Anchorage Museum  (1:58)

There’s no better place to get a grasp on Alaska’s history—really, its many histories— than by visiting the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center. The state’s largest museum is truly a world-class experience, offering a compelling overview of Alaskan history, art, culture, and science. Get the dirt on the gold rush, learn how Alaska’s earliest people survived sub-zero temperatures, see the result of North America’s biggest earthquake, and much more. It’s fascinating fun for the whole family.

Alaska’s History & More

Right downtown, the Anchorage Museum tells the story of the north—from Alaska’s history, art, and culture to the wonder and challenges of living in Alaska. This overview is the perfect way to begin your Alaskan experience. Start with over 600 objects from Alaska Native cultures, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution, that bring the state’s varied indigenous cultures to life. Artifacts include ceremonial masks, battle armor, and waterproof clothing made from seal intestines. Watch short films and see photographs that show what being Alaska Native means today, and how traditions are being carried into the future.

The museum’s interactive Discovery Center has something for everyone

The museum’s interactive Discovery Center has something for everyone

The museum—which officially opened in 1968—is also a hands-on discovery center that’s perfect for children. The 80 kid-friendly science exhibits in the Discovery Center include a sea life tank and small planetarium, where you can see winter’s Northern Lights even in summer.

Plan Your Visit

You could easily spend four hours enjoying the museum, but even two hours will let you see the highlights. In summer, take one of the free daily tours led by engaging docents, watch demonstrations in the science center, and on Tuesdays grab lunch from a food truck and have lunch on the lawn. Year-round, you’ll find scientific and culture presentations with book signings, evening events, classes, and workshops. And there’s always a revolving exhibition or two.

One spot not to miss: the Rasmuson Wing. This new area, which opened in 2017, is named for the Alaskan family that helped create the museum and whose members have been a driving force behind its success. The new wing massively increased the space available to display the museum’s impressive collection in the Art of the North, which combines indigenous works with other traditional, modern, and contemporary works, making for a compelling—and very Alaskan—narrative.

Permanent Exhibits

Living Our Cultures: At the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, this is the largest and longest running of any Smithsonian institution loan anywhere in the world.

Alaska Exhibition: Hear the story of Alaska through multiple perspectives in an engaging, interactive way. Explore 360-degree views of popular Alaskan hot spots or build your own community on a huge screen by adding in people, symbols, structures, and animals.

Art of the North: This contemporary art gallery is filled with art and sculpture from iconic Alaskan artists.

Dining & Shopping

Muse: Bountiful, hearty, healthy food – Alaska Style

Anchorage Museum’s full-service restaurant features menu offerings from small bites to full-course meals. Casual with a contemporary vibe.

Atrium Café: Coffee bar with snacks, desserts, and quick bites, as well as coffee, wine, and beer.

Store: This is not your usual museum store. They work with local, native artists to carry unique items that spark a sense of wonder—things you simply can’t find anywhere else in the state. Shop for locally made contemporary jewelry, Alaska Native carvings, museum-designed shirts, hydroflasks, ornaments, Qivuit and silk ties with Southeast Alaska designs, books about Alaska, kids’ toys and puzzles, and much more.

Getting There

625 C Street
Anchorage, AK 99501
Driving Directions

Prices & Dates

Season Year Round
Rates Adults // $25
Alaska Residents // $20
Senior / Military / Student (with ID) // $18
Children 6-12 // $12
Children 0-5 // free
Private Docent Fee // $200
Hours Museum // Please check the website for current open days and hours of operation.
Muse Restaurant // Open 11:30am to 6pm daily May 1st - Oct 1st

Show Map

Anchorage Museum Audio Guide

This tem­po­rary exhi­bi­tion space also offers dra­mat­ic views of the Chugach Moun­tains, the 250-mile moun­tain range that embraces Anchorage’s east­ern edge.The muse­um first opened in 1968 and has expand­ed three times over the past four decades. Anchor­age cel­e­brat­ed the grand open­ing of the museum’s most recent expan­sion, a four-sto­ry west wing with a shim­mer­ing glass façade, in 2010. The stun­ning addi­tion was designed by Lon­don archi­tect David…  ...more

