'Recent Acquisitions' opens at the Anchorage Museum

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

The Anchorage Museum on Friday debuts a host of new items in "Recent Acquisitions" on Friday. The show features over 140 new museum holdings which run the gamut from paintings to historical objects.

The new objects have been accepted into the Museum's permanent collection through private donations, museum purchases funded by grants and endowments provided by the Anchorage Museum Association and by the Rasmuson Foundation's Alaska Contemporary Art Acquisition Program.

Some of Recent Acquisition's highlights include donations from the Carr, Ferguson and Nagley families, featuring several new Sydney Laurence paintings. The star of the new collection, though, might be 16 masks by Iñupiaq artist Jane Rulland Young from the collection of Weymeth and Vivian Long.

Young's masks are made from wet caribou skins set on wood molds in a process invented by the Nunamiut people around Anaktuvuk Pass. They depict human faces trimmed with the ears, noses and fur of wolf, fox, caribou and lynx, and, according to the Museum, are used in festive celebrations during Christmas week to "offer an escape from the rigors of arctic living."

The show opens Friday and runs through Feb. 10, 2013. For more information visit the Anchorage Museum here.