December 31, 2014
For the Anchorage Museum, the year 2015 is a Centennial year and an Arctic season.
Anchorage’s Centennial coincides with the United States assuming chairmanship of the Arctic Council, an international forum that addresses Arctic issues. Alaska’s unique position as our nation’s Arctic territory puts us at the center of these global discussions.
The museum’s 2015 offerings present exhibitions, host public programs, and spur conversations that invite explorations of all things Northern.
Exhibitions like City Limits look at Anchorage’s beginning, as well as its present – a city that is home to individuals from around the world who live side by side with the area’s original residents, the Dena’ina people. City Limits tells our stories, from our perspective rather than from the Outsider’s view, often imposed upon us and presented to the world.
Opening in March is Arctic Ambitions: Captain Cook and the Northwest Passage. This large-scale exhibition looks at Captain Cook’s voyage North and the complex legacy left on Alaska beyond the naming of Cook Inlet and Turnagain Arm. Informed by Cook’s original journal, the exhibition offers visitors insights on the challenges of shipboard life and the interactions with Alaska Native people and reflects on the ways Cook’s quest for the Northwest Passage remains relevant today.
As we imagine whether Cook would make it through the Arctic today, we also explore the impact of sea ice on human lifeways in Alaska through an exhibition called On Ice and view the Arctic through the work of photographer Florian Schultz.
Throughout the year, we will be gathering stories of Alaska through re-envisioning and planning of our Alaska Gallery. We are excited about the opportunity for how these narratives will also take form in the gallery space when it opens in its new iteration in 2017.
And, as we explore history in a contemporary context, we invite artists from Alaska and around the world to offer their interpretations and perspectives on the North and the Museum collections. Through a series we are calling Artist Interventions, many artists will be creating installations and performances that respond to the Centennial, Cook, Alaska Gallery and the lure of the Arctic.