Campus News

Arctic Museum Celebrates Museum Day with New Photography Exhibit

Story posted May 15, 1999

May 14, 1999, BRUNSWICK, Maine -- The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum is celebrating International Museum Day, May 18th, with the opening of a new exhibit of photographs, some of which were taken by a former Brunswick resident.

"Images of Change: Alaska at the Turn of the Century" will be on display until August 22 in the first floor foyer of Hubbard Hall at Bowdoin College The exhibit focuses on some of the dramatic changes in Alaskan life in the early 20th Century, as native Inupiat groups, missionaries, gold miners and other immigrants interacted.

In the early part of this century, the gold rush attracted thousands of settlers to Alaska. As they started new towns and began reshaping the landscape, missionaries were never far behind. As well as converting local people to Christianity, they introduced them to formal schooling and other aspects of Euro-American culture.

The photographs were taken in northern Alaska between 1900 and 1914 by Edwin Hacker Brown, a former resident of Brunswick who worked for a gold mining company in Nome, Alaska, and by William Van Valin, a Pennsylvania-based missionary and school teacher working in the communities of Point Hope and Point Barrow, Alaska. Between them, the two men recorded many aspects of this fascinating period in Alaskan history.

International Museum Day is celebrated by museums around the world. The International Council of Museums established it in 1977 to highlight the role of museums as curators of the world's natural, cultural and artistic heritage. This year's theme is "The Pleasure of Discovery".

Museum visitors may discover more about Alaska through the collection of Alaskan masks also on view at the museum in the exhibit "Facing the Future: Mask Making Traditions of North Alaska."

"Images of Change" is made possible by the generous support of the Friends of Bowdoin College. Foyer exhibits can be viewed whenever Hubbard Hall is open: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m. "Facing the Future" can be viewed during Museum Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 2 to 5 p.m. For more information, call 725-3416.

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