Danke Schön Erivan and Helga Haub!

Manifest Destiny Western American Cowboy vs. Indian Art Coming Soon to Tacoma Art Museum
posted Jul 17, 2012
tacoma, tacomic, Erivan and Helga Haub, tacoma art museum, western art, cowboys, indians
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Tacoma Art Museum is very selective of adding new art to it's collection, but taste can be overridden with enough cold hard cash, it's the best spice!  Now you might ask yourself what some German dude's cowboy art collection depicting mostly plains-style Tee Vee indians has to do with Washington, Tacoma or the price of TEA in China... let me tell you the answer is 15 MILLION DOLLARS !   You know who doesn't have 15 Million dollars and the staff of the Tacoma Art Museum licking his wienerschnitzel? Father Bix.

Why drive all the way to Cabelas when you can go to the Tacoma Art Museum!?

(we've been watching a lot of A Town Called Panic)

by NineInchNachos on 7/17/2012 @ 2:34am
what does Picasso's commentary on nuclear bombs have to do with Washington?  Not like any weaponized nuclear activities ever happened here. 

by ChrisTopher on 7/17/2012 @ 6:51am
"Why drive all the way to Cabelas when you can go to the Tacoma Art Museum!?"

I love it.

by jenyum on 7/17/2012 @ 6:53am
Is the art really that bad? The press release says there's a Georgia O'Keefe. The two examples on the TAM website mostly showcase the landscape. Not really my cup of tea but not horrifically tacky or anything.

by cisserosmiley on 7/17/2012 @ 6:55am
Just think, if "western art" becomes a truly accepted genre, Tacoma will be the center of the western art universe. Same bet PT Barnum made on "American oddity art" 150 years ago.

by CaptainBritton on 7/17/2012 @ 7:05am
In Tacoma, we wait for a sugar daddy to save us...Save us, Sugar Daddy!!!

by cisserosmiley on 7/17/2012 @ 7:06am
We should have a more organized billionaire hunt.

by CaptainBritton on 7/17/2012 @ 7:17am
I'm all for having once privately held collections viewable to the public (Paul Allen's vault-o-many-treasures-cough!)...See, Seattle's got it's share of Sugar Daddies that do all the work. Show US a little love, money-people!

Besides it's a perfectly acceptable way to have public entities pick up your insurance tab! (I'm looking at you guys Seattle Center Chihuly garden collector types).

by The Jinxmedic on 7/17/2012 @ 8:01am
A fifteen million dollar art donation and people complain about it not being the "right kind" of art.  And Tacoma's art scene isn't taken seriously- why?

Grow up.

by CaptainBritton on 7/17/2012 @ 8:07am
Tacoma arts are being taken seriously, it just got a fifteen billion dollar gift!  I just wonder why we got the gift. And is this actually about cultural heritage or about insurance sheltering? I'm just curious...

by CaptainBritton on 7/17/2012 @ 8:16am
Art, above gold, will retain it's value...Why? I have no idea, but that's what the truly wealthy monarch-types do with their extra cash. It is a great investment. Art is worthless, except maybe to the artist, it's only in it's value retention and insurance values that it gets passed around at all.

I'm wondering who payed for the dome to get clean? What other entities have their footholds in this town that we don't know or ever see? Where is all of the old money, and when will they move to make this a little kingdom?

by cisserosmiley on 7/17/2012 @ 8:21am
What is Art without Criticism?

by CaptainBritton on 7/17/2012 @ 8:26am
Art w/o criticism = a Trojan horse

by NineInchNachos on 7/17/2012 @ 8:59am
agree.  the examples they show on the web are the least offensive ! 

Has anyone actually consulted the local tribes?  Just wondering.  TNT is always looking for controversy, maybe they can spearhead this one!

"Hey, how do you feel about the wealthy German's art showcasing the genocide of the Native Americans ?"


"Where did the families money come from during WW2?"

by CaptainBritton on 7/17/2012 @ 9:27am
I don't think we are talking about the same issue. I'm sorry.

by NineInchNachos on 7/17/2012 @ 9:51am
never look a gift horse in the mouth?

