Publications / Exhibit Catalogues


ASC has produced many exciting and informative exhibit catalogues throughout the years. Below is a description of each volume we have published and information on how to order copies.


Friends of the Smithsonian's Book of Year Selection:
Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage:
The First Peoples of Alaska
Edited by Aron L. Crowell, Rosita Worl, Paul C. Ongtooguk,
and Dawn D. Biddison.
Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Books, 2010.

Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska features more than 200 objects representing the masterful artistry and design traditions of twenty Alaska Native peoples. Based on a collaborative exhibition created by Alaska Native communities, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, and the Anchorage Museum, this richly illustrated volume celebrates both the long-awaited return of ancestral treasures to their northern homeland and the diverse cultures in which they were created.

Despite the North's transformation through globalizing change, the objects shown in these pages are interpretable within ongoing cultural frames, articulated in languages still spoken. They were made for a way of life on the land that is carried on today throughout Alaska. Dialogue with the region's First Peoples evokes past meanings but focuses equally on contemporary values, practices, and identities. Objects and narratives show how each Alaska Native nation is unique--and how all are connected. After introductions to the history of the land and its peoples, universal themes of "Sea, Land, Rivers," "Family and Community," and "Ceremony and Celebration" are explored referencing exquisite masks, parkas, beaded garments, basketry, weapons, and carvings that embody the diverse environments and practices of their makers. Accompanied by traditional stories and personal accounts by Alaska Native elders, artists, and scholars, each piece featured in Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage evokes both historical and contemporary meaning, and breathes the life of its people.

Ordering Information:
Smithsonian Books
List Price: $50.00
Anchorage Museum  
List Price: $29.95

From the Playground of the Gods.
The Life and Art of Bikky Sunazawa.
By Chisato O. Dubreuil. Foreward by Wiliam W. Fitzhugh
Washington D.C. Smithsonian Institution Press, 2004.PDF

Bikky Sunazawa, is the Ainu artist who pioneered the "break-out" of Ainu art from its traditional encumbrances, and from its commercial shackles as commercial tourist art, into the international world of fine arts. Bikky, a nickname meaning "frog" in Ainu, rose to prominence in the 1970-80s as a charismatic young artist interested in advancing the
political and cultural aspirations of Ainu people. Initially through direct political action and later through his art, Bikky translated the historical legacy of Ainu culture into a powerful message of modern Ainu identity unlike any previous Ainu artist. Chisato Dubreuil's current work is the most comprehensive treatment of the artist who became the pivot-point in the development of modern Ainu fine art.

A complex character who richly deserves the "larger than life" ephithet, Bikky was sensitive, dramatic, extremely innovative in several areas of art, loyal to his friends but hard on family relationships. Beginning with the spectacular composite designs derived from traditional Ainu textile arts passed down from his mother, each of his works proved equally innovative and inspirational, each successive style breaking new ground and revealing new and more profound insights into "what it means to be Ainu." Bikky translated his native beliefs, sensibilities, and ethnic traditions into artistic expressions that embody a strong Ainu vision. Today Ainu culture is beginning to be recognized for its historical tenacity, the beauty of its art and literature, and for the important message of its religion and philosophy—spiritual balance between humans and nature. Bikky Sunazawa is recognized as one of the most creative and important contemporary native artists within today's circumpolar peoples.

Published through the generous support of the Motoko Ikeda-Spiegel Memorial Foundation

Ordering Information:
available from University of Hawaii Press
List Price: $35.00

  LOC cover

cover of book,From the Playgournds of the Gods. The Life and Art of Bikky Sunazawa.



Looking Both Ways: Heritage and Identity of the Alutiiq People
Edited by Aron L. Crowell, Amy F. Steffian and Gordon L. Pullar.
Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2001.

Looking Both Ways: Heritage and Identity of the Alutiiq People is an extraordinary introduction to the indigenous people and culture of Alaska's south-central coast. Combining archaeology, history and oral tradition, the volume traces the "Alutiiq path" through ancestral generations to contemporary life, including today's compelling issues of cultural identity and autonomy. Alutiiq art, objects and images are signposts along the way. Contributors include anthropologists, historians, and Alutiiq writers, elders and storytellers who convey a many-sided sense of cultural values and beliefs. The exhibition and its catalog were created by the shared efforts of the Arctic Studies Center, the Alutiiq Museum, and Alutiiq communities. The 265-page volume includes over 200 color images, an index, glossary, and extensive bibliography. Multimedia Tools for Teachers help to bring the exhibition into the classroom.

Ordering Information:
University of Alaska Press
Toll free: 1-888-252-6657
List Price: Paper: $24.95; Hardcover: $49.95

  Looking Both Ways

Society for American Archaeology's Book of the Year Selection:
Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga
Edited by William W. Fitzhugh and Elisabeth I. Ward.
Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2000.

Like the exhibit of the same name, Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga traces the Vikings from their Scandinavian homelands, into Europe and across the North Atlantic to North American shores. Researchers from diverse academic backgrounds chronicle over 1000 years of history, starting with the historic routes of the Vikings in the 7th century to the modern day impacts the Vikings have had on popular culture and the local environments of the North Atlantic. Over 500 color illustrations including maps, drawings and charts supplement this 35 chapter, award-winning edited volume.

