New exhibit displays objects from past, present Alaska life

Posted: Thursday, December 04, 2003

The Alaska State Museum will open an exhibit on Friday, Dec. 5, that features hundreds of artifacts and works of art collected over the past decade, including several hundred newly acquired pieces.

The exhibition, "Collecting Alaska: Recent Acquisitions," will run through April 17.

A reception to celebrate the exhibit opening will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5, as part of Juneau's Gallery Walk.

Museum admission is free during First Fridays, starting at 4 p.m.

The new exhibit will include a variety of objects representing aspects of Alaska life, past and present, Native and non-Native.

"This show truly has something for everyone," said Curator of Collections Steve Henrikson in a press release. "It's a veritable cornucopia of the exotic and commonplace, the ancient and the contemporary. All objects relate to Alaska's history and cultures."

This exhibition was selected from the nearly 1,700 artifacts the museum has acquired since 1995.

Some materials include: Russian artifacts; Gold Rush artifacts from the Chilkoot Trail; early salmon cans; tourist brochures from the early 1900s; World War II artifacts; Alaska political campaign memorabilia; Alaska Native artifacts including traditional art and gifts given at contemporary Tlingit potlatches; contemporary painting, sculpture and photographs, including work by Alaska Native artists Jim Schoppert, Ida Kadashan, Nathan Jackson, Ron Senungetuk, Selina Peratrovich and Melvin Olanna.

The exhibition will include an array of totem pole souvenirs, toys, and other items, including a "Man From Mars Totem Head," a 1950s-era cereal box premium.

Artifacts from the Aleutian Campaign during World War II also will be displayed, including a rare jade-handled Japanese pistol and officer's sword captured on Attu Island.

Some extremely rare Alaska Native artifacts also will be included in the upcoming exhibit including a Tlingit or Haida bentwood bowl, Yup'ik and Aleut baskets, an Eskimo doll collection, and items collected by William H. Dall in the 1860s.

The museum's winter hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with the exception of First Fridays. Winter admission is $3; youth 18 and younger are admitted free.

For more information about the museum call 465-2901 or visit the museum's web site at www.museums.state.ak.us.



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