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Museum Events
Fall 2018 | Spring 2019

Titanic of the North

  • The 1918 Wreck of the S.S. Princess Sophia
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Princess Sophia at Taku Glacier (ASL-p289-132)

The worst shipwreck in the Pacific Northwest occurred in 1918 when over 350 passengers lost their lives in the wintry waters off the Alaskan coast when the SS Princess Sophia sank on her way to her home port in Victoria. The Alaska State Museum has partnered with the Maritime Museum of British Columbia, the Vancouver Maritime Museum, and the Pioneers of Alaska-Juneau, to create an object-heavy exhibit that looks at this historical event and the lives of the individuals who made up the passengers and crew of the S.S. Princess Sophia. This exhibit provides a window into a critical time in the history of 20th century: the end of the First World War and the development of the West Coast.

McNeil, Real Indians
(and Curtis)

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Larry McNeil, First Light, Winter Solstice

Larry McNeil and Edward Curtis have both made their careers out of photographing the Indigenous people of North America. This "Real Indians" exhibition examines the ongoing visual dialogue about the question of what the concept of "Real Indians" is all about. Is it the colonial romanticized view from outsiders like Edward Curtis, Larry McNeil's classic yet contemporary inside view, or a mix of both? The question of authenticity with photographs of Indigenous people is becoming more relevant all the time, and it is a healthy act to revisit these questions in an evolving set of cultures.

Alaska State Museum solo artist exhibit series:
- Amy Meissner - Inheritance: Makers. Memory. Myth.

  • In partnership with The Anchorage Museum
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Amy Meissner, Materfamilias (detail) photograph by Brian Adams

Artist Amy Meissner explores domesticity and motherhood. She describes herself as a memoirist, whose preferred medium is textiles and preferred language is the stitch.

Meissner's textile art combines traditional handwork and contemporary imagery to explore memory, fragility and the literal, physical and emotional work of women. Her materials are vintage, discarded or found and manipulate unknown histories to shape a narrative or myth for each artwork. The works in this exhibition include contemporary mixed media work created from donated/abandoned/rescued/crowdsourced domestic linens.

Alaska State Museum Solo Artist Exhibit Series
- DONALD VARNELL - The Crybabies

- , 2019

Donald Varnell, Southeasterly

Haida carver Donald Varnell brings diverse themes to his art and does not regulate his work to one specific medium. Using skills acquired through apprenticeships as well as an awareness that stems from autodidactic effort, Varnell's work transforms traditional Northwest Coast design into something new and distinctive. With this exhibit, Varnell will contribute to the ever-evolving zeitgeist of the human condition.

Donald has works in the permanent collections of the Alaska State Museum, Museum of the North Fairbanks, Horniman Museu in London, and NONAM in Zurich. He is the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Unlimited Fellowship, Rasmuson Mid-Career Fellowship, and numerous "1% for Art" commissions throughout Alaska and North America.

Cruisin' the Fossil Coastline

  • Organized by The Anchorage Museum
  • - , 2019
Ray Troll, Broke a Tooth

Be prepared to look at the world in a whole new way – through the eyes of a walrus-and ammonite-obsessed scientist and an artist with a fondness for cheeseburgers, ratfish and trilobites – in this exhibition on Alaska fossils.

Alaska artist Ray Troll and paleontologist Kirk Johnson, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, logged more than 10,000 miles in 250 days traveling the North American coast in search of fossils and the stories they tell. This exhibition focuses on their Alaska fossil adventures and the remarkable stories that fossils reveal.

Page last updated 07/01/2019