The collection includes paintings and sculptures by Kenneth Callahan, Frank Okada, Margaret Ford and William Ivey.
This week, Seattle art collector Vasiliki Dwyer donated 22 artworks, mostly paintings and sculptures by Northwest artists, to Tacoma Art Museum. The works, Dwyer said, will remain in her apartment until she passes away, at which point they’ll be sent to TAM. The collection includes paintings and sculptures by Kenneth Callahan, Frank Okada, Margaret Ford, William Ivey, Julie Speidel and others.
“It’s all very personal to me,” she said. “I knew these artists. They were my friends — most of them are dead now, but I want to keep them together.”
Dwyer, whose husband was a prominent judge, were active collectors who became friends with the artists whose work they were collecting.
One of the featured artists, Greek painter Elena Korakianitou, said she met Dwyer in the 1970s in Greece, when a mutual friend wanted to summit Mount Olympus to find the throne of Zeus. “It was a crazy,” Korakianitou said. “I was a stewardess for Olympic Airlines so he thought I’d find him a helicopter pilot to take him up there. They went partly up the mountain but conditions got bad, so they had to turn back.”
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But that experience, Korakianitou said, cemented a lifelong friendship between her and Dwyer.
Dwyer’s gift is important, said TAM curator Margaret Bullock, because it includes “works that supplement the existing collection, filling in the gaps.”
Dwyer said she was inspired to make the gift while approaching her recent 88th birthday. “I just realized my mortality,” she said. “I think Tacoma Art Museum is such a vibrant place. I’m happy these works will end up there.”