1987 October 9 - 1988 January 3
"Ancient Eskimo Ivories of the Bering Strait" was an exhibition presenting more than 160 historic ivories created by the maritime society that flourished along the shores of the Bering Strait from the third century B.C. to 1200 A.D. The ivories were from more than 40 public and private collections in England, Denmark, France and the United States. Some were from the American Museum of Natural History's collection. The objects on view were carved primarily from walrus ivory and included ornamental harpoon fittings, scrapers, knives a needle case and snow goggles. Also on view was an ivory carving of a baby walrus, one of the best known of all ancient Eskimo ivories.The exhibition was structured to illustrate the distinct Old Bering Sea periods: The Old Bering Sea 1 (Okvik) (200 B.C. to 100 A.D.); The Old Bering Sea 2 (100 A.D. to 300 A.D.); The Old Bering Sea 3 (300 A.D. to 500 A.D.); The Ipiutak culture (100 A.D. to 600 A.D.) and the Punuk period (500 A.D. to 1200 A.D). The exhibition was organized by the American Federation of Arts. It was supported by a grant from the Exxon Corporation with assistance from the National Endowment for the Arts. The guest curator was Allen Wardwell, the then director of the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum. David Hurst Thomas, the then-Curator in the American Museum's Department of Anthropology, coordinated the exhibit. The exhibit was on view in the Naturemax Gallery of the American Museum of Natural History from October 9, 1987 through January 3, 1988. Additional detailed information available in Press Release Slide Sheet dated May 12, 1987.
Individuals and institutions involved in the creation of the exhibition: American Federation of Arts; David Hurst Thomas; Allen Wardwell; AMNH Department of Anthropology.
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