Exploring the “Aperture”exhibit at the Anchorage Museum
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - If you are a fan of photography and history than the “Aperture: Cameras from the Anchorage Museum Collection” exhibit is a great place to stop.
It is important to note as of August 13, 2020, the Anchorage Museum is closed. Director and CEO of the Anchorage Museum, Julie Decker, said the decision was made in support of public health efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is expected to reopen September 2.
Decker said virtual exhibitions and programs will still continue throughout the month of August. The museum’s virtual programs range from summer camps to workshops and classes.
Channel 2′s Gilbert Cordova actually visited the exhibit earlier this year and in a two-part Facebook live.
According to the exhibit description online, “Cameras have been used in Alaska for more than 120 years. From documenting and surveying to artistic production and tourism, photographs have shaped our collective impressions of Alaska. Photographic images inform the way we imagine and experience our sense of place. The archival photographs and camera equipment in this collection spanning the 20th-century show how photographic technologies have changed and shaped the way we create and consume pictures and how we view Alaska’s history and its future.”
During the two-part Facebook live, Heather McClain, Curatorial practice specialist with the Anchorage Museum, walked us through one of a handful exhibits that compose the “Aperature” project.
“The technology and use of the camera was really innovative in people being able to document what they saw when they first came to Alaska. From the gold rush, from military and onwards, and to be able to send photographs in postcards home,” said McClain.
The “Aperture: Cameras from the Anchorage Museum Collection” exhibit is broken down into four themes:
- Survey and documentation
- Everyday use
“So we really stressed and tried to find photographs that weren’t just of everyday scenes that you would see. We were very intentional to try to have images of and by women and people of color,” said McClain. “We know that’s one of the areas we are progressively working on and fill those holes in our collections.”
McClain says a lot of the cameras seen in the tourism section of the exhibit were donated by the users themselves. Many of whom the museum actually has their work on display.
If you are a camera lover, it is important to note that a lot of the cameras on display in this section are Kodaks and Pollards.
“Some of these cameras have never been on display before, which was part of the intention of getting these cameras out in conjunction with Aperature,” said McClain. “Aperature is all about photography, well you use cameras to take a photograph. So it kinda seemed like a great point to bring these pieces out.”
As mentioned previously in this article, the Aperature Project encompasses a handful of exhibits. The other exhibits are:
- Circumpolar Cinema
- Films and videos about the North and by Northerners.
- Bore Tide Surfers: Catching Alaska’s Longest Wave
- To Become a Person
- Photojournalist Ash Adams and Iñupiaq writer Laureli Ivanoff examine Indigenous coming of age in rural Alaska.
There are some more exhibits coming to the project in the next few months including a series of analog photographs by Rowan Renee, photos by Ben Huff as he looks at the natural, geopolitical and cultural forces that have shaped Adak Island and many more.
To see a list of exhibits, including ones online, click here.
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