Arts & Entertainment

Tacoma museum district open

The museum district has reopened after closures caused by COVID-19, allowing guests to visit once again.

Tacoma’s museum district has reopened following the initial outbreak of COVID-19 last year. The district consists of six museums: Washington State History Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, LeMay – America’s Car Museum, Museum of Glass, Foss Waterway Seaport Maritime Museum, and Children’s Museum of Tacoma.

The Washington State History Museum is located on Pacific Ave. and is next to Union Station. Some of the current temporary exhibitions include “Crossing Boundaries: Portraits of a Transgender West”, which “highlights historical narratives of transgender people in the West and considers how westward migration provided opportunities for self-expression and fulfillment.” Another such exhibit is “As Grandmother Taught: Women, Tradition, and Plateau Art,” which features the work of three indigenous artists and “celebrates the work of three contemporary Plateau women alongside historic objects and images from the collections of the NWMAC.”

Located at 1801 Dock St. Tacoma, and within walking distance from UW Tacoma, The Museum of Glass is “dedicated to glass and glassmaking.” The temporary exhibits at the Museum of Glass include “What Are You Looking At?”, “Counterparts: Glass + Art Elements,”  and “Rene Lalique: Art deco gems from the Steven and Roslyn Shulman collection.” The Museum of Glass also features the “Hot Shop,” where museum patrons can watch artists work with glass in person and see how the artwork is created. 

The Tacoma Art Museum features art exhibitions, such as “Native Portraiture: Power and Perception.” This exhibition attempts to break down the romanticization of natives in non-native art, by showing depictions made by native artists, aiming “to give voice to native people and communities” and “to show their resiliency and power over the ways in which they are portrayed and perceived.” The museum also features temporary exhibitions, such as “Immigrant Artists and the American West,” which draws attention to how art related to and responds to personal and political issues around immigration”., and the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection, which “celebrates the achievements and contribution of Black Americans from 1595 to present times.”

The Foss Waterway Seaport Maritime Museum celebrates “the rich maritime history of the Tacoma community and the region through interpretation, education, and events that tell the stories of our collective past, present and future.” Some of their permanent exhibits include: “Puyallup People: First on the Waterways” which shows the “many changes” that the Puyallup people “have experienced in the past two centuries.” Another exhibit called “Where Rails Met Sails” shows how the introduction of steam locomotives and a rail system changed Tacoma, and “celebrates the Northern Pacific Railroad and its impact on not only Tacoma, but also the entire Puget Sound region.”

All of these museums are near UWT, or a short ride on the Link away.