Alaska Doll exhibit opens at Seldovia Museum

Doll by Anita Paniyak-Photo provided

Visitors to Seldovia for Fourth of July can catch a new exhibit of Alaska dolls at the Seldovia Museum. “When I Remember, I Make a Doll” shows 23 dolls from the collection of Gert Seekins of Homer, and feature dolls from Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Inupiaq artists. The dolls are made largely from natural materials such as fur, bone, ivory, leather and fish skin. The exhibit’s title comes from a statement by Eva Heffle, a Kotzebue dollmaker known for her “activity” dolls, dolls that show people in action doing the daily tasks and celebrations of village life.

“Although we use the term ‘dolls’ to refer to these figures, they were never intended to be toys,” said Jan Yaeger, curator and environmental educator for the museun. “They are works of art and representations of traditional ways of life.”

Several artists whose work is in the collection have shown other dolls at the Anchorage International Airport Alaska Native Art collection and the Smithsonian Institution.

The Seldovia Museum is located on the first floor of the SVT building on Main Street, and is open 10 a.m.- 5p.m. daily. The doll exhibit will be on display throughout the summer.

Doll by Caroline Penayah-Photo provided

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