The Anchorage Museum first opened its doors to visitors in 1968. Since that time, the museum’s collection has grown to include over 25,000 objects and over a half-million photographs. The museum consists of a permanent collection with temporary exhibitions coming to the museum each year. The museum also houses the Thomas Planetarium, a restaurant, a museum store and the Discovery Center that allows for hands-on exploration of both art and history.
The Anchorage Museum houses several permanent collections. One of the major collections on display is the Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska exhibit. This exhibit was created with the help of the Smithsonian Institute, and the collection includes more than 600 objects. Visitors to the museum will be able to learn about the first people in Alaska through video displays and multimedia installations.
Another part of the permanent collection in the Art of the North art collection. There are approximately 200 pieces of art on display that feature depictions in painting and sculpture of the landscape and the peoples of the Arctic area of the world.
Throughout the course of each year, temporary exhibitions are staged at the Anchorage Museum. Past exhibitions have included the artwork of a single artist who has captured the spirit of Alaska and her people. Other exhibits include work from a number of artists dealing with a particular theme.
The Thomas Planetarium is located within the Anchorage Museum. Those visiting the museum should be aware that the planetarium does have a separate admission charge. The Thomas Planetarium features a domed-screen that displays the wonders of the universe utilizing 3-D graphics.
The Museum Store
After seeing the displays in the museum, visitors may want to take home a memento of their visit. The Museum Store has a wide array of apparel, books and gift items that depict museum artworks and objects as well as items with a Northern theme.
There is a lot to see and do at the Anchorage Museum, so visitors may want to get a bite to eat while there. The Muse Restaurant and Atrium Cafe are located at the museum. The Atrium Cafe is only open during the hours that the museum itself is open, but the Muse Restaurant is open at other times throughout the week.
From October 1 through April 30, the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from noon until 6 p.m. on Sunday. The museum is closed on Monday. From May 1 through September 30, the museum is open every day from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Parking is available in an underground parking lot located directly beneath the museum. There is a charge to park in this lot, and the fee is based on the number of hours parked.
Tours of the Art of the North exhibit are available. Private tours are also available for groups at an additional fee. The Anchorage Trolley tour is a great option to view all of Anchorage.