Tacoma Art Museum announces balanced budget in FY04

The Tacoma Art Museum released an unaudited statement of activities for fiscal year 2004, July 1, 2003 – June 30, 2004, reporting a balanced budget for the fourth year running, according to a statement released on Friday.

“Once again we have achieved one of our major goals, to ensure a solid financial base for the museum,” said Rod Bigelow, Interim Executive Director. “It’s a clear indication of our commitment to ensuring that Tacoma Art Museum is sustained into the future.”

The museum’s budget increased from $2.8 million to $3.1 million in 2004, along with the opening of a new facility that is twice the size of its former home. Tacoma Art Museum also doubled its attendance from the previous year, with 100,000 visitors to the new building. In April, the museum announced another success: the completion of its $27 million Capital Campaign. The museum successfully raised $22 million for the new building, and $5 million for an endowment.

“The close of the Capital Campaign in April was the peak of our outstanding first year in the new building,” remarked Board President Rick Carr. “Now we are looking ahead to the future as we continue to expand our commitment to exhibition and education excellence.”

Earlier this month, Tacoma Art Museum was awarded more than $112,000 from The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), to research and document its entire Dale Chihuly collection. This is the first time in nearly ten years that the museum has received funding from the independent federal agency. The grant will fund the development of various educational resources for visitors interested in learning more about Dale Chihuly’s glass art, and will include an audio guide to which visitors can listen while viewing the art on display.

Tacoma Art Museum’s collection also grew substantially last year, with over 130 works gifted to the collection, many of them in honor of the new building. Groupings of these newly gifted works were displayed throughout the first three installments of Building Tradition: Gifts in Honor of the Northwest Art Collection, and the fourth installation of the exhibition series will open December 18, 2004.

Various works from the Building Tradition series, along with some of Tacoma Art Museum’s well-known treasures, are currently on display in A Sense of Place: Selections from the Tacoma Art Museum Collection. This thematic grouping of works from the permanent collection is on long-term display in the museum’s Jane and George Russell Gallery, and includes works by nationally regarded artists such as Edward Hopper, Eugène Louis Boudin, and Thomas Hart Benton, as well as Northwest favorites such Jacob Lawrence, Victoria Adams, Guy Anderson, and Randy Hayes.

In addition to A Sense of Place, Tacoma Art Museum is currently showing three additional exhibitions: Look Alikes: The Decal Plates of Howard Kottler, on view through December 12, 2004, Scott Fife, on view through January 2, 2005, and Hudson River School: Masterworks from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, on view through January 16, 2005. For more information about the museum’s exhibitions and education programs, visit www.tacomaartmuseum.org or call 253.272.4258.