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Juneau-Douglas City Museum

Current and Upcoming Exhibits


Disasters At Home: Photographs from the City Museum Collection

Exhibit runs through Saturday, December 24, 2016


Gold Creek Flooding, 1918, JDCM 2005.38.006

In conjunction with the traveling Communities, Disaster and Change exhibit which was on display during the month of November 2015, the Museum's video and map case galleries feature historical photographs documenting 11 homegrown disasters - fires, land and snow slides, and floods - spanning the years 1911 when the Juneau Hotel burned to the 2006 fire at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. Each photograph is paired with historical text and a word cloud generated from newspaper articles from the day. The exhibit is on display through December 24, 2016.



USS Juneau CL-52 Presentation Silver Service Set, 1942

Exhibit runs through Saturday, December 31, 2016


USS Juneau Silver Service Set Cup L2015.02.002

Spearheaded by the city of Juneau, funds were raised to purchase a silver service set for the USS Juneau when President Roosevelt announced that a light cruiser would be named for the capital of the territory of Alaska. The punch bowl, cups, ladle, candlesticks and tray were taken off the ill-fated ship before it engaged in action in Guadalcanal. With the help of the Mendenhall Flying Lions, the set has been brought back to Juneau on loan from the US Navy.



Winter & Pond, Juneau Photographers

Exhibit runs through Sunday, January 1, 2017


Who were Winter and Pond, known by many for their widely reproduced photographs of Juneau and the surrounding areas from 1893 on? This exhibit in our general history gallery features information about each man, their business, and their Century No. 2 camera and Century No 2 stand that they took out with them into the rugged Alaskan landscape to shoot their photos. Test your knowledge of the history of photography in the 12 Milestones in the History of Photography Interactive.



The SS Princess Sophia's Last Voyage

Exhibit runs through Monday, January 1, 2018


SS Princess Sophia porthole, JDCM 81.21.006.

All 343 passengers perished on the SS Princess Sophia when she hit Vanderbilt Reef while on route from Skagway to Seattle on October 19, 1918. The last sailing south of the season before winter set in, the ship received permission to carry more than her licensed 250 passengers. This exhibit in the general history gallery tells the story of its stranding on the reef and the futile attempts by Juneau boats to help the ship. Artifacts recovered from the ship on view.



Douglas Library Satellite Exhibit: Behind the Lens: Joseph Alexander

Exhibit runs through Monday, July 31, 2017


Joseph Alexander in his Shop. Transfer from the ASHL, JDCM 2013.10.09398B.

Joseph Alexander was the main photographer in town between the 1950s and 1980s, taking photographs of events, families, weddings, and school portraits. Panels about Joe, his business, and the large collection of photographic negatives added to the City Museum’s collection in 2013 will be accompanied by photographs, hand puppets, a camera and other items in the collection. The exhibit will be on view in the lobby of the Douglas Library from mid-November 2016 through July 2017.



Valley Library Satellite Exhibit: Ordinary Things/Extraordinary Tales

Exhibit runs through Monday, July 31, 2017


White Plaster Phrenology Head, made by Fowler & Wells Company and used by Trevor Davis. Donated by Trevor and Carol Davis, JDCM 88.37.001A.

The City Museum displayed two exhibits called Ordinary Things/Extraordinary Tales. In these exhibits, members of the community were invited into Museum storage to pick an object to write about. Six of these object and writing selections will be on display at the Valley Library starting mid-November 2016. The featured writers are Alida Bus, Larry Blatnik, Wayne Carnes, Rhonda Gardinier, Keith Goering, and Ernestine Hayes. The exhibit will be on view through July 2017. Visit the Valley Library to see the array of interesting items in the City Museum’s collection and read the stories and poems of your fellow Juneauites.



"Yadaa.at Kalé, Beautiful Face," work by Barbara Craver, December 2016

Exhibit runs through Saturday, December 31, 2016


"Yadaa.at Kalé, Beautifully Adorned Face" (Face of Mt. Juneau), courtesy of Barbara Craver.

During the month of December, local artist Barbara Craver will be exhibiting a selection of landscape paintings entitled "Yadaa.at Kalé, Beautiful Face." Yadaa.at Kalé is the Tlingit place name for the face of Mt. Juneau. It means “beautifully adorned face.” It was a revelation for Craver to learn that her favorite mountain has a Tlingit name that celebrates its beauty, and this name is the inspiration for the show. Her primary reference for naming the paintings was Haa Leelk'w Has Aani Saax'u / Our Grandparents' Names on the Land edited by Thomas F. Thornton. Craver has been in Juneau since college, several decades ago. She states, “I feel grounded and connected to this place and its people. I paint the landscape as one way to ‘know’ the land. Once I learned that Tlingit place names existed for places that I love, I wanted to share. I hope to share some place names, and encourage us all to learn and use more Tlingit names and words.” Join us at the City Museum for the opening reception of "Yadaa.at Kalé, Beautiful Face" during First Friday Gallery Walk on December 2, 2016, from 4:30-7:00pm.



