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Douglas, Alaska, United States
I have lived in Alaska since 1978, having come to Juneau as a Jesuit Volunteer. I fell in love with Alaska and now live on Douglas Island with my husband and two dogs.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Farewell to the Alaska State Museum

Our beautiful State Museum, which is outdated and too small for their growing collection, closed last Friday after a wonderful Final Friday farewell celebration.  The new State Library, Archives and Museum building (already referred to as the SLAM) will open in 2016.

The farewell party was packed.  One museum volunteer told me that they expected 250 people, but there were easily twice that at the gathering.  The museum was one of Juneau's jewels - it had gallery exhibit space for art openings, natural history, Alaska history, and musical performances (including my first Alaska Folk Festival performance in 1978!) but, due to the ever growing collection of Alaska art and historical artifacts, it was just too small and had some structural problems that were not conducive to preserving our state treasures.

The new building is in the process of being constructed and the whole area around the SLAM will become a beautiful oasis for art, performance, and preservation of important artifacts and documents, not to mention the State Library collection of books and periodicals dating back since before statehood.

I took a few pictures of some of my favorite things at the museum:

Two views of the lens of the lighthouse light that was upstairs.  It is so huge they will need a crane to move it, I think!



 The eagle nest tree in the middle of the museum, with a ramp that went up and around the tree so you could see the eagles and the nest up close...



A poster from an icon exhibit that Charles did at the museum...


The brown bear (and her cub, which is hidden) at the base of the eagle tree...


Although we will miss the State Museum, which has many happy memories of visits there for our family, we look forward to the opening of the new SLAM!

3 comments:

  1. I visited that museum last summer and was impressed with their honoring of native art.

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  2. Thanks for these photos! I'm excited for SLAM to open!

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  3. I really want to visit Alaska - I want to visit you!

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