Tacoma Museum Highlights Glass Art

Welcome to the Tacoma Museum, where glass art shines brightly! Immerse yourself in a fascinating universe where transparency and luminosity meet to create unique and splendid works. Follow us for a sparkling exploration through the artistic world of glass.

Discover the Tacoma Museum of Glass

At first glance, the Tacoma Glass Museum impresses with its immense cone ninety-foot tower that rises into the sky like a futuristic chimney. Designed by internationally renowned architect Arthur Erickson, this cone with gleaming stainless steel tiles is inspired by the sawdust burners that once dotted this region of Washington state. This cone also houses a glassblowing studio where visitors can admire glass artisans at work.

Sparkling glass sculptures welcome you

Immediately inside, one of the first works that captures the attention is the magnificent glass sculpture of Martin Blank, “Fluent Steps.” Spanning 210 feet of the museum’s main plaza, it is made up of more than 700 individual hand-carved pieces and depicts the various shapes of water. A true marvel for the eyes!

Museums Galore in Tacoma’s Museum District

Opened in 2002, the Tacoma Museum of Glass is considered one of the top five glass museums in the country. Located in Tacoma’s vibrant Museum District, it offers visitors the opportunity to explore six world-class museums, all within walking distance: the Tacoma Art Museum, the Washington State History Museum, the LeMay – America’s Car Museum, the Children’s Museum of Tacoma and the Foss Waterway Seaport.

The Chihuly Glass Bridge: A spectacular connection

The museum is connected to the city center by the sumptuous Chihuly Bridge of Glass. This 500-foot pedestrian bridge features three installations by Dale Chihuly, an internationally renowned glass artist from Tacoma. Chihuly is a pioneer of the Studio Glass Movement and co-founder of the Pilchuck Glass School. His works are also on display at the museum, and for enthusiasts, a visit to the Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle is highly recommended.

An architectural gem not to be missed

The 79,000 square foot Museum of Glass building is an iconic cultural landmark and a work of art in its own right. It beautifully blends concrete and glass in contemporary forms, seamlessly integrated into the surroundings with platforms rising from the banks of the Foss Waterway to a rooftop plaza, offering picturesque views of the city and the seafront.

Immerse yourself in the world of glass thanks to current exhibitions

Current exhibitions attract a wide audience with rich and varied themes. Among them :

  • “A Two-Way Mirror: Double Consciousness in Contemporary Glass by Black Artists” explores social, cultural, gender, and racial identity concerns through the works of 23 black contemporary artists.
  • “The Salmon School”, an international multimedia exhibition, draws attention to the sustainability issues of wild salmon with a life-size glass salmon school.
  • “Spotlight on Chihuly” highlights some of Chihuly’s most iconic series from the museum’s permanent collection, including the fascinating “Gibson Chandelier.”
  • “Illuminate” offers an interactive experience for children and their families, combining art, science and play through various manipulatable pieces.

The Hot Shop Amphitheater: where the magic of glass comes to life

The highlight of the visit undoubtedly remains the Hot Shop Amphitheater, where visitors can observe glass artists at work. With the help of the Hot Shop team, resident glassblowers create works while explaining their process through a narrator who answers questions live. Visitors are often captivated by the action projected on a large screen above the ovens, spending long moments watching the pieces being created from start to finish.

Educational programs to enrich your visit

For an even deeper immersion, the museum offers a variety of educational programs: classes, lectures, films, workshops, a hands-on art studio, and gallery discussions. This is a perfect opportunity to delve into this fascinating art and perhaps even inspire you to create your own glass works.

Make a gourmet and shopping stop

For souvenir lovers, The Museum Store offers a variety of glass objects ranging from small trinkets to fine art, not to mention children’s items, books and much more. The on-site café will satisfy your taste buds with a range of breakfast and lunch dishes, as well as a coffee bar for that much-needed mid-day boost.

A visit to the Tacoma Museum of Glass is an unforgettable experience, offering a fascinating insight into the world of glass and its impact on contemporary art.