Pol Corvez, January 2017

Exhibit Opens Friday, January 6, 2017


"North Douglas Mailbox", Pol Corvez, 2011.

"Douglas Island Mailboxes: A Photography Project" A longtime professional photographer, Pol Corvez has been struck by the richness and variety of mailboxes on North Douglas Highway. To Corvez, the mailboxes reflect the values of each household as well as the community. The objects used to decorate the mailboxes tell a story about the residents, their history, their daily newspaper, hobbies, values, esthetics, and sense of humor. The First Friday opening for Corvez's exhibit will be held on Friday, January 6, 2017 from 4:30-7;00 pm. The exhibit will run through Saturday, January 28, 2017.



A Braided Way: Poetry, Parenting & Place, January 2017

Exhibit Opens Friday, January 6, 2017


"Lily Bud," courtesy of the artists.

An exhibition in the Video Room by poets Aleria Jensen and Jonas Lamb featuring a collection of broadside poems on parenting and place. The writing in this exhibit explores moments and musings that inform the authors’ experience of raising family in Southeast Alaska. Specifically, these poems are windows into family life and parenting against the backdrop of culture and community in Juneau, as well as the marine rainforest environment we call home. A broadside is a single page with text, intended for hanging on a wall, which may be paired with art work, either by the poet or in collaboration with a visual artist. Exhibit runs January 6-February 26, 2017.



It’ji Shaanáx: The Glowing Valley, January 2017

Exhibit Opens Friday, January 6, 2017


Early Morning, Juneau, Alaska, c. 1920-1924, by Sydney Laurence. Donated by the Friends of the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, JDCM 2010.24.001.

It’ji shaanáx (the glowing valley) is the Tlingit name for Perseverance Valley located at the base of Mount Juneau or yadaa.at kalé (beautifully adorned face). This exhibit will look at Mount Juneau through art and recreation. Thirteen paintings and photographs featuring Mount Juneau will be on view, along with four pieces of hiking gear, all from the City Museum’s permanent collection. The exhibit will open in the Map Case Gallery with a First Friday reception on January 6th, 2017. The exhibit will be on view through the end of 2017.



Art of Fumi Matsumoto, January 2017

Exhibit Opens Friday, January 6, 2017


Ibara no Michi (Pathway of Thorns), by Fumi Matsumoto, JDCM 2016.10.002

Fumi Matusmoto is a local Japanese-American artist. She says she “has always been influenced by Japanese culture and history, perhaps because I was born in Japan in 1948 and came to America in 1952 at the age of four.” Much of her art “reflects the Japanese aesthetic and often the Japanese American experience.” Her art was featured in the City Museum’s 2014 summer exhibit, The Empty Chair: The Forced Removal & Resettlement of Juneau’s Japanese Community, 1941-1951. Thanks to the Rasmuson Foundation Art Acquisition Fund, the City Museum has added three mixed media art pieces by Fumi to our Permanent Collection. Those three works will be on display in our entry way case beginning in January 2017. The exhibit will run through the end of June 2017.



Ernest Gruening Cabin 2015 Artists-In-Residence Exhibit, February 2017

Exhibit Opens Friday, February 3, 2017


Amalga Harbor where the Ernest Gruening Cabin resides.

In 2015, Alaska State Parks kicked off its first-ever Artist-In-Residence program at Ernest Gruening State Historical Park near Juneau. The program ran from June through September, with seven artists, Dianne Anderson, Constance Baltuck, Nancy Angelini Crawford, Kurt Jacobson, Jim Leach, Puanani Maunu, and Mark Vinsel selected from across the state spending up to two weeks each at the Gruening Cabin. As part of the program, these artists held public art workshops and other events throughout the summer, providing new opportunities for park visitors to experience and enjoy the spectacular setting and unique history of this park. The Museum is pleased to host an exhibit of selected work created or inspired from these artist’s time at the cabin. The 2016 program is currently underway and has ten artists scheduled: Joan Pardes, Patti Hutchens Jouppi, Bruce Sink, Christine Fortner, Glenda Field, Rob Roys, Naona Wallin, Bob Winfree, Sandy Winfree, and Karen Lowell. The First Friday opening for the Gruening Cabin exhibit will be held on Friday, February 3, 2017 from 4:30-7:00 pm. The exhibit will run through Saturday, February 25, 2017.



