Tacoma Art Museum will present Bart at TAM: Animating America’s Favorite Family, an unauthorized and in-depth look at the process and teamwork needed to create America’s longest-running primetime animated television show from July 20-October 27, 2019. Set in the fictional town of Springfield, The Simpsons explores the life of a working-class family through parodies of American culture and society, television, and the human condition.
The exhibition features over 100 hand-generated animation cels, scripts, and drawings related to the first 13 seasons of The Simpsons. Visitors will be able to learn about the process of animation and explore the elements that make up the show’s distinctive identity, characters, style, and comedy.
The Simpsons was originally conceived in 1987 by cartoonist Matt Groening as a series of animated shorts for the sketch comedy series The Tracy Ullman Show. Due to its popularity, the concept became a series debuting in 1989. As Groening is a native of Portland, OR and graduate of Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, many find a multitude of parallels in the show to the Pacific Northwest. Now in its 30th season, the loving, yet dysfunctional family of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie has been joined by a wide-range of characters and over 800 guest stars.
The show’s comedic style has attracted both praise and criticism. The Simpsons has won 31 Primetime Emmy Awards, 30 Annie Awards, and a Peabody Award. It has also collided with and responded to cultural events and social changes over its decades long run.
Member Preview – Thursday, July 18, 5-8 pm – Members Free/ $10 for non-members