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Western art expert Laura F. Fry named as curator for new Haub wing, breaking ground at Tacoma Art Museum later this year

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on Jan. 31, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
January 31, 2013 1:44 pm


Tacoma Art Museum's new Haub curator Laura Fry. Courtesy image.
Tacoma Art Museum’s new Haub curator Laura Fry. Courtesy image.

Tacoma Art Museum announced today that Laura F. Fry, a Western art expert from the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, will be the curator for TAM’s new Haub wing, a 15,000 square foot extension of the museum planned to house last year’s gift of 280 pieces of Western American art by German billionaire Erivan Haub and his wife Helga. Fry will join TAM in April.

“We are delighted to welcome Laura to the museum,” said museum director Stephanie Stebich. “This is a critical position for our museum as we move forward with sharing the Haub Collection with the public.”

Fry joins TAM’s senior curator Rock Hushka, who specializes in Northwest art, and Margaret Bullock, curator of collections and special exhibitions, as part of the full-time curatorial team at the museum. She will create a catalogue for the collection and develop public programs, as well as work initially with staff on the galleries’ design.

“I am thrilled to become part of the Tacoma community,” said Fry. “The chance to share the vision and passion of the Haub family and to bring the stories and history of Western American art to the Puget Sound through this extraordinary collection is the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Fry comes to TAM from Cody, Wyoming, where she worked since 2009 on the Buffalo Bill Historical Center’s 15,000 square foot permanent collection reinstallation. With a research background in Western American Art, she has also worked at the University of Denver’s Myhren Gallery and the Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art in Denver. She is also a scholarly collaborator with Peter H. Hassrick, former director of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, who will continue as TAM’s advisor on the Haub Collection.

The Haub Collection contains works by landscape painters Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran, Western painters such as Frederic Remington, and some modernist and contemporary works. The museum has not yet announced when the wing’s construction will begin.

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