13th Annual 12x12 Community Art Exhibit: Ink

Exhibit Opens Friday, March 3, 2017


Each year the City Museum hosts a unique community art exhibit in which artists of all ages are encouraged to create works within the parameters of a square or a cube, measuring 12" x 12" (by 12") including the framing. Each piece of art must be accompanied by a completed entry form and a $12.12 submission fee. Each year our exhibit theme changes and this year we encourage you to create on the theme of 'Ink'. The First Friday opening for this exhibit will be held on Friday, March 3, 2017, 4:30-7:00 pm. The exhibit will run through Saturday, April 22, 2017.



John Hyde Photographs, March 2017

Exhibit Opens Friday, March 3, 2017


Low Tide at Eagle Beach, October 2013, photograph by John Hyde. Purchase of this artwork has been made possible through the generous support of the Rasmuson Foundation Art Acquisition Fund, JDCM 2015.20.003

During the summer of 2015 the City Museum was able to purchase 14 photographic prints by John Hyde. The purchase was made possible through the generous support of the Rasmuson Foundation Art Acquisition Fund. Beginning in March 2017, seven of those photographs will go on view in the Video Room Gallery. Each photograph will be accompanied by a label discussing the place or subject of the print – including Eagle Beach, bald eagles, Hole in the Wall Glacier, and humpback whales, among others. The First Friday exhibit opening will be on March 3rd, 4:30-7:00pm and will be on view through the end of 2017.




Permanent Exhibits


General History Gallery: Juneau Timeline


In the Museum's general history gallery you will find exhibits relating to Juneau's cultural, economic, and social history. Highlighting key events in Juneau's history to statehood, this detailed timeline includes artifacts and images to highlight some of Juneau's vibrant history and stereo-viewers for old time fun.



General History Gallery: Juneau's Changing Shoreline


Aerial photo of Juneau and past and present shoreline.

Downtown Juneau lies within the territory of the Aak’w Kwáan (small lake clan) and T’aaku Kwáan (geese flood clan) Tlingit. Both had summer fishing camps in the downtown area; The Aak’w at the mouth of Gold Creek called called Dzántik’i Héeni (Flounder Creek)and the T’aaku on the beach south of town at the base of Mount Roberts. In 1880 Joseph Juneau and Richard Harris were led to the area and gold deposits by the Aak’w Kwáan member, Kawa.ee. Juneau and Harris set up camp at the corner of what is now Front and Franklin Street. A permanent town formed with the arrival of additional prospectors and the non-seasonal settlement of natives. By 1890, Juneau was Alaska’s largest city with 1,253 residents and usable land became increasingly essential. Learn about how the land of Juneau has changed through our history. This exhibit was possible through a 2015 Grant-In-Aid award from the Alaska State Museum.



General History Gallery: Montana Creek Fish Trap & Replica


Haida weaver, Janice Criswell with completed fish trap replica made from the measurements of actual trap, JDCM 2006.46.001.

This 500-700 year old Native fish trap is the first basketry-style fish trap to be discovered in an archaeological context on the Northwest Coast. Suspended above the original fish trap is a full scale replica built in 2006 with the support from Sealaska Corporation, a grant from the Alaska Humanities Forum and a Grant-In-Aid from the Alaska State Museum. This exhibit project was awarded The American Association of State and Local History 2008 Merit and WOW award. The exhibit also features a hands-on fish trap model, footage from the 1991 excavation of the fish trap, courtesy of Greg Chaney, and a take-home Montana Creek Fish Trap brochure.

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General History Gallery: Northwest Coast Woodwork and the Tlingit People


Eagle Cedar Panel, 1980, carved by Odin Lonning (Sn'oow Taan), JDCM 81.01.032. Raven Cedar Panel, 1980, carved by C. Joseph Zuboff (Yeilnaawu),JDCM 81.01.031.

Celebrate expert woodworking and weaving in this part of the general history gallery. View our trail marker, carved eagle and raven panels, c1880s spruce double-ended canoe, canoe paddle interactive, and ravenstail and chilkat weaving. Learn about the complex family and clan relationships of the Tlingit people and the local Aak'w and T'aaku Kwaan clans. View an amazing painting by Rie Munoz of Haines Tlingit dancers in regalia.



General History Gallery: Outdoor Recreation: Skiing & the Dan Moller Cabin


A Charter member of the Juneau Ski Club, Dan Moller came to Juneau 1934 as the general Emergency Conservation Work foreman for the US Forest Service. He was in charge of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) work crews that constructed the trail to Second Meadow, the site of the 1st ski area in Juneau and the original cabin that later bore his name. The cabin was determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places for its association with the Civilian Conservation Corps, for its role in development of the growth of recreation and skiing, and its long association with the Juneau Ski Club. Following the USFS's assessment of the cabin, they approached the City Museum to help interpret this important part of Juneau history since the cabin could not be saved.



