Alaska Native Art: Tradition, Innovation, Continuity

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University of Alaska Press, 2006 - Art - 280 pages
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Ranging from the islands of the Bering Sea to Alaska's interior forests, Alaska Native Art celebrates the rich art of Alaska's Native peoples, both setting their work in the context of historical traditions and demonstrating the vibrant role it continues to play in contemporary Alaskan culture. Alaska Native Art showcases a staggering array of types of art—from beadwork to ivory carving, basketry to skin sewing—from Aleutian Islander, Pacific Eskimo, Tlingit, Athabaskan, Yup'ik, and Inupiaq artists, as well as full-color photographs of artists at work. Lavishly produced, and featuring a fascinating study by author Susan W. Fair of the concept of tradition in the modern world, it is a tribute to the incredible vision of Alaska's Native artists.

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RFeading the brief presentation and pictures brought back so many wonderful memorioes of 3 years living in the Anchorage area & meeting native Alaskan artists through the museum. I even set up a display of native a volunteer. m the information brought back lectures by the late Dr. Erna Gunther of Wash. Historical museum, & comments also by Eleannor Klingel &Y Francine Lastufka, as i knew her then, & Iris Nunley mus. exhibits director back at the opening @ jan69.& Nancy Blomberg asst exhibits director, now in charge of indian arts & artifacts @ the Denver Art Museum. well respected over these years.
I was pleased to see ron senungetuk's picture. i knew him in Anch. at the museum & i commissioned him to do a pr. of silver cufflinks w/ musk ox on each. i still have many woven grass baskets from native arts' festivals. learning @ the stories & people. Eleanor was going around to sites gathering up products for the arts shows. Iris Nunley, Muriel Combs, Nancy Blomberg, and i had lunch at Eleanor Klingels, w/ a dear lady who's name has slipped away from me over the years.this book/gift to the people, is sensitively and factually presented. Those part of the Alaska Native Arts Society..connecting through Francine Lastufka as i knew her in 67-70 when i helped put out the catelog for the first exhibit of native arts & crafts at the museum. i was publicity director for the Governor's Council on the Arts of Alaska. and arts writer/reviewer for the Anchorage Evening Times [no longer published] 68-70. the pictures are excellent also. crisp. so well done. Thank for this work of love. Highly recommend this to all who have an interest in the Arts and crafts of the Alaskan Native. Fae Deaton

Selected pages


The Nature of Tradition
Eskimos and Aleuts
Alaska Indians
Genres Boundaries and Ways of Making
Assembling Collections Making Exhibitions
The Importance of Place
Tradition as Process

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About the author (2006)

Susan W. Fair (1948–2003) was a folklorist, curator, and advocate for Native peoples who published extensively on Alaska Native art.

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