Sealaska Heritage Institute
Often mistaken for an office building, inside this venue is an amazing collection of Native Alaskan art.
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Adjacent to three bronze house posts, representing the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures is the Sealaska Heritage Institute.
Its downtown Juneau location, wooden and glass structure, is highlighted by red formline symbols created by the Haida artist Robert Davidson. Upon entering, the Sealaska Heritage Institute offers a unique sight in the form of the largest carved clan house front in the world, created by Tsimshian artists David A. and David R. Boxley. Their work can be found in private collections around the world, as well as in the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.
Behind this masterpiece is a handcrafted cedar clan house. The house features two posts representing warriors, and a large carved glass house screen created by Tlingit artist Preston Singletary. The Sealaska Heritage Institute also features a small, but mighty, museum/gallery that presents dynamic and engaging displays. These range from clan regalia and ancient pieces, to modern works by Northwest Coast Native artists.
Visiting artists periodically demonstrate crafts in the building lobby, showcasing everything from Chilkat weaving to unique carving demonstrations.
Know Before You Go
Sealaska Heritage Institute is a non-profit organization that strives to share and preserve Northwest Coast Native art, culture, and language. They also have a free app that can help you learn the Tlingit language (Learning Tlingit in the app store).
Admission is inexpensive ($5) and their museum shop, located on the corner of Seward and S. Franklin Streets, is regarded as the best in the state.
If you are interested in exploring Northwest Coast Native art and culture, this is a must-see in Alaska's capital city.
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