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ANCIENT AND MODERN: The Alaska Collections at the Hearst Museum of Anthropology



This article examines a problem common to many museums of art and ethnology: how to exhibit old collections of traditional material culture from peoples who are very much alive and active today. As a case study, it examines the role and participation of the Alaskan Native peoples whose 19th-century materials are to be exhibited; the design of the exhibition, including the contemporary arts and material cultural traditions in the traveling exhibition; and the itinerary of the exhibit, including the problem of presentations in Native villages. It places this case study within the evolution of museums' functions and stakeholders' expectations, in comparison with other forms of contemporary museums and cultural centers, as aspects of control and interpretation revert more and more into the hands of the source communities.