Sound.
Jones Hall, College of Puget Sound, circa 1952. Photograph courtesy of Tacoma Public Library, Richards Studio Collection.
1935 – 1958
Jones Hall, College of Puget Sound. Jones Hall now houses the University of Puget Sound's administrative offices.
1958 – 1963
A rented storefront gallery space at 742 Broadway, currently a martial arts studio.
1963 – 1971
The Allied Arts Center (also known as “The Old Jailhouse”) at 621 Pacific, in use today as an office building.
1971 – 2003
The former National Bank of Washington building—now Sound Inpatient Physicians—at 1123 Pacific Avenue, donated by Mr. and Mrs. L.T. Murray, Sr. In 1997, the museum’s continued popularity and expanding exhibition and education programs prompted the launch of a capital campaign to construct a new building designed specifically as a museum. Ground was broken in January 2001.
2003 – Present
Doors opened for the new building on May 3, 2003, with a twenty-four-hour party for the community. Designed by internationally known architect Antoine Predock, the building responds to Tacoma’s industrial history and the Northwest environment, particularly the quality of light, the preponderance of water, and the dramatic vista of Mount Rainier.
In the past five years, nearly 500,000 people have experienced the exhibitions, programming, and special events that Predock’s elegant building has made possible. The promise of our building is a crucial component of our mission to connect people through art, to focus on Northwest art and artists, and to provide dynamic experiences that reach diverse audiences.
Watch our Youbtube video, here.
The museum (then known as Tacoma Art League) occupied a storefront gallery, which can be seen on the far left of this photograph. It was located on the 700 block of Broadway at the north end of downtown Tacoma. Photograph courtesy of Tacoma Public Library, General Photographic Collection.
The Allied Arts Center at 621 Pacific Avenue in 1958 at the north end of Pacific Avenue. Photograph courtesy of Tacoma Public Library, Richards Studio Collection.
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Tacoma Art Museum’s fourth home at 1123 Pacific Avenue. Photograph courtesy of Tacoma Public Library, Richards Studio Collection.