About our Collections

Since its founding in 1935, Tacoma Art Museum has focused on the art and artists of the Northwest in both its exhibitions and collecting. A key goal in the museum’s strategic plan is to build the premier collection of Northwest art and be a leader in the preservation and scholarship of the region’s visual arts. The museum’s rich collection now includes over 5,000 artworks, about 3,000 of which are by Northwest artists or related to the region.  They range across all media and span from the 19th century to the present.

In addition TAM has, and continues to, selectively acquire works by national and international artists, most recently the addition of a notable collection of western American art. These artworks provide connections to broader contexts in which to understand Northwest art such as how it relates to national and international art movements, compares and contrasts with other regional expressions, reflects important historical moments and trends, and reveals key influences on its development.

Though the entire collection is not permanently on view at the museum, selected works from the collection are always in the galleries as part of various exhibitions and installations. If you are interested in a specific work from the collection, please contact us when planning your visit to determine whether or not it is currently on view.

In August 2009, Tacoma Art Museum received a Museums for America (MFA) grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to increase information related to its collection and make it accessible online. This work is still in progress with new records and images added regularly. A second IMLS grant received in September 2014 supports digitization of the museum’s permanent collection. Learn more about the museum’s collection goals by reading our 10-Year Collection Plan (download here).

eMuseum Database

Made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Tacoma Art Museum’s eMuseum project was designed to make the museum’s collection available online. To access Tacoma Art Museum’s collection database, click here.

Pierre Auguste Renoir (French, 1841 ‑ 1919), Heads of Two Young Girls, 1890. Oil on canvas, 12 3/4 x 16 1/4 in. (32.4 x 41.3 cm). Tacoma Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. W. Hilding Lindberg, 1983.1.35

Gilbert Stuart (American, 1755-1828), Portrait of George Washington, circa 1797, Oil on canvas, 28 1/8 × 24 3/16 in. (71.4 × 61.4 cm). Tacoma Art Museum, Haub Family Collection, Gift of Erivan and Helga Haub, 2014.6.130

Jacob Lawrence (American, 1917-2000), Brooklyn Stoop, 1967, Gouache and casein on paper, 21 1/8 x 16 1/8 in. (53.7 x 41 cm). Tacoma Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1990.7