Rebels By Bus

Slow Travel With Low Carbon Footprint

Norman Rockwell in Tacoma….


Today’s destination is the Tacoma Art Museum, (1701 Pacific Avenue; 253-272-4258; to see the “American Chronicles:  the Art of Norman Rockwell”.  The Tacoma Art Museum is the ONLY Northwest venue for this special exhibit.  Norman Rockwell was an iconic artist who depicted American life which is perhaps best known for his cover page art for the “Saturday Evening Post” magazine.   Words to describe his art work include “America, courage, innocence, freedom, history.”  I am especially drawn to his excellent renditions of his beagle dogs; since a beagle owns me! 

The trip to Tacoma is an easy one-bus ride that I’ve made several times.  I boarded Intercity Transit’s 603 ($2.50) at Martin Way park-and-ride at 9:20 a.m.  There are plenty of parking spaces at this location; there is no parking at either the Olympia or Lacey Transit Centers.  The bus makes only a couple stops in Lakewood and then heads to Tacoma. I got off on Pacific Avenue in front of the History Museum a little after 10 a.m.

The exhibit was excellent.  It shows examples of some of his commercial product advertisements (Kelloggs corn flakes and Colgate toothpaste are two examples), as well as dozens of his famous Saturday Evening Post cover pictures.  Mr. Rockwell’s art work was featured on 323 Saturday Evening Post covers, from 1916 – 1963. 

His large oils depicting scenes from the 1960’s civil rights movement were especially moving.  In addition to his finished work, sketches and notes were included in the exhibit.  The large picture entitled “The problem we all live with” demonstrates Viagra the unrest of the early days of school desegregation:  A young African-American girl is escorted to school by four deputy U.S. Marshalls.  Squashed tomatoes (assumingly thrown in anger by protestors) are evident on the wall and sidewalk.   

I recommend this show to those of you who will reminisce about Rockwell’s work, but I also believe this exhibit is a history lesson in American life; the good, bad, and ugly. 

After having a leisurely lunch, I caught the 1:25 back to the Lacey Park and Ride.  There are eight bus runs between 1:25 and 5:30… you never have to wait for long to catch the bus. 

On Saturday May 21st, at 2 pm, at the Tacoma University of Washington Campus, Ruby Bridge, a Civil Rights icon, will share her story about integrating an all-white New Orleans school in 1960.  She inspired both the nation AND Norman Rockwell.  

Other Things To Do in the area:

 In prior visits, I have visited some of the shops along Pacific Avenue across from the History Museum. A Renaissance Café is a comfortable place for breakfast, sandwiches and homemade cookies. Hello Cupcake provides sweet treats that can be brought home.  There are also boutique/gift shops that are fun to browse.

 Tacoma Art Museum Details: 

 Museum Hours:

Wednesday – Sunday 10 am – 5 pm

Third Thursday, free 10 am—8pm


Members            FREE
Adults   $9
Students, Military, Seniors (65 +)   $8
Family (2 adults and up to 4 children under 18)   $25
Children age 5 and under   FREE
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