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Creating the New Northwest: Selections from the Herb and Lucy Pruzan CollectionFay Jones

 Creating the New Northwest: Selections from the Herb and Lucy Pruzan Collection
June 15–October 6, 2013

The art collection that traces the rapid evolution of Northwest art began in 1958 with the purchase of one oil painting that Herb and Lucy Pruzan selected to help make their first apartment feel more like a home. In the years that have followed, the Pruzans have built a distinguished art collection that reflects the advancement of artistic excellence in the Pacific Northwest.

From June 15 through October 6, 2013, Tacoma Art Museum will share more than 100 works from the Pruzans’ collection, in Creating the New Northwest: Selections from the Herb and Lucy Pruzan Collection. The exhibition includes works in all media by some of our most beloved regional artists, such as William Cumming, Gaylen Hansen, Paul Havas, William Ivey, Fay Jones, James Martin, Alden Mason, Joseph Park, Ginny Ruffner, Preston Singletary, Akio Takamori, and more.

Creating the New Northwest shares the story of how Northwest artists have shaped new perceptions and a new sense of artistic identity. The Pruzans continue to support artists who live and work in the Northwest with an eagerness to embrace new opportunities that artists signal through innovative approaches.

“Art brings you out of yourself and into something else that has meaning,” said Herb Pruzan. “We’re interested in the artist and the work that they produce, regardless of the style or fashion.”

Many of the artworks in the exhibition are early works and in some instances are the first works sold by the artists. These foundational works give an insight into the artists’ career and influences. The Pruzans have followed the work of some artists since the beginning of their careers, allowing us to see the transformation and growth of such artists as Joseph Park, Jeffry Mitchell, Akio Takamori, and Whiting Tennis.

“They came to understand that artists were finding materials to help express the experience of the Northwest: water, forests, and earth were literally being formed into a new sense of identity,” wrote Rock Hushka, Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art at Tacoma Art Museum for the exhibition’s catalogue, available for sale in the Museum Store.

Although the Pruzans never set out to specifically form a collection or "accumulation” (as Lucy calls it), it stands as a testament to their passions and reflects their belief in the essential contributions of art and artists that strengthen our communities and improve the human condition.

“Even today, the Pruzans remain constant in their support of our region’s artists, galleries, and museums,” said Stephanie A. Stebich, Director of Tacoma Art Museum. “Their commitment to new trends and ideas strengthens the Northwest artist community.”

Creating the New Northwest marks an auspicious moment in the growth of Tacoma Art Museum’s permanent collection. Herb and Lucy Pruzan have promised nine iconic works of Northwest art to the museum, in addition to five gifts already in the permanent collection. Their generosity helps advance the museum’s progress toward developing the premier collection of Northwest art.  

Related programs and events

Art+Science Salon: Art, Ecology, and Community
Thursday, June 20, 6–8 pm

Join us during Third Thursday to see Creating the New Northwest: Selections from the Herb and Lucy Pruzan Collection with an Art+Science Salon focusing on Art, Ecology, and the Community.

Art+Science is a collaboration with University of Puget Sound. In keeping with the essence of the liberal arts and sciences, the University of Puget Sound is creating a new venture to bring scientists, artists, and interdisciplinary thinkers together through conversations and the emergent collaborations. Come, converse, and collaborate! The next Art+Science Salon will consider intersections between the arts, ecology, and community. Add your voice to a panel featuring:

  • Amy McBride, Tacoma Art Administrator
  • Elizabeth Conner, Artist and Adjunct Instructor at University of Washington Tacoma
  • Vaughn Bell, Artist and Adjunct Instructor at University of Washington Tacoma
  • Peter Hodum, Biologist and Assistant Professor at University of Puget Sound


Summer Camp: Art Adventures
Tuesday–Friday, August 13–16, Ages 9–14

Campers will be introduced to a new art technique each day from painting, sculpting, drawing, and printmaking. Local artists will guide lessons and the museum’s art collection will offer inspiration for campers to create their own masterpieces. A student exhibition and celebration will be held at Tacoma Art Museum on the last day of camp. Cost: $290 ($260 for members). Learn more about Summer Camp.


Exhibition Catalogue

Creating the New Northwest Catalogue Cover

The 96-page hard-bound exhibition catalogue, Creating the New Northwest: Selections from the Herb and Lucy Pruzan Collection, featuring photos of the artwork and essays by Curator Rock Hushka and Art Critic Matthew Kangas is available for purchase in the Museum. Use your member discount today!


More to Explore

Click below to learn more about these Northwest artists who are part of the Pruzan's collection!

Guy Anderson

Rudy Autio

Jay Backstrand

Fred Bauer

Sonja Blomdahl

Louis Bunce

Michael Burns

Mark Calderon

Robert Colescott

William Cumming

Michael Dailey

Gloria DeArcangelis

Nathan DiPietro 

Michael Ehle

Eric Elliott

Claudia Fitch

Jacob Foran

Ann Gardner

Gregory Grenon

Lauren Grossman

C. Louis Hafermehl 

Gaylen Hansen

Paul Havas

Paul Heald

Paul Horiuchi

William Ivey

Doug Jeck

Fay Jones

David C. Kane

Andrew Keating

Leo Kenney

Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora C. Mace 

John Franklin Koenig

Howard Kottler

Craig Langager

Michael Lawson

Phillip Levine

Norman Lundin

Paul Marioni

Sherry Markovitz

James Martin

Alden Mason

Gene Gentry McMahon

Nancy Mee

Neil Meitzler

Jeffry Mitchell

Benjamin Moore

Mike Moran

Carl Morris

Hilda Morris

William Morris

Eric Nelsen

Hans Nelsen

Frank Okada 

Joseph Park

Richard Royal

Ginny Ruffner

Michele Russo

Preston Singletary

Michael Spafford

Akio Takamori

Norman Taylor

Whiting Tennis

Tip Toland

Merrily Tompkins

Theodore Waddel

Jamie Walker

Patti Warashina

James W. Washington, Jr.

Toots Zynsky 


This exhibition is organized by Tacoma Art Museum.

Top to bottom: Fay Jones, Big Fish—Small Pond, 1996. Acrylic on paper mounted on board, 45 × 46 inches. Cover of exhibition catalog: Louis Bunce, Apple, 1968. Oil on canvas, 41 x 48 inches. Tacoma Art Museum, promised gift of Herb and Lucy Pruzan.

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