Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Installing the Haida Totem Pole

By Eva Fognell, Curator of the Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art

After storing our totem pole and admiring it in the confined space of a trailer (here and here), we recently enjoyed the big day when we would finally be able to see the pole the way it is meant to be admired – standing tall.

The pole was first taken out of its trailer and then driven on a flatbed truck onto our front lawn. Tobi Voigt, our Manager of Statewide Programs, took a few great shots of the pole from above as it passed underneath her office window.

With a crane and a bucket truck the pole was carefully placed. It looks magnificent! No one on our staff has had any experience with raising totem poles but the event went smoothly with no problems.

Stephen Loughman, our Preparator, had a chance to take a ride into the sky in the bucket truck while figuring out how to get the cover over the pole. It will be covered by fabric until its unveiling on May 29th.

Come and join us on May 29th at 1:00 pm for an afternoon of celebration. The Rainbow Creek Dancers will perform and Reg Davidson, the carver of the pole, is part of the dance troupe. After their performance on our front lawn, scholar and artist Steve Brown will give a talk in the auditorium on Totem Pole carving styles of the Northwest Coast.

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