Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - News, Features, Opinions...


Recent Acquisitions: An Eclectic Exhibit


March 19, 2005

Ketchikan, Alaska - What do an ashtray from the Toot & Tell Drive In, a Sydney Laurence seascape painting, a 1920s-era electric meter, and a set of "brass knuckles" have in common? First, each of them is connected in some way to Ketchikan; second, all were added to the Museum's permanent collections during the last four years; and finally, they are all featured in Recent Acquisitions, the current exhibit at the Tongass Historical Museum.

jpg Recent Acquistions exhibit

The Recent Acquisitions exhibit runs through April 17, 2005,
at the Tongass Historical Museum.
Photo courtesy Tongass Historical Museum

165 objects are included in the exhibition, which opened on March 4th. They range from a tiny, child-fare bus token, issued by the North Star Transportation Company in the 1960s, to a massive Toledo scale, used in a local butcher's shop; from a traditional button robe, to a 1920s-era man's bathing suit; from a rare issue of Ketchikan's first newspaper, to a deck of "Iraq's 52 Most Wanted" playing cards.

Recent Acquisitions is a wonderfully eclectic exhibition. According to Museum Director Michael Naab, "the items in the show were selected to give the public an idea of the incredible range of 'good stuff' the Museum has acquired over the past few years, mostly through the generosity of present and former Ketchikan residents." (In a normal year, the Museum makes about seventy additions to the permanent collections. Some of these additions-we call them "accessions"-are single items; but others are a groups or entire collections of things. For example, the recently acquired Paulu Saari photographic collection includes more than 4,000 items.) Museum visitors are especially impressed by the remarkable array of art in the show, from the main entry piece, a dramatic Thunderbird performance mask by cutting-edge Haida artist Donald Varnell, to a serene seascape by Sidney Laurence. Seven important works by local artists, purchased in 2003 and 2004 with grants from the Rasmuson Foundation's Art Acquisition Initiative, are on display, some of them for the first time. Included are paintings by Mary Henrikson, David Rubin, and Terry Pyles; mixed-media drawings by Ray Troll; and traditional Alaskan Native works by Jack Hudson, Norman Jackson, and Fred Trout.

Recent Acquisitions is a feast for the eye and an insight into the breadth of the Museum's ever-expanding collections. The exhibit runs through April 17, 2005.


E-mail your news & photos to

Publish A Letter on SitNews
        Read Letters/Opinions
Submit A Letter to the Editor

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska