Saturday, July 22, 2017

Taking in the Collection at the Sheldon Jackson

Just another part of the collection at the Sheldon Jackson

After all that nature, it was time for some artifice.  Just outside the Sitka National Historical Park sits the Sheldon Jackson Museum, which has one of the world's premier collection of Native Alaskan art/handicrafts/whichever-you-prefer.  It's housed in one building on the campus of the former Sheldon Jackson College.

It's a nice bit of greenery.

This is the museum entrance.

Technically, that picture counts as a selfie, since my reflection is clearly visible on the left front door.

The admission charge was a quite-reasonable seven bucks.

And the collection is packed into one room.  Emphasis on the word "packed."

I want a bear bowl!  Closer look:

This may look like a space suit from those ancient astronauts:

It's actually a snow suit for the Alaskan winter.

And it wouldn't be an Alaska museum without totems.

I'm not sure if a canoe counts as an objet d'art, but it looks cool up there.  Works for me.

I actually spent more time talking to the "artist in residence" who has hand-carving bracelets in the front lobby than I did soaking in the collection.  This made sense since, on the flight up from Seattle-Tacoma to Sitka, I spent the flight talking to a gentleman from Germany who had been an artist-in-residence here a few years ago.  Sitka is a surprisingly and interestingly artsy town.  With real artists doing real things.  Not MFA's slapping paint on a canvas, or doing "installations."

These may straddle the line between "art" and "handicraft," but there are something and serve some purpose.

Again, the collection is packed so densely in here that they have drawers of art objects to open and see,

These are cribbage boards carved on animal ivory.  We had a cribbage board when I was kid.  Didn't look anything like these.  Never did learn to play the game.

And we will end with one of my favorites:

Snow goggles from before the era of modern optometry.  These are basically masks with eye slits.  I never knew anything such thing would have existed.  Now I do.  Thank you, Sheldon Jackson Museum.

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