Haub Collection of Western Art
[Tacoma Art Museum, Promised Gift of Erivan and Helga Haub]
I learned some exciting local arts news from the Wall Street Journal today. German supermarket billionaire Erivan “Mr. Haub and his wife, Helga, are giving the bulk of their collection of Western art to the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington state. The couple is also funding most of a $15 million project to add a lobby and a museum wing to display it all.”
The article goes on to explain:
The 280 pieces in the gift include works by major Western artists Thomas Moran, Frederic Remington and Charles Russell. Collectively, the works chronicle the Western sweep of Manifest Destiny—from portraits of Native American chiefs to cowboys astride horses to sun-drenched vistas.
Many of the works are by 19th-century European painters who fell hard for the American West, whether or not they ever actually visited the region. The terrain they conjured on canvas is largely grand and unspoiled. The gem is “Green River, Wyoming,” by Moran, a self-taught painter from England who later crisscrossed the West to paint his epic landscapes. Moran’s 1907 scene shows a band of Indians riding toward the river as terracotta-colored rocks loom on the opposite bank.
Most of the new 15,000-square-foot wing and all of the 280-piece art collection come courtesy of Erivan Haub and his wife Helga, who own property here. They amassed the collection over 25 years.
The Haub collection is a who’s who of Western art: Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, Georgia O’Keeffe, Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt, John Clymer, and Tom Lovell as well as contemporary artists such as Bill Schenck. It contains both paintings and sculptures. The new wing will display anywhere from 100 to 150 pieces at a time, Hushka said.
“This is definitely one of the finest Western art collections in private hands,” [Curator Rock] Hushka said. Only the Denver Art Museum with its extensive collections of Native American art and Western painting and photography has a substantially greater collection.
We haven’t been to the Tacoma Art Museum in many years. Our loss, since they always seem to have interesting exhibitions. We’ll have to get down there soon. And again, of course, once the new wing opens.