I stand on the traditional homeland of the Eklutna Dena’ina, now known as Anchorage, on a temperate day in mid-June, about to enter the largest museum in the largest state in the United States.
The Anchorage Museum is huge.
As a point of comparison, at 247,000 square feet, it is almost 30,000 square feet larger than the Whitney Museum of American Art. This museum of art, history, ethnography, ecology and science is in this city of 5,000 only a few generations ago and now nearly 300,000 — 40% of the state’s population. Situated on the Cook Inlet in in the south central part of the state, the city is a cultural hub, and the museum is a center of art and culture, and one of the most visited destinations in the state, and for good reason.
With significant collections, a dynamic exhibitions and programming schedule, a vision of the significance of the north now and in the future, and with something to say on topics including climate change, and Indigenous culture, the museum is a cultural leader for Alaska, and with influence well beyond. While the extraordinary natural beauty is the reason many travel to the state, I suggest planning time to visit to this museum on any Alaska trip.