Benaroya Collection Gifted to TAM

On her 93rd birthday, Becky Benaroya gave a gift to the Tacoma Art Museum.

Benaroya bequeathed the art collection she amassed with her husband, Jack, over their 70 years of marriage. Along with the 225-work collection, Benaroya also gifted funds for a 7,390 square foot gallery to display the collection, an endowment for its care, and funds for a dedicated curator. In total, the gift totals to nearly $14 million.

“We’re deeply honored and grateful for this incredible gift to Tacoma,” TAM executive director Stephanie Stebich said in a release. “We are very pleased to celebrate Becky’s generosity and this exemplary collection with a preview exhibition in October 2016, to give everyone a taste of what is to come when the new galleries open. For Becky to make this extraordinary gift to the public on her birthday is inspiring and we are forever grateful.”

Tacoma will get its first peek at the collection in October 2016, when preview of the collection goes on display.

The gifted collection includes 150 works in glass, bringing TAM’s glass holdings to almost 1,000 pieces. The Benaroyas were avid collectors of national and international glass artists, especially those from the Pilchuck Glass School.

“We approached TAM for many reasons; chief among them was the Museum’s focus on Northwest art. We believe that our collection fits beautifully with TAM’s holdings and mission. We also wanted to keep the collection together and in the Northwest,” Benaroya said.

The new wing for the collection will be designed by Tom Kundig of Seattle-based firm Olson Kundig and is projected to open in 2018. There will be 5,700 square feet of gallery space, with 1,690 square feet for public facilities and support functions.

is a staff writer at South Sound magazine. Email her.
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