September 10, 2014
This is an interdisciplinary endeavor that brings together curators, conservators, collections experts, archivists and education practitioners who will be collaborating with consultants, scholars, community members, advisors, and museum visitors to update and redesign the Anchorage Museum’s Alaska Gallery by 2017—the 150 year anniversary of the Alaska purchase. The new Alaska Gallery will emphasize diversity, include multiple points of view and varied voices, weave in environmental history throughout, and create more engaging and interactive experiences that are relevant to today’s visitors. The overarching theme of the 12,000 square foot history instillation is Encounters, which evokes the arrivals and departures of people throughout human history and their interactions with the land and people already here. Thus, instead of perceiving Alaska as a primitive frontier that exists on the northern edge of North America, visitors will look outward from this place, looking both to the east and to the west, viewing Alaska as a geological, ecological and cultural bridge that has been affected by and connected to global trends, and to the north, where commonality lies in a circumpolar landscape.