Grants Awarded to Ten Alaskan Museums

Ten of Alaska’s collecting institutions, in seven communities from Sitka to Fairbanks, have been awarded $102,220 in grants. The awards will support the acquisition of artwork through a fund created by Rasmuson Foundation and administered by Museums Alaska.

The Art Acquisition Fund invites museums and culture centers to submit proposals to purchase recent works by contemporary Alaskan artists. Now in its seventeenth year, this initiative has helped institutions across Alaska enhance their collections, interpret contemporary themes, and support hundreds of visual artists. This fall, ten museums received a total of $102,220 to purchase 20 pieces of artwork from 15 Alaskan artists—including works in media of acrylic, oil, mixed media, carving, fabric, beadwork, spruce root, elk hide, and walrus ivory.

This round, a commission of 10 oil paintings was funded. The Alaska Aviation Museum will purchase the portraits made by Christine Smith depicting animals significant to Alaskan aviation history.

The fund will offer additional grants in 2020. For eligibility information, application deadlines, and submission directions, please visit the Museums Alaska website.

Museums Alaska is a statewide professional organization supporting Alaska’s collecting institutions and their staff members and volunteers. The non-profit organization supports the improvement of museum services and promotes public awareness of the value of the state’s museums and culture centers. A nine-member volunteer board governs Museums Alaska with funding from memberships, grants, gifts, and sales.


Alaska Aviation Museum

Christine Smith                       Nome and Back Again                                                            $1,200

                                                A commission of ten oil paintings                              $5,000

John Hume                              Black Wolf Squadron                                                  $4,200

Alaska State Museum

Amy Meissner                         Materfamilias                                                             $8,000

Alutiiq Museum & Archaeological Repository

Andrew Abyo                           Sugpiaq Angyaq model                                               $4,500

Mary Jane Longrich                Nootka Rose                                                                $500

Melinda Abyo                          Woman’s Headdress                                                   $5,000

Patricia Abston Cox                 Emerald Isle Headdress                                              $1,700

Woody Koning                         Sound of Fog                                                               $1,225

Anchorage Museum

Amy Meissner                         Fatigue Threshold                                                       $7,000

Rachel Mulvihill                      Dream House                                                              $650

Rachel Mulvihill                      Southern Exposure                                                      $650

Ilanka Cultural Center

Sylvia Lange                            Raven Catching Some Rays                                         $500

Sylvia Lange                            Young Eagle Dreams                                                  $500

Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center

James Heaton                         Flying Raven #5                                                           $7,000

Kodiak Historical Society                             

Lena Amason-Berns                It’s All Love Now                                                         $6,500

Sealaska Heritage Institute

Nicholas Galanin                     A tú (Inside a closed container)                                  $22,250

Sheldon Jackson Museum

Delores Elizabeth Churchill    Untitled                                                                       $15,000

University of Alaska Museum of the North

Da-ka-xeen Mehner                Gaaw Kootéeyaa                                                         $10,125

Da-ka-xeen Mehner                Take n Give (after Erica Lord)                                                $720