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New curator named at Sheldon Jackson museum in Sitka

Posted: June 29, 2011 - 5:19pm

Nadia Jackinsky-Horrell has been named curator at Sheldon Jackson Museum. The state-operated museum in Sitka, noted for its collections of Native art and artifacts, is part of the Alaska State Museums.

Jackinsky-Horrell, who was raised in Homer, has a background in Alaska Native art and archaeology. She replaces Rosemary Carlton, who retired in 2010 after 25 years with the Sheldon Jackson Museum. Jackinsky-Horrell will begin her position in August.

“Ms. Jackinsky-Horrell was selected as the new curator for the Sheldon Jackson Museum because of her experience in working with ethnographic collections at a number of significant institutions internationally, her research on contemporary Native art and artists, and an overall deep understanding and connection to her home state of Alaska,” said Bob Banghart, chief curator at the Alaska State Museums, in a press release. “The selection committee believed Nadia’s expertise and interests to be an excellent match in the long range goals of the Alaska State Museums in continuing to reach new audiences with the collections and further a common understanding of established and ongoing Native cultures in Alaska.”

Jackinsky-Horrell is completing her doctorate at the University of Washington. Her dissertation is on Alaska Native art artistic revitalization. For her master’s thesis, she studied Alutiiq mask-making on Kodiak Island.

During her graduate studies, Jackinsky-Horrell interned with a number of museums including the Burke Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Smithsonian’s Arctic Studies Center.

The Rev. Dr. Sheldon Jackson was the moving force behind the construction of the Sheldon Jackson Museum and the collector of many of its artifacts. It is the oldest museum in Alaska and is located in the first concrete building in the state. Construction began in 1895 and it has been occupied since 1897. The building was placed on the National Historical Register in 1972. The museum’s collection has been called a jewel in the crown of Alaska ethnographic collections.

“I’m particularly interested in connecting the collections with Native communities that are represented in the museum,” Jackinsky-Horrell said in a press release.

Every year, the museum invites Native artists to demonstrate their art. Jackinsky-Horrell looks forward to continuing and expanding this program.

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