Campus News

Treasures Return to the Attic as Popular Arctic Exhibit Prepares to Close

Story posted August 12, 2005

Some treasures from the collection of The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum at Bowdoin College, on exhibit since October 2003, will be returning to secure storage at the end of the month when the exhibit "Treasures and Trinkets: Collecting Culture in the North" closes August 28, 2005.

Patrons have just a few more days to admire objects from the far north, ranging from Josephine Peary's blue fox fur cape to finely crafted bead and leather ornaments and contemporary Inuit art.

The exhibit appeals to a wide range of visitors, as it examines the way northern craftspeople responded to the increasing demand for trade items from travelers.

"Trading was one of the first activities that took place between Inuit and early European explorers," explains curator Genevieve LeMoine, "and by the 19th century, when tourists were just starting to travel to places like Alaska in large numbers, Native groups had developed a repertoire of objects they knew would be appealing to the visitors."

Since then there has been a steady demand for objects created by local people, to serve as mementos of travels, examples of different lifestyles, and even as specimens for museums. "Treasures and Trinkets" includes examples of all of these, from a large-scale model kayak that is six feet long, to tiny ivory carvings, a variety of dolls, beadwork, and miniature sledges and boats.

Museum staff will begin returning these treasures to climate-controlled storage after the exhibit closes. Throughout September, visitors will still be able to enjoy ongoing exhibits from the permanent collection, including one of Robert E. Peary's North Pole sledges, and a fine selection of Canadian Inuit art.

Visitors can also look forward to a new exhibit, "Extraordinary Paradise: Living in Northwest Greenland," opening at The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum in mid-October.

"Treasures and Trinkets: Collecting Culture in the North" will be on view at The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, in Hubbard Hall on the Bowdoin College campus, until Sunday, August 28. "Extraordinary Paradise: Living in Northwest Greenland" opens on Wednesday, October 19, 2005. Other exhibits at the museum will continue to be open throughout this time.

Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 2 to 5 p.m. The Museum is closed Mondays and national holidays. Admission is free.

For more information call 207-725-3416 or visit the Web site at

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