2015/16 Museum Photography Collections Management Project

This winter, the Palmer Museum will be purchasing a high-end digital scanner, photography and slide archival supplies and employing a freelance graphic and web designer to assist with our Museum Photography Collections Management Project. The project is designed to help the Museum conduct a complete catalog of its photography collection, accession them into our permanent collections,  properly relocate them into archival materials and establish an online photo bank to allow better public access. 
The project will include a special identification phase where the City of Palmer has generously offered the use of the Palmer Train Depot for three evenings (February 17, 18 and 21, 2016).  During this time, the Museum will host an historical photography open house where members of the community will be invited to view and identify those photographs the museum is currently unable to so that we may complete the cataloging process.  The event will also include a slide show presentation of some of the Museum's photography collection. 
The online photo bank will include thumbnail images of historical photographs from the Palmer region with the capability of being able to download a few of them for non-commercial purposes only (the Museum retains full copyright of those images from its permanent collections; other contributing entities will set their own parameters for use).   Also included in the photo bank will be albums from different collections throughout Palmer.  This project is the first step in providing public access to the historical photographs of our area and is being completed with the participation and support of the Palmer Public Library, United Protestant Church and St. Michael's Catholic Church, whose photograph collections will also be included in the photo bank.  It is the Museum's hope that other organizations in the community will eventually contribute their historical photography collections so that visitors and researchers only have to go to one source to learn more about Palmer history.  The project is being made possible by a grant from the Collections Management Fund of Museums Alaska, with the generous support from Rasmuson Foundation.

Mid-America Arts Alliance Exhibit to visit the PMHA during Summer 2015

Opportunities to view indigenous peoples through the eyes of indigenous photographers are rare and recent. Our People, Our Land, Our Images, which opens May 27th at the Palmer Museum of History and Art, presents the works of three generations of indigenous photographers from the North America, South America, the Middle East, and New Zealand. They include newly discovered, nineteenth-century trailblazers, well established contemporary practitioners, and emerging photographers from the next generation.

The fifty-one works in the exhibition tell their stories through differing photographic approaches, ranging from straightforward documentary to aesthetically altered images that combine overlays and collage. The images stand united, however, in exploring their creators’ connections to their land, community, and traditions. Artists’ statements accompanying the exhibition convey a variety of indigenous voices and concerns. The twenty-six artists in the exhibition include Cherokee Jennie Ross Cobb, the earliest known female Native American photographer.

The many perspectives represented in the exhibition offers an open-ended experience that asks audiences to think about how the camera in the hands of indigenous peoples becomes a tool with the power to confront and analyze stereotypes, politics, and histories. Our People, Our Land, Our Images also demonstrates the longevity and continuing vitality of native photographic traditions.

In an effort to personalize the exhibit, the Palmer Museum has partnered with the Alaska Native Heritage Center, ANHC.  ANHC will be providing additional photographs from various Native Alaska tribes that will be used to create a special Alaska section within the exhibit.  It is our hope that this feature will allow visitors to relate more to the exhibit and inspire them to learn more about the native groups in the state of Alaska.  The Palmer Museum will be the only institution in the state of Alaska to be hosting this remarkable exhibit so be sure to visit the museum during the exhibition.   It will be on display at the museum fromMay27th through August 3rd, seven days a week from 9:00AM - 6:00PM. Admission is free to the public.

In conjunction with the exhibit, on July 11th, from 10:00AM - 6:00PM, there will be an exhibit celebration, during the Palmer Midsummer Garden and Art Faire, that will feature Native Alaska artists/artisans, a variety of cultural organization information tables and live performances from indigenous groups including the Yupik musical group Pamyua, a “tribal funk“ and “world music“ group that performs songs that are based on traditional Yupik, Inuit and Greenlandic chants that have been reinterpreted using modern styles. .

The exhibition is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. ExhibitsUSA sends more than 25 exhibitions on tour to more than 100 small- and mid-sized communities every year. Mid-America is the oldest nonprofit regional arts organization in the United States. More information is available at www.maaa.org and www.eusa.org

Channel 11 News Visits the Museum

The museum recently welcomed Channel 11 News as they learned more about our latest temporary exhibit, Selfies: A New Age of Self Photography.  The exhibit explores the definiton of a "selfie" and whether these images can be construed as art.  Inspired by the story and images of street photographer, Vivian Maier, the exhibit includes over 25 self photography images from people throughout the state, a special Lower 48 selection of photographs, and images taken by Vivian Maier herself.  The exhibit also includes a video entitled "Finding Vivian Maier", a documentary about the discovery of Vivian Maier's work and the museum has also made a mini ipad available for visitors to take and leave their own "selfie" so that they may become a part of the exhibit as well.  Selfies will be on display at the museum throughout the month of August.

Channel 11 News Broadcast: