The Maxine & Jesse Whitney Museum contains one of the largest collections of Native Alaskan art and artifacts in the world. The Whitneys came to Alaska in 1947, and Maxine traveled to Native villages throughout the territory, buying items directly from the artists to sell in her gift shop. In 1969, Maxine assumed ownership of the Eskimo Museum in Fairbanks, and continued her collecting until the mid-1980s. The collection was donated by Ms. Whitney to Prince William Sound Community College in 1998. The artifacts were housed in a lovely climate- controlled facility at the Valdez Airport for ten years, and now find a permanent home in our new state-of-the-art museum, adjacent to the college. Since opening in May 2008, the professionally designed exhibits have garnered much attention from locals and visitors alike.
Maxine & Jesse Whitney Museum Mission Statement
The Maxine & Jesse Whitney Museum strives to foster a thirst for knowledge and appreciation of the value of historic and cultural arts and artifacts, as well as the natural world, through the eyes of our founding collectors.
- Support Prince William Sound Community College, its students, and its instructors as a resource in educational pursuits
- Safeguard the valuable natural history and cultural heritage materials entrusted to us by Maxine Whitney, for future generations
- Ensure that the collection is displayed and available for instructional and research purposes, in keeping with the mission of an educational institution, and within the boundaries of the safety and security of the collection.
- Offer cultural and educational programming for the community, relevant to the collection and the questions brought up within its framework.
- Natural History of Alaska
- Alaska wildlife mounts, including polar bears
- Ivory and baleen pieces
- Masks, dolls, fur garments
303 Lowe Street
Valdez, Alaska 99686
whitneymuseum AT pwscc DOT edu