Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fairbanks, Alaska: Museum of the North

Now this is a museum.

This is just one of the many exhibits in the Museum of the North, located on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. I'll explain about the picture in a moment.

UAF has about 11,000 students, which means the town must be mighty happy economically when the students arrive in September - even if it's a sign that winter is coming. The sports teams used to be the Polar Bears, but they switched to Nanooks. Should have bought a t-shirt in the bookstore.

The museum is a first-class job when it comes to telling the story of the region. There are exhibits about Native life, the gold rush days, art work, movies, etc. The museum gift shop is well stocked with items. The outside of the building is very impressive architecturally.

All right. You can now ask, what the heck is pictured? The correct answer is: an outhouse.

Artist Craig Buchanan crammed the outhouse with artifacts from the region. Click on the picture for full effect. The artwork even has a foam seat. As many of you no doubt know, foam is the substance of choice in Alaskan outhouse because of its, um, protective powers in the winter. Museum visitors can post for photos while sitting on the seat. My guess is that it's the most popular stop on the tour.

The artwork was created for the opening of the museum in 2006. The Fairbanks newspaper did a fine job of covering the story here.

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