The World Through Abby’s Eyes exhibit, January 8, 2024 – May 15, 2024, Collins Library

Collins Library is excited to announce an upcoming exhibit, The World Through Abby’s Eyes. The exhibit will be on display in Collins library from January 8th, 2024 – May 15th, 2024.

The World Through Abby’s Eyes, is about the nuanced life of women in the American West in the early twentieth century. The focal point of the exhibit will be Tacoma resident Abby Williams Hill (1861-1943). Hill was a landscape artist best known for her oil paintings created en plein air depicting the scenery of the American West. Her work was exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893), St. Louis World’s Fair (1904), the Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland (1905), the Jamestown Tercentennial (1907), and the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle (1909). In addition, Hill was a mother to four children, three of which she adopted, and was interested in social issues of the time including Native American rights, African American rights, early childhood education, and environmental conservation. 

The exhibit will focus on four significant roles Hill held: artist, advocate, mother, and woman. The exhibit will feature original works by local artists, all of which will explore the life and experiences of Hill. Building on these themes, we will also draw on the rich and vibrant history of Tacoma through documents, photographs and artifacts from the Archives & Special Collections and other community historical organizations. The display will include journals, letters, photographs, artifacts, ephemera, original paintings by Abby Williams Hill, and other materials. 

Original artwork by Becky Frehse, Beverly Naidus, Debbi Commodore, Deborah Greenwood, Dorothy McCuistion, Gabby Cooksey, Jessica Spring, Lucia Harrison, MalPina Chan, Paige Pettibon, Victoria Bjorklund, Yoshi Nakagawa, and Yuka Petz will be on display. 

For additional information regarding the exhibition, send inquiries to

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