Artwork by Renee Adams

Artwork by Renee Adams

“Spine Lamp” by Robert Zinkevich

Tacoma has more than its share of unusual, and unusually alluring, art spaces – Seymour Conservatory, Karpeles Manuscript Museum, the century-old downtown post office, and the retro Woolworth Windows, to name a few. But for sheer charisma, the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum (705 Dock St.) on Tacoma’s working waterfront has few peers.  From July 16-August 30, 2015, a unique exhibition is on view at the Seaport: WUNDERKAMMER: Artifacts, False Memories and Projections.

Foss Waterway Seaport, a vintage warehouse revitalized by Olson-Kundig Architects. Courtesy photo

Foss Waterway Seaport, a vintage warehouse revitalized by Olson-Kundig Architects. Courtesy photo

Illustration: Jessica Spring

Illustration: Jessica Spring

The Renaissance wunderkammer, or cabinet of curiosities, was a gallery of natural specimens, cultural artifacts, scientific instruments, rare manuscripts,anthropological objects, and unclassifiable oddities first collected by seafaring explorers for European royalty. Such collections, distant precursors to today’s museums, were compendiums of fascinating objects both real and fake. Whether genuine or not, the objects served to stimulate the spirit of inquiry and adventure in the human imagination. Inspired by the wunderkammer, this exhibition embeds select contemporary artworks with objects in the Seaport’s permanent collections, while presenting others in a gallery setting. Some of the region’s foremost artists in glass, video, ceramics, and mixed media present work to delight and confound viewers, and suggest a collection of curiosities for the digital age.

A 17th-century cabinet of curiosities.

A 17th-century cabinet of curiosities.

Renee Adams
David Blakesley
Alice Di Certo
Kyle Dillehay
Marc Dombrosky & Shannon Eakins
Justin Gibbens
Chuck Iffland
Steve Jensen
Alexander Keyes
Lisa Kinoshita
Nicholas Nyland
Jenny Pohlman & Sabrina Knowles
Holly Senn
Jessica Spring
Brent Watanabe
Mishele Dupree Winter
Robert Zinkevich

Guest Curator: Lisa Kinoshita

The museum is at 705 Dock Street, just down the road from the Museum of Glass. Show runs through August 30, 2015. Hours and visitor info at

This project is made possible with support from:
Foss Waterway Seaport
Tacoma Maritime Fest
Tacoma Arts Commission
Artech Fine Art Services
Greater Tacoma Community Foundation

Special thanks:
Ray and Kerri Frederich for the loan of their baleen scrimshaw

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