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Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum Annual Meeting & New Exhibition Opening Reception

by Amy Carney on 2018-01-12T08:46:00-09:00 in Museums | Comments

The Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum are honored to host June Hall as the guest speaker for their Annual Meeting, which will happen Saturday, February 10th and coincide with the opening reception for the new temporary exhibition, Drawn in Silver. Hall will give a presentation entitled, “Objects of Silver: The Creation of a New Alaska Native Tradition” at the Sheldon Jackson Museum.

For centuries the Northwest Coast Natives of Alaska have had a strong and unique artistic tradition that flourished because of an abundance of local materials. In the early 18th century, silver was introduced by outside traders and became an appealing new material for the creation of Native cultural objects. A century later intense cross-cultural changes were taking place in Alaska and they helped determine the type of silver objects made by Alaskan Natives. Not only were these silver objects quickly integrated into Native culture but they also became a major fixture of the tourist trade.

The early context, style and use of silver (and gold) objects in Alaska Native culture will be explored as well as the influences that determined their form. A rare gathering of silver examples, including bracelets, spoons and pins, accompanied by historical images will illuminate the story of this new tradition. Several important Native silversmiths from Sitka will be among those included.

For over thirty years, June E. Hall has collected and researched early Alaska silver souvenir spoons. She received her Master’s degree in art history from the University of Colorado and taught at Idaho State University before moving to Alaska in 1974. In Juneau, she continued to teach at the University of Alaska Southeast. Her life-long interest in art and antiques led her to direct an extensive survey of Alaska quilts and edit the project’s book, Quilts of Alaska: A Textile Album of the Last Frontier. In 2001, Hall served as guest curator for the Alaska State Museum’s major exhibit on Alaska quilts.

In her 2004 book, Alaska Souvenir Spoons & the Early Curio Trade, published by the Gastineau Channel Historical Society of Juneau, the author re-created the historic context of early Alaska souvenir spoon collecting by using numerous vintage photographs and examples from the golden age of souvenir spoon production, 1880-1915. She curated and wrote the catalog for the exhibit, "The Lure of Alaska, A History of Tourism in the Great Land”, organized by the Alaska State Museum in 2007.

On Sat., Feb. 10th, in addition to the Friends’ Annual Business Meeting, June Hall’s lecture, and the opening of the new exhibition, Drawn in Silver, the Friends will host their annual Silent Auction of Native art to support the Native Artist Residency Program. The public is welcome to attend the Silent Auction, beginning at 1pm, the Friends’ business meeting at 3:30pm, lecture at 4pm, reception and auction, ending at 6pm. Light refreshments will be served and admission will be waived.

For more information: 907.747.8981


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