Ordering Information:
Now available from Smithsonian Business Ventures
sold at The National Museum of Natural History Giftshop
(202) 633-2060 Rosalyn Linshaw.
List Price: Paper: $34.95

  Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga

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Ainu: Spirit of a Northern People
Edited by William W. Fitzhugh and Chisato O. Dubreuil.
Washington DC: Arctic Studies Center in association with University of Washington Press, 1999.

Edited by William W. Fitzhugh and Chisato O. Dubreuil, Ainu: Spirit of a Northern People unites Japanese, Ainu and Western authors in the first comprehensive English language volume on Ainu culture. This encyclopedic volume combines scholarly essays and Ainu community views in its presentation of Ainu ethnicity, history, art, spiritualism, community life and modern renewal. Totaling 415 pages, it consists of 55 chapters with 897 illustrations, 419 in full color, including modern photographs of Ainu, object photography, Japanese Ainu-e paintings, maps and modern Ainu art.

Ordering Information:

For paper cover edition contact:
Arctic Studies Center - order form (PDF file)
List Price: Paper $49.95
For Hardcover edition contact:
University of Washington Press
Toll free number: 1-800-441-4115
List Price: Hardcover $75.00

  Ainu: Spirit of a Northern People

Living Yamal
Igor Krupnik and Natalya Narinskaya.
Washington D.C.: Arctic Studies Center, 1998.

In the 1970s, modern industry tapped the rich oil and gas resources of the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia. As had happened many times elsewhere, it seemed as if the expanding industry would sweep away the small indigenous nations and their traditional habitats. In cooperation with the Amoco Eurasian Corporation and Nadym Gazprom, the 'Living Yamal' program, a joint three-year Russian-American program, was created to find suitable ways of developing the resource while ensuring the protection of the cultural and historical legacy of the peoples of the Yamal. Both the exhibit 'Arktis-Antarktis' in Bonn Germany and this 63-page Cyrillic and English language exhibition catalog were developed from the documentation, preservation and promotion of the cultural heritage of the Yamal Peninsula. The rich life and culture of the Nenet reindeer herders, a group that comprises roughly half of the indigenous population of Yamal, is documented over 13 chapters and 152 color photos, illustrations and maps.

Ordering Information:

Only a few copies remain!
Arctic Studies Center - order form (PDF file)
List Price: $19.95

  Living Yamal

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Agayuliyararput (Our Way of Making Prayer): The Living Tradition of Yup'ik Masks
By Ann Fienup-Riordan.
Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1996.

Ann Fienup-Riordan's groundbreaking exhibition book, The Living Tradition of Yup'ik Masks, includes masks from private and museum collections from around the world, presenting them for the first time in their Native context. Utilizing both indigenous and scholarly interpretations of these and other ceremonial objects, the volume explores the rich history, meaning and legacy of Yup'ik masks. Yup'ik understandings of their cultural materials combine with 200 color and 100 black and white photographs and illustrations in this striking presentation of Yup'ik masking traditions, ceremonialism and culture.

Ordering Information:
University of Washington Press
Toll free number: 1-800-441-4115
List Prices: Paper: $40.00; Hardcover: $70.00


Crossroads Alaska: Native Cultures of Alaska and Siberia
Edited by Valerie Chaussonnet.
Washington D.C.: Arctic Studies Center, 1995. PDF

Crossroads Alaska was born out of a larger "Crossroads" concept, first developed through the major international exhibition Crossroads of Continents: Cultures of Siberia and Alaska. Crossroads Alaska, a mini-Crossroads exhibition and catalog, grew out of a desire to enhance the local and artistic programs of the Native communities represented in the show. This 112-page catalog, accompanied by 133 black and white and color illustrations, depicts the diversity, ingenuity and shared heritage of the cultures and peoples of the North Pacific region.

Ordering information:
A few copies remian!
Arctic Studies Center - order form (PDF file)
List Price: $19.95

  Crossroads Alaska

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Crossroads of Continents: Cultures of Siberia and Alaska
Edited by William W. Fitzhugh and Aron Crowell. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1988.

Crossroads of Continents, edited by William Fitzhugh and Aron Crowell, is a stunning collection of visual material from the Native peoples and cultures of the North Pacific. This catalogue is the result of a jointly researched and curated project by American and Russian scholars, which brought important collections from Russia and America together into one exhibition of North Pacific ethnography and archaeology. Over 470 color and black and white illustrations accompany 37 chapters that explore the history, origins, art and diversity of peoples of Siberia and Alaska.

Ordering Information:
Crossroads of Continents catalogue is no longer in print through the Smithsonian Institution Press. Contact local or online book vendors for availability of this title.

  Crossroads of Continents

Inua: Spirit World of the Bering Sea Eskimo
By William W. Fitzhugh and Susan A. Kaplan. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1982. PDF

Published in 1982, Inua reconstructs traditional nineteenth-century Bering Sea Eskimo life, stories, religion and art as it was represented in the impressive collections and information that Edward Nelson gathered in Alaska from 1877-1881. Celebrating the hundredth anniversary of Nelson's field work, this volume is a fitting accolade to the memory of a remarkable natural historian and scientist. Nelson's notes, articles and monographs, as well as the stories and myths he collected throughout his travels are presented in over 295 pages with 370 photographs, drawings and charts in this visual ethnography. A complementary teachers guide is also available.

Ordering Information:
Inua: Spirit World of the Bering Sea Eskimo is no longer in print through the Smithsonian Institution Press. Contact local or online booksellers for availability of this title.

  Inua: Spirit World of the Bering Sea Eskimo

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