An­chor­age Mu­seum

An­chor­age, Alaska

Inuit Art Quarterly - - PORTFOLIO -

Cu­ra­tor(s): Julie Decker, Di­rec­tor and CEO; Aaron Leggett, Cu­ra­tor of

Alaska His­tory and Cul­ture; Mon­ica Shah, Di­rec­tor of Col­lec­tions and Chief Con­ser­va­tor Num­ber of works: 150 Inuit; 5,403 Iñu­piaq works

First work(s): The first Iñu­piaq work, a wal­rus ivory carv­ing of a seal, was do­nated in one of the first col­lec­tions ac­ces­sioned in 1955.

Re­cent ac­qui­si­tion(s): Three re­cent pho­to­graphs by Iñu­piaq artist Brian Adams.

Sig­nif­i­cant exhibition­s: The mu­seum presents ex­hibits with a fo­cus on the art, his­tory and science of the North. Re­cent no­table projects in­clude View From Up Here: The Arc­tic at the Cen­ter of the World (2016), Arc­tic Am­bi­tions: Cap­tain Cook and the North­west Pas­sage (2015), and Dena’inaq’ Huch’ulyeshi: The Dena’ina Way of Liv­ing (2014).

In­ter­est­ing/unique/sur­pris­ing works in the col­lec­tion: Sylvester Ayek’s Mask Mo­bile.

(1974)—based on a nine­teenth-cen­tury Tiki­gaq (Point Hope) mask, cur­rently in the Na­tional Mu­seum of Den­mark’s col­lec­tion—fea­tures a fas­ci­nat­ing de­con­struc­tivist ap­proach. The ivory col­lec­tion spans many cen­turies and re­flects both Iñu­piaq cul­ture and west­ern in­flu­ences, in­clud­ing a Mutt and Jeff ivory set, un­doubt­edly in­spired by the news­pa­per comic strip.

The mu­seum is un­der­tak­ing an ex­pan­sion to its fa­cil­ity that will ful­fill the need to cre­ate an equal em­pha­sis on dis­ci­plines in terms of ded­i­cated gallery space. The new Art of the North Gal­leries will add ded­i­cated spa­ces for north­ern art and artists and are sched­uled to open to the pub­lic in Septem­ber 2017. While the new gal­leries are en­tirely ded­i­cated to the art col­lec­tion, they are part of a greater nar­ra­tive that com­bines other dis­ci­plines to con­vey the com­plex­ity of the peo­ple and land­scape of the North. — JD

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