In the face of uncertain times, art can provide an outlet of solace and much-needed respite. Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) remains devoted to the public as it continues to provide a connection to its permanent art collection through eMuseum during closures. Patrons can visually explore and interact with the vast assemblage of works TAM has to offer — right from home.
The website offers a birds-eye view to their online platform of art. While typically museums have much less to offer virtually, TAM is able to provide more than 70 percent of their renowned collection due to independent and federal support.
The digitization project began in 2009 through a Museums for America (MFA) grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). An additional endowment from IMLS was received in 2014, which allowed further images of the museum’s permanent collection to be captured on film. Other donors in support of this extensive virtual resource include the Driscoll Foundation, and Herb and Lucy Puzan.
eMuseum went live in 2011, and TAM stood by its mission of “connecting people through art” both in-person and virtually. Now, this resource is more important than ever. “We hope this is a way people can still be connected through art during this time of international crisis,” stated Margaret Bullock, interim chief curator and curator of collections and special exhibitions.
The museum continues to add photographs of current objets d’art and content on a regular basis. Although not every piece will be found on online, more than half of the gallery’s articles can be viewed. Visitors can look at curated pieces from within such collections as: In Honor of Women’s History Month, Works by Native American Artists in the Northwest Art Collection, and Artists and the Environment.