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Juneau-Douglas City Museum

Current and Upcoming Exhibits

Winter & Pond, Juneau Photographers

Exhibit runs through Monday, April 30, 2018

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.

It’ji Shaanáx: The Glowing Valley

Exhibit runs through Sunday, December 31, 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 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

Exhibit runs through Friday, June 30, 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.

John Hyde Photographs

Exhibit runs through Sunday, December 31, 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.

Stuff, Stories, and Sticky Notes

Exhibit runs through Saturday, October 28, 2017

Photo Credit: Black Cubic Metal Duck Hunters Stool. Donated by Mary Ann Parke, JDCM 2002.11.109.

Twelve members of the Juneau community have explored the City Museum’s storage areas to find a utilitarian object from our Permanent Collection that stood out to them in one way or another. The Museum then asked them to write something, anything, about that object – fact or fiction, poetry or prose, it didn’t matter. The twelve objects they chose and the stories they wrote will be on view in the Murray Gallery this summer. And if you think writing a story relating to a museum object sounds like fun, then you are in luck. The Museum will be providing large Sticky Notes and a few additional objects from our Education Collection for you to use to add your story to the exhibit. Stuff, Stories, and Sticky Notes will open with a free First Friday Reception on May 5th from 4:30-7:00pm and run through the end of October 2017.

Permanent Exhibits

General History Gallery: Businesses

Selection of objects from Businesses Exhibit

If you remember back in the fall of 2015, the General Store exhibit was taken down after 20+ years on view. With its many objects, we know it was a favorite exhibit of locals, visitors, and staff, so we only took it down knowing we were going to re-envision it to highlight Juneau businesses. The new Businesses exhibit has over 175 objects in the new case, plus signs on the walls above, and a small wall-case of matchbooks. All of these items represent Juneau local businesses and industries, past or present, including dairies, airlines, stores, police & fire, Alaskan Native market art, banks, and more. Historical information is paired with the invitation to play a few rounds of I-Spy to see if you can find all the objects relating to a specific type of business.

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, 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 Áak’w and T’aakú Kwáan 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.