August 28, 2014
A transformation is taking place in the Art of the North galleries. Look forward to a refurbished gallery space and a new selection of artwork that celebrates the Northern landscape and spirit. The galleries will re-open June 1.
Chief Curator Julie Decker’s fresh approach to Art of the North features important historical landscape oil paintings, sketches and drawings, but also makes room for more contemporary artwork and a better balance of Native and non-Native perspectives. This selection of work from the Anchorage Museum’s permanent collection gives the visitor an overview of traditional and contemporary ways of depicting the northern environment. While the emphasis is on the landscape, the exhibition also illustrates the ability of artists to romanticize, document and comment on their surroundings.
Longtime visitor favorites will return, including Sydney Laurence’s 13-feet-wide Mt. McKinley, Thomas Hill’s Muir Glacier and Rockwell Kent’s Resurrection Bay, Alaska. These paintings will hang alongside contemporary sculptures by Larry Ahvakana and Rachelle Dowdy, and watercolors by Ken Lisbourne and Theodore Richardson. Visitors also will see intimate drawings that lend insight into the process behind oil paintings by artists such as Laurence and Eustace Ziegler.
The museum also debuts two recent gifts by the Atwood Foundation: one of the finest examples of Laurence’s oil painting in the museum’s collection, and a showstopping, 10-feet-wide Ziegler oil painting of a pack train in the mountains.
Refurbishment of the Art of the North galleries began in late winter. Wood floors replaced the carpet in the galleries, and the fabric walls were traded in for drywall. Carpet and fabric shed fibers that contribute to dust production. Reducing the amount of dust landing on artworks assists in their long-term preservation.