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Arts & Crafts History in Tacoma

The Washington State History Museum explores the arts & crafts movement.

A woman admiring a 1910 window at the Washington State History Museum, image
Photo caption
Glass act: A 1910 window stops a visitor.

Some names will fire up any antique hunter: Stickley, Tiffany, Roycroft, Rookwood—all icons of an early 1900s design trend called arts and crafts. These progressives spurned Victorian primness in favor of rustic wood, coarse clay, and earth colors, and helped spread a style much loved in the Pacific Northwest. Some of the region’s best works—from chairs to pottery—are on display in The Arts & Crafts Movement in the Pacific Northwest, an exhibit at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma, Wash.

“The West was all about new forms that fit the rugged magnificence of the scenery while taking full advantage of abundant natural materials,” says Lawrence Kreisman, cocurator of the show. Highlights include Elizabeth Colborne’s richly colored block prints of the mountains, forests, and shorelines around Washington’s Bellingham Bay; a hammered trophy emblem by Adelaide Hanscom; and a glass artwork by Dale Chihuly that shows the movement’s lasting influence. Through November 28. (888) 238-4373,

Photography by Dean Davis

This article was first published in September 2010. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.