While grants will fund construction and renovation, your support will make it possible to conserve and care for the many paintings, objects and artifacts that will be on view in the new galleries. Support the museum expansion today, and we’ll memorialize your gift with a personalized block on the Alaska Community Donor Wall. Blocks also make great gifts for friends or family.

Art of the North Exhibition


The Art of the North galleries in the Museum’s new wing present the museum’s art collection from the perspectives of American art and an international North.

Paintings, sculpture, photography, video and other media offer varied perceptions of the Northern landscape and wilderness through historical and contemporary depictions of both land and people.

These new galleries deliver a compelling narrative for the North. Presented are documentary works from expedition artists, along with Romantic landscapes by 19th and 20th century painters, and works by contemporary artists for whom landscape is a place in transition, at risk and altered by man.

The indigenous perspective is a critical part of the North. Museums have long segregated indigenous artwork from other traditional, modern and contemporary works. With this installation, the two will be combined into one narrative of the North.

The Rasmuson Wing expands the amount of space dedicated to the museum’s collection from 3,000 to 25,000-square-feet. Combined, these spaces will put on view approximately 200 works from the permanent collection.

Rasmuson Wing Grand Opening Weekend

On view

View/download brochure

This event marks the completion of the museum’s latest expansion project and the grand opening of several new spaces. The Rasmuson Wing and Art of the North galleries, the Alaska exhibition in the former Alaska gallery space, a newly renovated atrium with Muse café kiosk, a larger Discovery Center, an outdoor patio, and Patron Lounge are among the changes visitors will see.

The new wing opens to the public Friday, Sept. 15, with extended hours and discounted admission from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 15 also kicks off the fall season of Polar Nights when the museum stays open late Fridays with special programming through April 2018.

Art and science activities, elevator music, tours and exhibitions featuring work by artists Ray Troll, David Pettibone, Jimmy Riordan and Lead Pencil Studio round out opening weekend, and the museum is open with regular hours and admission.

An Expanded Museum Will

Provide greater public access to the museum’s art collection

Create dedicated physical space for each arm of the museum’s mission — art, history, science, culture

Tell the story of the North and Alaska through art that depicts its landscape and people

Create positive, engaging and relevant museum experiences

Help museum visitors understand Alaska and the North through a variety of experiences

Connect people, expand perspectives, and encourage global dialogue about the North and its distinct environment

Expansion Includes

  • Four art galleries
  • Informal gallery/ event space
  • Discovery Center space
  • Administrative Office
  • Remodeled atrium
  • Alaska exhibition

A Northern Focus

This expansion is about more than bringing works from the collection out on public view. It’s also about creating a compelling narrative for the North through the lens of art and furthering the museum’s mission of expanding perceptions of the North, its landscape and cultures.

Project Partners

The $24 million expansion is funded entirely by private dollars, including $12 million gifts from both the Rasmuson family and the Rasmuson Foundation.


McCool Carlson Green, Architects


Davis Constructors




Grand opening reveals Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, Imaginarium Discovery Center, Thomas Planetarium, and ConocoPhillips Gallery



The museum adds another 140,000 square feet, including a parking garage and the Atrium, auditorium, Alaska Gallery, permanent art galleries and the Children's Gallery



Museum opens with an exhibition of 60 borrowed Alaska paintings and a collection of 2,500 historic and ethnographic objects on loan from the local historical society

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