YEEEEHAH!  move along little doggies!

by cisserosmiley on 7/17/2012 @ 10:04am
I want to collapse both criticism of form, craft, origination & presentation... WITH critical thinking about the potential lack if collectability of an art genre that has not been studied or collected enough to verify it's long term value in our community & alternative motivations than philanthropy.

by CaptainBritton on 7/17/2012 @ 10:10am
"Why didn't you say that in the first place? That's a horse of a different color!"

by NineInchNachos on 7/17/2012 @ 10:16am
It would fit in better with the boring cow-poke WSHM train sets, but then it wouldn't because none of that art has anything to do with WA state...   maybe it would fit in better with the fake german patina of Leavenworth, WA ? 

by NineInchNachos on 7/17/2012 @ 10:19am
Encase those paintings in glass toxic-waste logs and display them in the Museum of Glass !

by cisserosmiley on 7/17/2012 @ 10:23am
@CaptainBritton, now that's ART! the allegorical story of 19th cent. populist American farmers wanting to peg US currency to silver, and the "horse of another color" comparison to help individuals deduce any comparable differences...

by troysworktable on 7/17/2012 @ 1:26pm
Many of the pieces by Moran and Bierstadt (and others) are landscapes that embody the notions of westward expansion, Manifest Destiny, and/or the transcontinental railroad.  Those notions actually do have something to do with Tacoma, since it ended up being the terminus/hub for the railroads in the Pacific Northwest rather than Seattle.  Their value to our area is still open to debate, but perhaps a field trip to Seattle's Frye Art Museum is in order.  They have similar paintings by many of the artists in the Haub/TAM collection and often have many of them on display as part of one exhibit or another.  And, it's free to visit.

by troysworktable on 7/17/2012 @ 1:28pm
I sense a lot of fear of the unknown in this thread.  What are the works that individuals have the most fear of?  (Or is the fear merely conjecture on what may or may not be included in the collection?) Or is it the collection as a whole?

by NineInchNachos on 7/17/2012 @ 1:41pm
I heard that Georgia O'Keeffe paintings are really close-ups of lady parts. 

by troysworktable on 7/17/2012 @ 1:52pm
In the summer of 2010, I stopped at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming as part of a long road trip.  The Whitney Museum of Western Art within the center is where I spent most of my day.  The curatorial staff had done a great job of juxtaposing exhibits of modern Western art, Native American art, and modern Native American art with their core collection, which includes Moran, Bierstadt, Remington, Russell, and the like.  TAM now has the ability to do the same with the pieces in their entire collection.  Many voices spoke about, in favor of, and against westward expansion.  They didn't speak in unison.  In fact, some of the pieces I expected to speak against who, what, and where we are now didn't.  Stereotypes fell apart.

by The Jinxmedic on 7/17/2012 @ 2:10pm
Thank you Troy, for bringing some reality to this discussion.

by NineInchNachos on 7/17/2012 @ 2:13pm
I'm sure TAM will do something similar.  Fingers crossed!

by cisserosmiley on 7/17/2012 @ 2:27pm
Tacoma is lucky to have this art. It is like getting a building full of Renaissance Art in 1600.

by NineInchNachos on 7/17/2012 @ 2:30pm
I'm looking forward to the It's greek to me billboard skinned with these paintings! 

by NineInchNachos on 7/19/2012 @ 2:42pm

by NineInchNachos on 7/19/2012 @ 2:53pm
it was drawn ironically ! 

how dare you accuse me of being a grown up cartoonist then delete your comment!!! < - - ha ho!

by cisserosmiley on 7/19/2012 @ 2:55pm
"could not load movie" on my iPhone ?????????????????

by CaptainBritton on 7/19/2012 @ 3:29pm
I spoke out of place, and from a jerky angle...I apologize. It wasn't very nice.

What I mean is, use your chosen tools to their strength.

A pencil, while lacking the definitive choice inherent in it's sister the ink pen's stroke, the pencil allows it's user to erase things that didn't work...It just feels too rushed for me to believe it's truly ironically. If it's looking like you have to tell the reader what's going on with an arrow, "redraw it."

Kirby said that.

by CaptainBritton on 7/19/2012 @ 3:33pm
An aspect an astute reader might overlook if it was done in straight ink. might...

by CaptainBritton on 7/19/2012 @ 3:42pm
Man, It's hard to be an art critic without sounding like a complete asshat! How do you do it?!!! :O

by NineInchNachos on 7/19/2012 @ 4:06pm
i don't worry about it :)
I started using the arrows more after I discovered the fake political cartoonist on the onion over labeling everything

by NineInchNachos on 7/30/2012 @ 9:44pm

by NineInchNachos on 2/1/2013 @ 8:50am

Leading Scholar Peter H. Hassrick to Serve as Advisor

(Tacoma, WA) – Tacoma Art Museum has named Laura F. Fry as the Haub Curator of Western American Art. She will join the museum in April 2013. Fry will create, articulate, and implement a vision for the newly acquired Haub Collection of Western American Art. She will play a central role in the planning and preparation for the opening of the new Haub Galleries, and will shape a new collecting and educational focus for the museum and community.

