The Tacoma Art Museum’s “Hide/Seek” exhibit is “Playing on a level with Washington D.C., and New York,” writes Rosemary Ponnekanti (TNT, 3-18). Cool. But just a few days earlier, in The New York Times’ 40-page section on museums, TAM’s show was nowhere to be seen. Not hidden; absent. Same for the LeMay-America’s Car Museum June 1 opening, anticipated around the world.
Instead, the Times featured the Seattle Art Museum (showing Paul Gaughin art), the Denver Art Museum (Yves St. Laurent couture) and the Getty (an altar from Warsaw). All excellent shows, no doubt. But why are our cultural assets hidden?
If outsiders didn’t say such great things about TAM and LeMay, the Museum of Glass and the Washington State History Museum, then we might be delusional, guilty of self-importance. I don’t think so. LeMay is not a well-lit car lot; “Hide/Seek” isn’t snapshots from a Warhol binge.
Do we actually choose to hide our light under a barrel? Or are we – as a community – incompetent in the art of blowing our own horn when it comes to cultural tourism? Modesty may be a virtue but not when it comes to competing for visitors we need to help grow our economy.