Tacoma Art Museum

Building an Art-glass Center

  • Arts & Culture
  • 2016

Jack Benaroya was a child of Lebanese immigrants who became one of the real-estate developers who built Seattle and the Pacific Northwest into an economic power. He and his wife Becky became active philanthropists starting in the 1990s. In 1993 they made the largest gift ever to a Seattle nonprofit to help the local symphony build a concert hall. The couple also supported medical research, education, and Jewish causes until Jack’s death in 2012. In 2016, Becky announced that she was leaving the family art collection, along with $14 million to construct a special gallery and endow curation and care, to the Tacoma Art Museum. The collection is focused on art glass (which is taught regionally at the Pilchuck Glass School founded by Dale Chihuly, where the Benaroyas had long served as trustees and donors) and will bring total holdings of art glass at the TAM to nearly 1,000 pieces, making it one of the national centers for that craft.

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