I’ve been posting snapshots if some of the conservation work ahead for our upcoming new exhibits. The Alaska State Library Archives and Museum (SLAM) project is in the construction phase, with opening of the new building planned for June 2016. There are approximately 22 interpretive areas, around 90 exhibit cases, and roughly 2,500 objects. The interpretive area addressed by this post is called “Sails on the Horizon: Foreign Voyagers in Native Alaska.” Many of the items in it are maps and prints about early explorers in the area and what some of the first encounters were like between Europeans and Alaska Natives. Because there are not a lot of conservation treatments needed in this section, I’m going to include images of the voyage between the different locations in downtown Juneau that conservators will be working this summer, since I will have 3 graduate conservation students voyaging here to work with me and I bet they would like a glimpse (more on them later)…
Paper conservator Karen Zukor came up in January to consult with us. Here she is explaining the issues with an artwork. L to R curator Steve Henrikson, exhibit curator Jackie Manning, back of my head, exhibit designer Aaron Elmore, exhibit coordinator Paul Gardinier, and Karen Zukor. Some Wonderwall specimens in foreground. More on that later!
V-A-144 this image of the disaster at Lituya Bay was collected by Governor Heintzleman in France. It has some staining and mat issues that will require treatment. This is the image Karen was discussing in the previous pic.
95-37-4-3 chest Sometimes called a Russian Chest or a Chinese Chest, these camphorwood chests covered with painted leather tacked down with brass tacks were part of early trade and found now in many Alaskan museum collections. They almost always have the kind of damage seen here.
Now for the walking tour! This is my desk in the State Office Building (folks here call it the SOB and they don’t even snicker).
This is the front section of my temporary lab space. It is an alternately exploding and collapsing universe of clutter. It will be tidier when interns come…for a while.
This is the back section of the temporary lab space, with a sink and a lot of supplies. All those totes are from the 1000+ shipwreck artifacts we finished up last summer…
This is the SOB atrium, where folks can get coffee, snacks, and free wifi. That Haida totem pole by Dwight Wallace is in the museum collections (II-B-1632) but is not moving.
That organ under cover and its pipes in the chamber are in the museum collections too (III-O-688) but not moving. You can hear it played live most Fridays over the lunch hour.
This is the P2 level entrance of the SOB, where we exit to head over to the Vault.
As you leave the SOB, you see Bullwinkle’s, which is great for after work pizza, popcorn and a pitcher with co-workers. Next door is the Twilight Café, which has my favorite Americano in town and a divine pork adobo burrito. We cut across this parking lot to go toward the Vault.
Here is the site of the new building as it looks on a rainy Thursday, March 5, 2015. The weather may at times be that lousy this summer, but hopefully there will be sunny days, too.
This is the side of the building, and right around where the blue tarps are is the future conservation lab area.
Oops, wait, turn around! Some orientation. The tallest building in the background, behind the blue and yellowish one, is the SOB. The blue one on the hill is the fisherman’s lobbyist building. And the reddish orange one is my house!
There’s the bus, it stops several places near the site. And the building with the blue stripes is Thibodeau’s, which has a convenience store for sandwiches and coffee and friendly banter with Henry.
If you cut between Thibodeau’s and the Driftwood hotel, there’s the Sandpiper Café, great breakfast and tasty lunch…especially the exotic burgers and waffle cut fries…
Just past the Sandpiper a bit you’ll see the Vault, the completed section of the SLAM building that houses our collections. We need PPE to get on site, including a hard hat, orange vest, goggles, and sturdy shoes.
We enter the Vault through the exhibits shop, which is still being set up.
This is the metals section of the shop, where a LOT of mount making is going to be happening this summer. It just started in earnest last week!
Here’s the Collections Processing Room (CPR) where the layouts, photography, and incoming objects are dealt with.
Eventually when we are allowed to have workstations in the Vault this will be the office of Andrew Washburn. In the meantime, he has generously offered to let the conservation team use the space. Obviously I have to prepare it a bit…things are in flux.
This is a view through the collections storage part of the vault through the shop through all the doors that must be opened to give access to the loading dock. This is how we brought in the umiak (the walrus skin whaling boat)