Congratulations to our Round 1 2023 AAF and CMF Grantees!

Museums Alaska partners with Rasmuson Foundation to oversee two grant programs.

The Alaska Art Fund (AAF)—previously known as the Art Acquisition Fund—was established in 2002 and began in 2003. The purpose of the AAF is to encourage museums in Alaska to collect the work of accomplished Alaska artists for their collections, and support living, practicing Alaska artists through these acquisitions.

The Collections Management Fund, established in 2013, builds on the success of the Alaska Art Fund (previously the Art Acquisition Fund). The new fund was created by Rasmuson Foundation and is managed by Museums Alaska. The program responds to needs of the Alaska museum community to enhance collections management through professional expertise, training, and access to conservation materials and supplies.

2023 Round 1 Grantees:

Collections Management Fund (CMF) – Round 1 Grants – $118,810.59

  • $19,931.09 – The Alutiiq Museum & Archaeological Repository will de-install exhibits and move 453 artifacts to storage in preparation for their renovation. The Qumluglluku–Store It project will support a safe, organized, and tracked unmounting and re-storage of these objects.
  • $19,567 – University of Alaska Museum of the North will digitize ~15k historic fly specimens. Most of these are biting flies and thus of great importance to science and the public because of their potential for disease transmission.
  • $19,532 – The Haines Sheldon Museum will work with a conservator to determine whether fluctuating humidity is causing damage to museum collections. The project funds preparation, execution and follow-up for an onsite condition inspection, workshops, and reporting by the conservator.
  • $14,155.75 – The Kodiak History Museum will partner with the Alutiiq Museum to catalog ca. 1,100 artifacts excavated by Dr. Donald Clark over 50 years ago. The artifacts have never been inventoried. The project will make them accessible for research and display.
  • $20,000 – Cape Fox Cultural Foundation will display and reintroduce to the Village of Saxman, the 1899 Edward H. Harriman Expedition artifacts repatriated by the Sanyaa Kwáan (Cape Fox Tribe) belonging to the Teikweidi and Neix.ádi Clans.
  • $5,741.25 – The Valdez Museum & Historical Archive will improve their artwork storage which will, in turn, improve preservation conditions, increase accessibility, establish baseline for future conservation, and allow the curator to identify cultural and historic holes in collection.
  • $19,883.50 – Sealaska Heritage Institute will improve storage for the flat textile collection. This includes contracting a textile conservator to assess the collection and provide training to SHI’s Collections Manager and Summer Intern, and a workshop for local organizations.

Alaska Art Fund (AAF) – Round 1 Grants – $40,000

  • $25,000 – Sealaska Heritage Institute will purchase a child’s Chilkat robe made by Shgendootan. The robe is made of Merino wool, yellow cedar bark, sea otter fur, ermine skins, cotton canvas, deer leather, and a fragment of jacket. The fragment comes from a jacket manufactured by Neiman Marcus. The design was at the center of a lawsuit that SHI filed in 2020 alleging that Neiman Marcus had “falsely affiliated garments sold by them with Native artisans through its use of the term “Ravenstail” (Yéil Koowú)…and unlawfully infringed the copyright of a famous Northwest Coast artist.”. The robe documents an important historical and legal event in SHI’s history and will be a resource for future generations studying intellectual property rights of Native art, design, and cultural materials. It is also a continuation of a Tlingit tradition of reusing and revitalizing old regalia and turning it into something new.
  • $15,000 – The Alaska Museum of Science and Nature will commission James Havens to add recently discovered ichthyosaurs to the museum’s large painting of plesiosaurs and mosasaurs (both swimming reptiles) entitled The Talkeetna Mountains/Cretaceous Oceans. James will complete the work during museum hours to allow the public to ask questions and learn more about these new discoveries.