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Friday, March 17, 2017

Anchorage Museum

 This is a museum that has a combination of the beautiful and the whimsical, and this group of sculptures just outside the entrance brings that very clearly home.  I have been to Alaska a dozen times and I had never been here before.  However, when visiting in January with outside temperatures rarely rising above zero Fahrenheit and roads that are snow and ice covered, an indoor activity that is open is very attractive.  I was here with my parents, my adult children, and my spouse and we all very much enjoyed the special exhibits, which were on camouflage and on cabin fever.  The cabin fever exhibit was an intermedia exhibit, with sound, video and pictures.  I left understanding more about the psychosis that might be induced by prolonged isolation.
The other thing that the museum does well is to lay out the Native Alaskan peoples and their individual forms of art.  This is an exhibit that is very detailed and in a small dark space, so be sure to leave enough time to see it in it's entirety and to read all the very well done explanations of what it is exactly that you are seeing.  The native Alaskan population is 15% of the total population of the state.  This is higher than in other states with large reservations and Native Americans.  New Mexico, South Dakota, and Oklahoma's native American population is right around 9%, Arizona and North Dakota's is ~5%, to give some idea of what that number means.  It is said that it takes about 15% of the whole to have a noticeable effect on the other 85%, and that is the situation in Alaska.  So well worth learning more about.  Plus the gift shop is amazing.  Almost a museum exhibit in itself.

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