In Alas­ka, most whale species don’t have teeth. Instead they grow up to 13-feet-long ker­atin plates, or baleen, which act like a giant sieve to cap­ture plank­ton. Iñu­pi­aq whalers dis­cov­ered the won­der­ful prop­er­ties of this stur­dy, frost-resis­tant mate­r­i­al. They used heat or urine to soft­en the baleen, then turned it into fish­ing nets, lash­ing and sled run­ners. Sleds like this ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry ver­sion were used to trans­port seals from icepack…  ...more

Video, audio and rare arti­facts con­verge to cre­ate an unfor­get­table overview of Alas­ka Native cul­ture. Mar­vel at 600 Alas­ka Native objects on loan from the Smith­son­ian Insti­tu­tion, includ­ing a Tlin­git warrior’s hel­met, Inu­pi­aq whale hunt­ing tools, and a hand-sewn Yup’ik par­ka made from 93 ground squir­rels. Hear Alas­ka Native lan­guages and see glimpses of con­tem­po­rary life.

New York artist Rock­well Kent and his 9‑year-old son spent the win­ter of 1918 on Fox Island near Seward. They were thrust out of their com­fort zone, liv­ing in a goat shel­ter that was a 12-mile boat ride from the near­est vil­lage. Kent paint­ed this scene near­ly 50 years lat­er from sketch­es of that adven­ture. The redemp­tive glow of the sun and two human fig­ures reflect his emo­tion­al jour­ney in the Alas­ka wilderness.

Inu­pi­aq artist James Kive­toruk Moses grew up hunt­ing, trap­ping and work­ing as a rein­deer herder. In 1953, a knee injury made his tra­di­tion­al sub­sis­tence lifestyle impos­si­ble, so he began his cel­e­brat­ed art career. This paint­ing illus­trates a dance com­pe­ti­tion between two men dur­ing Mes­sen­ger Feast, a month-long festival.

Scores of opti­mistic gold prospec­tors stam­ped­ed north to Alas­ka after 1880, see­ing the Last Fron­tier as a place of poten­tial wealth, great adven­ture and a sec­ond chance. Extract­ing gold from Alaska’s rugged ter­rain amid bru­tal ele­ments was hard work — and could be dead­ly for the unpre­pared. This exhib­it tells min­ers’ sto­ries using pho­tographs, arti­facts and, of course, gold.

At 20,320 feet, Denali (Mt. McKin­ley) is the tallest moun­tain in North Amer­i­ca; so tall, clouds often con­ceal it. But there’s always a great view of it at the muse­um thanks to beloved Alas­ka painter Syd­ney Lau­rence. He cre­at­ed this 13-by‑8 foot paint­ing in 1929 to cap­ture the immen­si­ty of the Last Frontier.

Cen­turies before Gore-Tex was invent­ed, Unan­gax hunters stayed dry by wear­ing water­proof parkas made from marine mam­mal intestines. In the 19th cen­tu­ry, Russ­ian naval offi­cers com­mis­sioned gut capes like this one, pat­terned after their naval uni­forms. A skill­ful Unan­gax seam­stress would need six months or more to sew such a cape.

Nat­ur­al resources have been cen­tral to Alaska’s eco­nom­ic suc­cess. The fur trade in the late 18th/​early 19th cen­turies, gold rush­es in the late 19th and ear­ly 20th cen­turies, and oil since the mid-20th cen­tu­ry have been key in Alaska’s devel­op­ment. The 1968 dis­cov­ery of oil in Prud­hoe Bay, the largest reser­voir of oil in North Amer­i­ca, led to the con­struc­tion of the trans-Alas­ka pipeline.

Anchorage Museum

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