The Tacoma Museum of Art explores the historical contexts of landscape paintings in ‘On Native Land:…

Grafton Tyler Brown. “A Canyon River with Pines and Figures (Yellowstone)”, circa 1886. Oil on canvas, 35 3/4 in. x 56 in. (90.8 x 142.2cm). Tacoma Art Museum. Purchase of the museum with funds from the Art Acquisition Fund and the Tacoma Pierce County Black Collective.

The homelands of more than 75 Native American communities are represented in the paintings of 14 notable landscapes in the Tacoma Art Museum exhibit In native land: Landscapes of the Haub Family Collection opening November 6. These communities will be recognized by written land acknowledgments that will appear on labels next to each painting in the gallery.

Landscape painting as a genre often focuses on a single location, environment, or moment in nature. Meditations on the power of the natural world, landscapes are often devoid of signs of human presence. On the native land expands how viewers interpret these landscapes by adding historical contexts that acknowledge the many different Native American communities whose homelands are depicted in the paintings.

“We invite visitors to learn about and share with us Indigenous land ownership, treaty rights, reservations and place names while considering the history of the land,” says Faith Brower, Haub Curator of American Western art. “By connecting with the members of the tribes whose homelands are represented in On the native landI hope to learn more about how these places remain vital and meaningful to Native American communities today.

The exhibition shares perspectives on the subject of land recognition in articles, videos, and other resources in the gallery and online. QR codes in the gallery will encourage visitors to engage with online resources highlighting Native American voices and responses that are relevant to the lands represented in the works on display.

On the native land offers visitors the opportunity to explore landscape paintings while recognizing the important cultural history of the land,” said David F. Setford, Executive Director. “This exhibition continues the Museum’s efforts to think broadly about how works of art are interpreted and how TAM can better work with communities to share important stories.”

Outreach to Native American communities to further research on the Illustrated Lands continues. The exhibit and related online materials will be updated as more landscape information is gathered. The exhibition will be visible until 2023.

TAM would like to thank the advisors who consulted on this exposure, in particular Amber Hayward (Puyallup Tribe) and Charlotte Basch (Puyallup Tribe). Basch’s curatorial work on landscape paintings and honoring indigenous communities inspired TAM’s work on the subject. The Museum also thanks artists Chris Duenas (Puyallup) and Anthony Duenas (Puyallup) for creating the exhibition logo.

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Haub Family Endowment. Additional funding provided by ArtsFund and Tacoma Creates.


Phyllis McElroy

Jay Ray, on behalf of the Tacoma Art Museum

[email protected]

Tacoma Art Museum

1701 Pacific Avenue

Tacoma, WA

[email protected]



About the Tacoma Museum of Art

Celebrating over 85 years, the Tacoma Art Museum is the premier resource for art from the Pacific Northwest and the Greater West. TAM’s mission is to transform our communities by sharing art that inspires broader perspectives and cultivates a compassionate future. TAM’s collection contains over 5,300 works, with a focus on art and artists from the North West and the wider West region, 25% of which are studio glass. The collection includes the largest retrospective collection of glass art by Tacoma native Dale Chihuly on permanent display; the largest collection of workshop art jewelry from artists in the Northwest; the Haub family collection of over 300 works of western American art; key collections of 19th century European art and 20th century American art; and one of the finest collections of Japanese prints on the West Coast. TAM is in the heart of Tacoma’s bustling museum district, which consists of six museums, including the Glass Museum and the Washington State History Museum. The Tacoma Art Museum is located on the homelands of the Puyallup Indian Tribe. We recognize and honor the Puyallup people and Coast Salish communities who have endured so much, so that we can all prosper here today.


Comments are closed.