Gov. Sarah Palin's nomination as the Republican vice presidential candidate thrust Alaska into the media glare like nothing since statehood in 1959. Founders of Alaska House, New York, a gallery in Manhattan's Soho district, say the opening was planned long before Sen. John McCain announced the hockey mom as his running mate.
Even so, anything about Alaska seems to be hot, including this new venture into high-stakes art dealing. Some 300 people attended Monday night's opening.
The more than 200 works represent the largest, most diverse collection of contemporary Alaska native art and crafts ever shown outside the state, according to gallery founder Alice Rogoff. They include mixed-media paintings of Kodiak bears, feathered ceremonial masks, wall hangings made from walrus innards, decorative sculptures from stone, wood carvings and buckskin apparel, and baskets and textiles woven from indigenous plants.