Sesquicentennial exhibit at the SLAM opens this fall

The official stamp of Prince Dmitry Petrovich Maksutov, the Chief Administrator of the Russian America Company, as appearing on documents relating to the transfer of Alaska. (Courtesy photo)

The Alaska Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums is gearing up for an exhibit related to the 150 year anniversary of Alaska’s transfer from Russia to the United States. The exhibit will feature significant maps, photographs, documents, and objects related to the 1867 transfer, most of which will be exhibited for the first time. The exhibit will be held in the Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives, and Musuem building in Juneau this fall.

Materials going on exhibit include rare paper documents related to the 1867 transfer which have undergone conservation treatment and repair by a professional conservator. A grant through the Alaska Office of History & Archeology helped bring a professional paper conservator to Alaska to work on these historic documents. The highlight of the exhibit is an 8-foot map of Sitka, drawn in 1867 for the transfer. Other materials include documents penned by Chief Administrator of the Russian America Company, Prince Dmitry Petrovich Maksutov.

The exhibit will include the 19th century painting Signing of the Treaty of Alaska by Emanuel Leutze on loan from the Seward House Museum in Auburn, New York. The German-born artist, Leutze, is the creator of the well-known painting which depicts General George Washington crossing the Delaware River during the American Revolution. Leutze’s Signing of the Treaty of Alaska remains one of the most iconic historical recreations of Alaska’s history.

The exhibit will open Oct. 6, 2017 and run through the month.

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