Best Museum News: Tacoma Art Museum

I fully expect that by Best of Seattle2014, SAM’s Kimerly Rorschach will have announced plans to modernize the old Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. Until then, however, the big museum news comes further down Puget Sound, where the Tacoma Art Museum is preparing to add a 16,000-square-foot addition to house the Haub Family Collection. That trove consists of 300 works, mostly paintings of the American West by Bierstadt, Moran, Remington, and other notables. (Georgia O’Keeffe’s in there, too.) Who are the benefactors of this gift and the $15.5 million museum expansion? Erivan Haub, 80, built his German family’s food business into a multibillion-dollar company, The Tengelmann Group, with extensive American real-estate holdings. (He owns Sun Mountain Lodge in the Methow Valley.) What’s the Tacoma connection? He and his wife Helga spent enough time in T-town that it’s where their three adult sons were born. They began collecting Western art in the ’80s, and their gift to TAM will raise the museum’s profile on a national and even international level. Expect many German tourists to visit—and wander up to SAM.

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