New Tacoma Art Museum Wing Opening Celebration Scheduled January 2019

Submitted by Tacoma Art Museum

Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) is pleased to announce that on January 19, 2019, it will open its doors to the public to celebrate the new Rebecca and Jack Benaroya Wing.

“We wish to celebrate the opening of the new Benaroya Wing and provide TAM’s closest supporters and community partners the exceptional experience of seeing the new Benaroya Wing first,” says David Setford, TAM Executive Director. “We feel very fortunate and honored to be entrusted with this remarkable new Wing and look forward to sharing this gift with our visitors and our community.” Museum members will have the first opportunity to experience the new wing on Sunday, January 13 where private tours and events will be scheduled to kick off the pre-opening week festivities. The January 15-18 pre-opening week festivities will include private tours and special events for TAM’s museum and corporate partners, community partner organizations, and educational institutions. All organizations interested in attending should contact Amanda Wiener at 253-272-4258 x3015 or

Tacoma Art Museum
Toots Zynsky (born Boston, Massachusetts, 1951), Untitled from the Northern Lights series, 1990s. Fused glass threads, 5 1/2 × 17 1/2 × 7 inches. Tacoma Art Museum, Promised gift of the Rebecca and Jack Benaroya Collection.

The Grand Opening for the public will consist of a free community festival on Saturday, January 19 from 10 am to 5 pm. “As a community-centered and civic-minded museum with a mission of connecting people through art, TAM strives to serve our entire community by offering interesting and engaging programming while ensuring access for all,” stated Director of Education Samantha Kelly. “Our free community event on January 19th is a fantastic example of TAM’s mission in play. We’ll have hot glass demonstrations, art making activities, music and dance performances, people can meet artists – and it will all be free to any and all visitors. We are proud to offer such interesting and fun events to our community.”

Rebecca Benaroya originally promised 235 works of art and provided $9.2 million for the construction of the gallery. In December 2017, Rebecca Benaroya promised an additional 118 artworks. The Benaroya Collection now totals 353 works of art. “This additional gift demonstrates Becky’s extraordinary generosity. We are honored once again to be the museum that will share these spectacular artworks,” said David Setford.

Tacoma Art Museum
Gregory Grenon (born Detroit, Michigan, 1948), Lottie Dottie Everybody, 2003. Wood, glass, and enamel, 68 × 80 × 1 3/4 inches. Tacoma Art Museum, Promised gift of the Rebecca and Jack Benaroya Collection.

The new gift includes major works by Howard Ben Tré, Dale Chihuly, Gregory Grenon, Michael Lucero, Jesus Bautista Moroles, William Morris, Seth Randal, Ginny Ruffner, Julie Speidel, Cappy Thompson, and Toots Zynsky.

“This promised gift deepens TAM’s holding of iconic artists—most of whom have important connections to the Pilchuck Glass School. These works illuminate the importance of Pilchuck to the history of American art,” says Rock Hushka, Chief Curator and Deputy Director of TAM. This transformative gift advances TAM’s amibtion of building a premier collection that tells the story of the Northwest artistic identity in all its richness and complexity.

Tacoma Art Museum continues to partner with its sister museum, the renowned Museum of Glass with its working hot shop, to position Tacoma as an international epicenter of studio glass art. The Benaroya gift enhances this focus as a local and national draw for studio art glass lovers, with the Chihuly Bridge of Glass connecting Tacoma Art Museum and Museum of Glass.

Tacoma Art Museum
Jesus Bautista Moroles (born Corpus Christi, Texas, 1950; died Jarrell, Texas, 2015), Moonscape Bench, not dated. Granite, 36 × 63 × 27 1/2 inches. Tacoma Art Museum, Promised gift of the Rebecca and Jack Benaroya Collection.

The museum’s expansion is a continuation of the primary design elements developed for the galleries by Antoine Predock in 2003, and further developed by award-winning architect, Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects for the museum’s Haub Family Collection expansion in 2014. The new Benaroya Wing will add just under 7,000 square feet, with approximately 4,550 for gallery space. The design allows for easy and flexible reinstallation of new exhibitions, and will feature a 46-foot sweeping window overlooking the historic Prairie Line Trail, mirroring the Mayer Sculpture Hall in the Haub Family Galleries.

A generous Building for the Arts grant of $1.02 million, funded by the taxpayers of Washington State, is being used for the integration of the Benaroya Wing into the existing TAM campus. The project totals just over $10.19 million, providing a boost directly to the local economy.

The Rebecca and Jack Benaroya Collection has been hailed as one of the most prestigious private collections of studio glass art in the United States. This gift places Tacoma Art Museum into one of the top five museums nationwide with this focus, adding to the holdings from the other influential collections including those of Anne Gould Hauberg, Paul Marioni, and Dale Chihuly.

For up to date information on the project visit: