“stunning contemporary art”
It began in August, 1992 in the course of a conversation between two friends, Phil Phibbs, who had recently retired as president of the University of Puget Sound and artist Dale Chihuly who had grown up in a neighborhood near the campus and had attended the university. Dr. Phibbs suggested that Tacoma should have a glass museum. He reasoned that artists from the Pacific Northwest had played a major role in the Studio Glass movement as it developed around the world. In particular, Dale Chihuly had influenced the movement significantly, first through his personal artistry and then through the Pilchuck Glass School, which he had founded in the early 1970s with Anne and John Hauberg. A few weeks later, Phil Phibbs outlined his idea and the rationale for a glass museum to the Executive Council for a Greater Tacoma, a group of business and governmental leaders. He fully expected to be politely dismissed. Instead, he was invited to stay for the next presentation. It was a plan for the redevelopment of the Thea Foss Waterway, which at the time was an empty industrial wasteland along a narrow channel of water so polluted that it qualified as a federal Superfund clean-up site. The Chairman of the Council, George Russell, concluded that the idea of a glass museum coincided quite beautifully with the need for a dynamic anchor tenant on the restored waterway.
It's overpriced. It's fun to see them blow glass, but wasn't worth the money.
The museum of glass is one the special places to visit in the Tacoma area. It had been a number of years since I was able to visit, and it is just as great of a place as I remember. When I visited there were four exhibits in the exhibits hall, each with a totally unique example of glass art.
The undersea exhibit was amazing. The artists have used glass as the primary material to depict animals and live under the sea. There ais an amazing glass sculpture of a salmon that was mind blowing, and great examples of mollusks and corals that must be painstaking to make.
The hot house is a great opportunity to watch artists blowing glass. It is amazing how the teams work together to build each piece. We were fortunate to be there on a day when they were making a piece of art designed by a child. The hot house has a narrator that tells you what is happening throughout the process.
The gift shop is also worth stopping in. There are great examples of glass art that you can purchase along with other great gift ideas from Washington.
This is somewhere you need to visit if you are in Tacoma. You really will not see anything like this anywhere else.
Pricey and in support of a charlatan. The goats eating blackberry bushes was much more interesting
The most unique museum in tacoma!
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Museum of Glass
- Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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