Cecelia Kunz to be honored at city museum event Saturday

Posted: Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Juneau-Douglas City Museum, along with the Kunz family and doll maker Mary Ellen Frank, will host a special Coffee & Collections presentation, "Remembering and Honoring Cecelia Kunz," at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, at the city museum.

Courtesy Of Brian Wallace
Courtesy Of Brian Wallace

During the Coffee & Collections program, family members and friends will discuss how important Cecelia was to her family, as a contributor to her Native community, and her legacy within the greater community of Juneau. Throughout her life, Cecelia worked diligently to educate Juneau's elected public officials on the Tlingit culture and the rights of Juneau's Tlingit people. She did this during a very difficult time in the history of Alaska Native citizens with integrity, humor and a strong voice.

As part of Saturday's program, doll maker and curator of Aunt Claudia's Doll Museum, Mary Ellen Frank, will formally present the Cecelia Kunz doll titled "Revered Tlingit Elder" to the Juneau-Douglas City Museum. The museum purchased the doll from Frank through the Rasmuson Foundation's Art Acquisition Initiative, which provides grants for Alaska Museums to purchase artwork by practicing Alaskan artists.

In 2004, the Museum purchased Franks' "Portrait Doll of Walter Soboleff" through the same initiative.

"My work is largely of the elderly, the weathered and worn. These are my 'beautiful people' and they are a group not embarrassed by their age and survival," Frank said.

Museum Director Jane Lindsey said Cecelia's portrait doll reflects "her grace through a life spent in the service of home, family, and uniting two dissimilar cultures together to understand and treat each other with respect. She was a woman who worked for and obtained justice."

For more information regarding this program, contact the museum at 586-3572 or visit www.juneau.org/parkrec/museum. The Juneau-Douglas City Museum is a facility of the Juneau Parks and Recreation Department.

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