de Young Museum*
San Francisco, California
Curator(s): Christina Hellmich, Curator in Charge, Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas and the Jolika Collection; Hillary Olcott, Assistant Curator, Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas
Number of works: 500+ Indigenous artists from the Arctic
First work(s): Two harpoons that were part of the charter collection of the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum.
Recent acquisition(s): A 2007 donation from the estate of Thomas G. Fowler that included 390 works made by artists from the Arctic Circle.
Significant exhibitions: Yua, Spirit of the Arctic: Eskimo and Inuit Art from the Collection of Thomas G. Fowler (2009 - present).
Interesting/unique/surprising works in the collection: One of the largest works is a five-and-a-half-foot mammoth tusk depicting scenes of steamboat stops along the Yukon River. The tusk was likely carved in the late 1890s and strongly resembles the work of Iñupiaq artist Guy Kakarook.
Yua, Spirit of the Arctic: Eskimo and Inuit Art from the Collection of Thomas G. Fowler is currently on view at the museum. The installation, developed in collaboration with consulting curators Roslyn Tunis and Chuna McIntyre, features nearly 100 works that represent both the aesthetic and utilitarian sensibilities of Arctic life. — CH
* The de Young Museum is one of the institutions operated by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.