January 24, 2014
Media Contact: Julianna Verboort, 253-272-4258 x3011, JVerboort@TacomaArtMuseum.org
Tacoma Art Museum Transfers Chinese Textiles to Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation
Collaborative Agreement with The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience Supports and Strengthens Missions of Northwest Institutions
(Tacoma, WA) – Tacoma Art Museum announces the transfer of nine textiles to the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation. The artworks were part of the museum’s collections and had been gifted to the museum by the late Colonel John and Mrs. Mary Young. Through a joint agreement, The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience will provide for the preservation and care of the items until the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation has a suitable facility in Tacoma to display them.
“The missions of our sister institutions are best suited for these particular works,” said Stephanie A. Stebich, Director of Tacoma Art Museum. “This partnership allows the textiles to remain in the region for future generations.”
In June 2012, after a two-year process, Tacoma Art Museum’s Board of Trustees approved the deaccessioning and public sale of select Chinese and Japanese objects from the museum’s collection that no longer supported the museum’s collecting focus. The group of 222 objects included Chinese textiles and jades as well as Japanese netsukes and other pieces generously donated to the museum between 1966 and 1987 by Colonel John and Mrs. Mary Young, Roger and Marilyn Priem, and Fred Haley. Late in the process, the Youngs’ children, Al Young and Connie Young Yu, asked that Tacoma Art Museum find another home in the Puget Sound region for some of the works in their parents’ gift. The museum honored their request and the parties agreed on nine textiles to donate to a local arts and culture organization that could both appropriately care for the artwork and share their historical significance with the community for generations to come. Per standard museum policy, proceeds from the sale of the rest of the deaccessioned works will be used only to acquire other works of art for the museum.
“We are glad the Chinese Reconciliation Project and The Wing Luke Museum will be stewards of the symbolic portion of our parents’ collection of Chinese art treasures deaccessioned by Tacoma Art Museum,” said Al Young and Connie Young Yu, children of the late Colonel John and Mrs. Mary Young.
The Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Tacoma that aims to inform and inspire the community while advancing civic harmony through the creation of important cultural projects such as the Tacoma Chinese Reconciliation Park along the Commencement Bay waterfront near Old Town and the annual Moon Festival.
“One of the goals of the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation is to provide educational opportunities to our community,” said Theresa Pan, President of the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation. “We hope to share the diversity within Tacoma and expose how cultural and artistic wealth can link us all. These garments will provide stories connecting the East and West and continue to share our story of reconciliation.”
Ownership of the textiles will be transferred to the Foundation, while the Wing Luke Museum will provide preservation and care of the items in their collections storage. The Wing Luke Museum will also manage access to the materials to further their educational use while ensuring their ongoing care.
“The Youngs’ gifts to Tacoma Art Museum in the 1970s were an extraordinary and unusual gesture on both sides toward building understanding between cultures and communities,” said Beth Takekawa, Executive Director of The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. “The Wing Luke Museum is excited and honored to play a role as stewards of these valuable materials and their associated legacy, significance, and meaning.”
Tacoma Art Museum continues to work with local cultural organizations to find and/or commission public art that supports the museum’s mission and honors the community’s cultural heritage while also educating future generations.
About the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation
Founded in 1994, the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation’s goal is to promote peace and harmony in our multicultural community by educating the community and establishing a historical memory, building a park with a Chinese garden and multicultural pavilion for the community, setting a reconciliation example for other communities, and by exploring and celebrating our cultural diversity as well as common humanity.
About Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience’s mission is to connect everyone to the rich history, dynamic cultures, and art of Asian Pacific Americans through vivid storytelling and inspiring experiences. It is the first Smithsonian Affiliate in the Pacific Northwest and the nation’s only museum devoted to the pan-Asian Pacific American experience.