75 years dog image
Thomas Moran, Green River, Wyoming 1907. Oil on canvas, 20 x 28 1/2 inches. Tacoma Art Museum, promised gift of Erivan and Helga Haub.
 The Haub Family Galleries

Construction Update

Construction on the Tacoma Art Museum expansion and new Haub Family Galleries began Monday, November 4. Construction workers will set up their site office and begin to measure and mark the area for the building process.


“This is a remarkable moment for the museum. We are taking a historic step toward connecting Tacoma’s past and present through art. This extraordinary project is proof of our community’s dedication to the arts and we are honored to be able to create a gathering space where we can all meet and share art moments for generations to come.”

– Stephanie A. Stebich, Director of Tacoma Art Museum

Tacoma Art Museum received a donation of more than 280 works of Western American art from Erivan and Helga Haub and their family, and is constructing the Haub Family Galleries, which will double the museum’s gallery space, and an expanded lobby to showcase this remarkable collection. This project works hand-in-hand with the museum’s plans to redesign its plaza and visitor entry experience to connect people to the heart of Tacoma.

The museum will extend into, connect with, and contribute to the city’s urban culture and history. The newly designed spaces will enrich and enliven Downtown Tacoma by increasing opportunities for free public programming on the museum’s plaza.

The new expansion will be designed by award-winning architect, Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects, who is also the architect for the museum’s plaza redesign project. This will be Tom Kundig’s first completed museum project, set to open in Fall 2014.

The museum will be the only Pacific Northwest institution to hold a collection of the same caliber as the Haub Family Collection, 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.

Many people have joined in to help realize the museum’s building project. Not only has the Puget Sound community contributed individually and collectively, but the museum has also received federal support of $150,000 through the National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the City of Tacoma. Tacoma Art Museum was recently awarded $2 million from the State of Washington Building for the Arts program to support this $15.5 million building expansion project. The City of Tacoma has also been very supportive with a $400,000 grant. The addition of this grant along with many other generous donations leaves the museum $500,000 left to raise to fund the project. Public and private support is critical to this project’s success. The museum is committed to working as good stewards of these funds.

The museum’s expansion integrates with other local civic projects including Tacoma’s Pacific Avenue Streetscape and the Prairie Line pedestrian and bike trail.

Design and Construction

Construction of the $15.5 million project began November 4, 2013, with expected completion in Fall 2014. Along with award-winning architect Tom Kundig, who is also the architect for the museum’s plaza redesign project, other members of the project’s team include Murase Associates as the landscape architecture firm, Sellen Construction as the project’s construction company, and Bonewitz Project Leadership as project management.

The project will create a welcoming lobby and more than double the gallery space. It will also include a new family interactive gallery, a sculpture hall, and a visitor orientation room. Changes to the existing museum will include a new entrance from the parking level, a faster elevator from the parking level, and improvements to the cafe and museum store. The museum’s outdoor plaza will also be transformed with a tall, gracious canopy that will arch over both the existing museum and the new wing. Outdoor, public art installations will be woven into the areas surrounding the museum.

The museum is incorporating sustainable methods for the construction and design of the addition including:  recycling of site debris, energy efficient design, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and conservation of resources through use of materials with recycled content.

Haub Family Collection of Western American Art

The Haub Family’s donation of more than 280 works of Western American art, announced in July 2012, will transform Tacoma Art Museum into one of the leading museums in the country featuring Western American art.

Bringing the Haub Family Collection of Western American art is a chance for the museum to share an integral piece of American art history with the Puget Sound. It will broaden our definition of “the West” and open our eyes to the Northwest’s rich and complex place in the American West.

The Haub Family Collection of Western American art is unrivaled in its scope, and contains artwork spanning from 1820 to today. The collection includes prominent 19th century artists who shaped our views of Native Americans, mountain men, cowboys, and pristine American landscapes, including George Catlin, John Mix Stanley, Thomas Moran, and Frederic Remington. From the 20th century, the collection includes artists who brought modern art movements west and who explored western history and American identity, such as E. Martin Hennings, Georgia O’Keeffe, Tom Lovell, and John Clymer. The collection also includes many artists who are active and working today. Contemporary Native American artists William Acheff and Kevin Red Star take a fresh approach and portray American culture in a modern light, and pop artist Bill Schenck uses humor and satire to challenge long-held assumptions about the American West.

In finding a home at Tacoma Art Museum, the Haub Family Collection will establish the only major museum collection of Western American art in the Northwest region. It will enable the museum to fully explore the art history of the West and also integrate the Western and Northwest collections. Together, these collections will offer a comprehensive understanding of the Northwest region as part of the expanded history of the West and will illuminate how that broad history has shaped regional artistic responses.


About Erivan and Helga Haub

Originally from Germany, Erivan and Helga Haub have had close personal and business ties to the Pacific Northwest and specifically Tacoma, where their three sons were born. Their family business, The Tengelmann Group, is an international company with diversified retail and investment operations in Europe and North America. Their love and passion for the American West inspired the Haub family to become fervent collectors of Western American Art over the last 30 years.
About Tom Kundig and Olson Kundig Architects

Seattle-based architectural firm Olson Kundig Architects’ work encompasses museums, commercial, and mixed-use design, exhibit design, interior design, places of worship, and residences, often for art collectors. Tom Kundig is one of the most recognized architects in North America. To date, Kundig has been awarded a total of 37 American Institute of Architects (AIA) awards and more than 70 awards total. Olson Kundig Architects received the 2009 National AIA Architecture Firm Award and has twice been named one of the Top Ten Most Innovative Companies in Architecture by Fast Company.

More to Explore:

Wall Street Journal, The West in a Wing of Its Own, July 6, 2012, by Kelly Crow

The News Tribune, Q&A with Laura Fry, the new Haub curator for Tacoma Art Museum’s planned Western Wing, June 23, 2013, by Rosemary Ponnekanti

Tacoma Art Museum News Release, April 18, 2013, New Wing Design by Olson Kundig Architects

The News Tribune, Tacoma Art Museum Reveals Design for New Wing, April 18, 2013, by Craig Sailor

Tacoma Art Museum News Release, January 31, 2013, New Curator Appointed for Haub Collection at Tacoma Art Museum


 Image: Thomas Moran (1837–1926), Green River, Wyoming. Oil on canvas, 20 x 28 1/2 inches. Tacoma Art Museum, promised gift of Erivan and Helga Haub.   
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