A raven of steel and nails squawks at us outside the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center. The art on the grounds and the woodsy architecture of the building excited us as we walked to the entrance. Once in, we were surprised to see what looked like the inside of an airport. We saw a tourist shop to our left, and a large room filled with shelves of pamphlets — you know the kind you see off to the side of any motel where you learn about the sights and events in the area.
Thank goodness we decided to explore beyond the mountain of glossy papers, because on the far side of the Center was a walk-through of lovely exhibits. Well painted and arranged historical scenes were positioned with informational writings.
I dare anyone view these exhibits and not appreciate current luxuries. Some of the early gold rush explorers had gold blindness….so hopeful to strike it rich. Still, it was not an easy life.
We enjoyed the skills required to create the vignettes and then we were on our way.
Next stop – Museum of the North.
On a hill overlooking Fairbanks sits the BEAUTIFUL campus – the University of Alaska. I took several pictures, but nothing I could do with my phone did the landscape justice. We were also lucky that it was such a beautiful day. Although the nights were freezing, the days were comfortable, even without a coat.
School was in session, but no one needed a college parking pass for visiting the museum. I don’t know the museum’s architect, but he or she spared nothing to make the building stunning, almost like a building of the future.
This amazing museum covers everything from history and wildlife to historical and present day artists and their work. In one wing, you can see a huge stuffed bear that has been part of the museum collection for over 40 years.
and ancient tools used by the earliest inhabitants of the area.
The Alaskan App allowed us to use our phones and personal earbuds to have an audio guide. Just check out the exhibit number and click on the app. I much prefer touring on my own instead of a large group where I’m trying to peek over bobbing heads while trying to hear what is being talked about.
A different wing had modern art; The quilt was one of my favorite.
“Drifting Forms” 1999, Hand-dyed fabric quilt – Ree Nancarrow
There was a small wing of art donated by two collectors from New York. This wing is probably on rotation.
We had such a great time. Please, don’t miss this place if you go to Fairbanks. Yes, it was $12.00 each to enter, but worth every penny.
I just hope that this does not cause us to be cursed. No disrespect. One can view only so much culture before the silliness steps in.
Coming soon……. Part 6 Snow