1867 - 1951
Northwest Coast Seal Food Dish
carved wood with inlaid abalone, operculum, dog teeth and Russian trade beads, circa 1900
16 x 6 x 4 in 40.6 x 15.2 x 10.2 cm
Collection of Axel Rasmussen, Alaska
Private Collection, British Columbia
Axel Rasmussen (1886 – 1945) was a Presbyterian minister and schoolteacher who moved to Wrangell, Alaska in the late 1920s to become Superintendent of Schools there. During this time he devoted much time to collecting, obtaining works primarily from First Nations individuals themselves, and he also traded with other collectors and dealers. The condition of the objects in his collection and careful cataloguing notes testify to his interest in each piece and the care which he gave them. In 1937 his superintendent work took him to Skagway, where he brought his collection and started a museum. There, he greatly broadened the scope of his collection but kept it restricted to the Northwest and that region alone. The Portland Museum acquired most of Rasmussen's collection in 1948.
Available for viewing at: Heffel Vancouver
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