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Alaska : Things to do : Historical & Cultural Attractions

  1. Alaska Native Heritage Center, Anchorage

    Here, the rich heritage of Alaska's eleven cultural groups is showcased. Visitors come to expand their understanding of Alaska's first people, their traditions, and rich heritage that is thriving even today. It is designed to enhance self-esteem among Native people and to encourage cross-cultural exchanges among all people.

    Contact information
    Alaska Native Heritage Center
    8800 Heritage Center Drive
    Anchorage, Alaska 99504

    (907) 330-8000 - Phone
    (800) 315-6608 - Toll Free
    (907) 330-8030 - Fax

  2. Anchorage Museum of History & Art

    The sophisticated glass facade of the Anchorage Museum houses fascinating scientific, historic and artistic exhibits and encourages experiential and interactive learning.

    The permanent exhibits here include Imaginarium Discovery Center, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, and Art of the North.

    Imaginarium Discovery Center

    This 9,000-square-foot center houses a planetarium and more than 80 exhibits that address phenomena of interest in Alaska like volcanoes, aurora borealis, and marine life. Visitors can use an infrared camera, climb inside a bubble, touch a sea star, experiment with gravity and even create an earthquake!!

    In a unique arrangement, the Smithsonian Institution has loaned hundreds of indigenous Alaska artifacts to their place of origin allowing access for hands-on study by Alaska Native elders, artists and scholars. These cultural and historical treasures are exhibited in the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center. Visitors learn about objects through touch screens and two multimedia installations.

    The museum's permanent art collection represents the best of art from the circumpolar North. Seven galleries on the museum's ground floor are devoted to this collection. There is an entire gallery of paintings by Sydney Laurence, Alaska's best known artist.

    Contact information
    Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center

    625 C Street, Anchorage, Alaska 99501

    (907) 929-9200 - Phone
    (907) 929-9290 - Fax

    Heritage Library & Museum
    301 West Northern Lights, Anchorage, AK

    (907) 265-2834 - Phone

  3. Sheldon Jackson Museum

    Sheldon Jackson Museum is the oldest museum in Alaska, founded in 1897. It is housed in the first concrete building in Alaska. The building was placed on the National Historical Register in 1972.

    The core of the Museum's collection comes from the Rev. Dr. Sheldon Jackson, a Presbyterian missionary who served as General Agent for Education in Alaska in the 1890s.

    Among its best-known pieces are totems, Eskimo masks; Tlingit, Eskimo, Aleut and Athabaskan baskets; traditional clothing noted for its beautiful ornamentation and fine sewing. The full-size kayaks and baidarka are among pieces that are favorites with visitors. There is also a fine collection of argillite carvings -- the sculptures carved in the softly glowing black rock unique to the Queen Charlotte Islands of the Pacific coast.

    The Museum's collection has been called a jewel in the crown of Alaska ethnographic collections. This beautiful collection is a must-see for history buffs.

    Contact Information
    104 College Drive
    Sitka, AK 99835

    (907) 747-8981 - Phone
    (907) 747-3004 - Fax

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