Alaska State Museum

Photo by Lara Swimmer

The state of Alaska has a rich and diverse culture. It’s home to many different Alaska Native tribes, has a history as a Russian stronghold with remnants of that past still alive today, was purchased by the U.S. in 1867 and finally became a state in 1959. The Alaska State Museum in Juneau makes the story of Alaska accessible by showcasing artifacts, artwork and more from the state’s past. A visit to the museum makes a fun and educational addition to any trip to Juneau.

The Alaska State Museum has four different sections: a historical section, an Alaska Native section, a fine art section and a natural history section. The historical section presents artifacts from both the Russian colonial period and the American period and includes items such as a Russian caftan from the 1840s and objects from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. The Alaska Native section contains one of the most comprehensive collections of Northwest Coast and Eskimo baskets in the world, some of which are around 5,000 years old. In the fine art collection, you can find artwork from Alaska’s beginnings through the present, including what is possibly the earliest existing image of Alaska in the state. Then, move into the natural history collection to learn about plants and animals native to Alaska.

For more information about the Alaska State Museum, go to To plan the rest of your trip to Juneau, visit

This article appeared in our November/December, 2018 issue.