“We are delighted to welcome Laura to the museum,” said Stephanie A. Stebich, Director of Tacoma Art Museum. “This is a critical position for our museum as we move forward with sharing the Haub Collection with the public. Laura’s confidence, knowledge, and charisma will help lead the charge as we transform Tacoma Art Museum into one of the leading museums in the country featuring Western American Art."

Fry has worked at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, since 2009 as an integral part of the curatorial team who developed the Buffalo Bill Museum’s new 15,000-foot reinstallation of the permanent collection. The Buffalo Bill Historical Center is a world leader in presenting authentic interpretations of the American West, educating and entertaining audiences about the past, present, and future of the West. Fry is collaborating with Western American Art scholar Peter H. Hassrick to create the second edition of the Frederic Remington Catalogue Raisonné, and authoring an essay for the publication that explores the connection between Frederic Remington and William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. She has a research background in Western American Art starting with graduate coursework at the University of Denver and continuing with her work at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Her research has explored how the imagery of the West has helped to shape American history, identity, and myth–from early 19th century through today. Fry’s previous museum positions include the University of Denver’s Myhren Gallery and the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art in Denver.

She will begin her new position by immersing herself in preparations for the new Haub Galleries, including an intensive investigation of the Haub Collection, working with the architects and staff on the designs for the new galleries, crafting an inaugural catalogue of the collection, and creating a robust exhibition and public outreach education plan.

“I am thrilled to become part of the Tacoma community,” said Fry, the new Haub Curator of Western American Art. “The chance to share the vision and passion of the Haub family and to bring the stories and history of Western American Art to the Puget Sound through this extraordinary collection is the opportunity of a lifetime.”

The museum also continues its relationship with Peter H. Hassrick as an advisor on the upcoming Haub Collection projects. He will also play an integral role in working with the museum to create a national advisory committee, which will inform the collection’s exhibitions and educational programming. Hassrick has been advising both the Haubs and Tacoma Art Museum on shaping this transformational gift of art, building funds, and endowment support.

Hassrick’s work as the former long-time director of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center and as recent Director of the Denver Art Museum’s Petrie Institute of Western American Art has elevated Western American Art’s scholarship and popular interest. He has emeritus status with both institutions. He is the Founding Director Emeritus of the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. He was also the founding Director of The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. From 1969 to 1976, he was Curator of Collections at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Haub Collection of Western American Art features outstanding works that embrace and elucidate the cultural history of the American West including the work of significant historic Western painters, such as grand manner landscape painters Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran; titans of Western genre, Frederic Remington and Charles Russell; and works by master artists of the Taos School such as E. Martin Hennings and Ernest Blumenschein. The collection also contains works by notable modernist painters, including Georgia O’Keeffe and Kenneth Adams, as well as more contemporary artists such as Tom Lovell, John Clymer, Bill Schenck, and Clyde Aspevig. The works range in date from the 1820s to the present.

This significant donation of iconic works, announced in July 2012, will transform Tacoma Art Museum into one of the leading museums in the country featuring Western American Art. The museum will be the only Pacific Northwest institution to hold a collection of this caliber, and in turn will provide an entirely new dimension of cultural offerings to Tacoma as well as the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest.

For press images, interviews, or more information, contact Lisa Terry at

253.272.4258 x3047 or at


About Tacoma Art Museum
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 serves the diverse communities of the Northwest through its collection, exhibitions, and learning programs, emphasizing art and artists from the Northwest. Our vision is to be a national model for regional museums by creating a dynamic museum that engages, inspires, and builds community through art.

HOURS – Wednesdays–Sundays 10 am–5 pm, Third Thursdays 10 am–8 pm
ADMISSION – Adult $9, Student/Military/Senior (65+) $8, Family $25 (2 adults and up to 4 children under 18). Children 5 and under free. Third Thursdays free from 5-8 pm. Members always free.
CONTACT – 253.272.4258,,

by NineInchNachos on 3/4/2013 @ 9:17am
how long before they can auction off the cowboy art?

by JesseHillFan on 3/4/2013 @ 9:31am
I like the drawing but you should have put Adolf "toothbrush" mustaches on the main characters.Adolf Hitler loved to watch U.S.old Western movies at Berchtesgaden. . 

by cisserosmiley on 3/4/2013 @ 11:21am
Sell ALL the Chinese gear & build Crip / Blood reconciliation park 

by NineInchNachos on 3/7/2013 @ 11:41am

by NineInchNachos on 3/7/2013 @ 11:43am

by NineInchNachos on 3/11/2013 @ 8:50pm
fun local comments on the stranger article via exit133

by NineInchNachos on 4/18/2013 @ 7:41am

by NineInchNachos on 4/24/2013 @ 9:45pm

by NineInchNachos on 9/22/2013 @ 9:49am