General History Gallery: U.S. Bureau of Mines: Assay Lab


Bureau of Mines Assay Lab. JDCM 2006.06.040G.

This exhibition is a diorama of the fire assay lab that operated on Mayflower Island from the early 1950s until 1996. Check out the display panels explaining the assaying process used by the US Bureau of Mines to determine the content of gold in rock samples collected throughout the state.



Hands-On Mining Gallery: Drilling & Milling


Brass-in, put on your hard hat and come explore Juneau's early mining history and mining practices in our interactive Museum environment. The room includes a miniature interactive stamp mill; a model of Treadwell with sliding panels depicting the infamous 1917 cave-in; a hydropower interactive and a mineral identification inteative. Our miniature stamp mill was produced courtesy of Greenscreek Mining Company.



Hands-On Mining Gallery: Juneau's History of Hydropower


Juneau's combination of precipitation and lots of elevation makes Juneau an ideal location for hydro (water) power. Hydropower harnesses the force or energy of moving water and converts this kinetic (moving) energy into mechanical (machine) energy. Built in 1914, the Salmon Creek Dam was the first constant angle arch design dam in the world. This unique design reduced construction costs by 20%, because it required 25% less concrete to build. Visit the museum to generate power, Juneau style. Our hydropower interactive located in the Hands-On Mining room was produced courtesy of Alaska Electrical Light & Power Company, known as AEL&P.

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Hands-On Mining Gallery: Rocks and Minerals


The interactive rocks and minerals exhibit in our Hands-On Mining Room includes ten rotating blocks, each with a rock sample and loads of information. Three hands-on books accompany the exhibit to offer more information on the geology of or area, Juneau mining history, and Tlingit use of rocks. The Museum worked with local geologists Cathy Conner and Mike Blackwell to choose ten types of rocks, minerals and metals found in our area and research their geological characteristics. Mike Satre from HELCA Greens Creek Mine and Jan Trigg from the Kensington Mine provided ore samples, information, and photographs of current mining industry operations. Goldbelt Heritage Institute helped us identify Tlingit uses of rocks and Tlingit spelling. This exhibit was made possible by a 2016 Grant-In-Aid Award from the Alaska State Museum.



Hands-On Mining Gallery: The Treadwell Cave-In


This exhibit is an interactive cross-section of the Treadwell Mine cave-in of 1917. The exhibit model is based on a drawing by Livingstone Wernecke, the mining engineer in charge of investigating the condition of the mining operations and was present at the time of the 1917 collapse that closed the mining operation. The interactive includes two windows with 4 sliding panels each. Each of the sliding panels uses historic events historic photos, sketches, text, and first person quotes and narrative to illustrate the collapse and flooding above and below ground. This exhibit was funded by a 2011 Grant-In_Aid Award from the Alaska State Museum.



In Our Video Room: Juneau, City Built on Gold


"Lights of Juneau", 1931, Fred Ordway, JDCM 2000.16.001

Created by museum staff, volunteers and community members several years ago, this 26-minute documentary stands the test of time and plays in our video room year-round, highlighting local history, culture, and heritage. It begins with an introduction to Native Alaskan (Tlingit) life in the Juneau area and follows the city's development and history through the gold rush days and the fight for Alaska's statehood. This gallery also features temporary exhibits throughout the year.



Map Case Gallery


Relief map of Juneau, constructed by Loren Adkins, Jr., 1967-1971, JDCM 85.07.001.

Between 1967 and 1971, while a high school student, Loren Adkins, Jr. created a 48 inch by 66 inch by approximately 13 inch relief map of Juneau, covering 200 square miles from downtown Juneau and Douglas Island to Auke Bay, as it appeared in 1967. This map is detailed and accurate to a scale of 4 inches to the mile. A favorite exhibit among locals and visitors alike, it oriented guests to where they are in our town, shows how the city has grown and the the Mendenhall Glacier has receded in the past 50 years. Ask one of our friendly front desk volunteers to take you on a tour around Juneau using this extraordinary map. This gallery also features temporary exhibits throughout the year.



Politics, Personalities & Power Gallery


View digital stories about the Quest for Statehood and Alaska's Capital on either of these interactive kiosks located in our Politics, Personalities and Power gallery. As the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, it seems only fitting to have an exhibit dedicated to Juneau as Alaska's Capital City. The exhibit features a detailed timeline of events that shaped our capital, artifacts from capital move campaigns and interactive touch-screens that feature a number of historical and cultural topics including: The Quest for Statehood, Elizabeth Peratrovich and Civil Rights, Alaska's Government and Cultures of Juneau. The Museum's digital stories project received the Leadership in History Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History in September 2011.