In August SHI’s newest Visiting Scholar, Emily Moore, Art History PhD candidate at University of California Berkeley, will begin her studies and fieldwork at SHI. Moore is conducting research on the totem parks of Southeast Alaska. These totem parks, located at Saxman, Ketchikan, Wrangell, Kasaan, Klawock, and Hydaburg, were constructed during the 1930s during the Great Depression (excluding Sitka’s pre-existing park, but it also received restorations during this period).The totem parks were created when the federal government, acting through the U.S. Forest Service and an emergency relief program called the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), hired Tlingit and Haida men to restore or replicate nineteenth-century totem poles from Native villages. The parks represent the first major act of government patronage for Tlingit and Haida art in the United States, and the totem parks continue to be important sites for Tlingit and Haida communities today.
Moore is interested in contacting carvers or their relatives in Tlingit and Haida communities who remember someone who worked on the New Deal totem parks, or details concerning the carving project, as Moore also works to honor the individual carvers who worked on this historic project and the project’s legacy.
If you are interested in being interviewed, or if you have additional information about the carvers, the totem parks, or other factors relative to Moore’s research, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Moore will research this topic in SHI’s office from August 29-September 23, 2011.