Alaska Native Art
Tradition, Innovation, Continuity
The rich artistic traditions of Alaska Natives are the subject of this landmark volume, which examines the work of the premier Alaska artists of the twentieth century. Ranging across the state from the islands of the Bering Sea to the interior forests, Alaska Native Art provides a living context for beadwork and ivory carving, basketry and skin sewing. Examples of work from Tlingit, Aleutian Islanders, Pacific Eskimo, Athabaskan, Yupik, and Inupiaq artists make this volume the most comprehensive study of Alaskan art ever published.
Beautifully illustrated with full-color photographs of artists and their works, Alaska Native Art examines the concept of tradition in the modern world. Fair demonstrates that tradition is alive and well in Alaska through the words of Native artists and a multitude of examples, reproduced in color and accompanied by historic photographs.
Alaska Native Art is a volume to treasure, a tribute to the incredible vision of Alaska's artists and to the enduring traditions of all of Alaska's Native peoples.
Susan W. Fair (1948-2003) was a folklorist, curator, and advocate for Native peoples. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in 1994 and published extensively on Alaska Native art, including two chapters in the catalog Eskimo Drawings (2003). She curated major art exhibits across Alaska and worked throughout her life to increase respect for and appreciation of Alaska Native artists and their work.
Selected as an outstanding book of 2007 for the American Association of School Librarians.
"An inspirational, landmark volume...an excellent addition to any collection."
"This wonderful book reflects Susie Fair's years of experience working with Alaska
Native artists throughout the state and represents a unique contribution to our understanding
of traditional, transitional, and contemporary Alaska Native art."
—Nelson Graburn, author of Ethnic and Tourist Arts
"Susan Fair's illuminating book is as brilliant and original as she was. She provides
a vivid account of the works of Alaska Native artists, bringing to life not only the
artworks, but also the artists so often neglected in scholarly studies."
—Molly Lee, Curator of Ethnology, University of Alaska Museum of the North
"Gorgeous photos showcase the wealth of works by contemporary Native artists in Alaska.
Separate chapters focus on works by Eskimos, Aleuts and Alaska Indians, explaining
the cultural references, which influence the traditional works. Explanations are detailed
and highly readable for a high school audience, focusing on the purpose of the objects
in the traditional societies. This would be a great addition to any high school looking
to add titles to their non-Western art collection."
—Terri Lent(AASL), Library Media Specialist, Patrick Henry High School, Roanoke, VA