For more than a quarter century, Steve Henrikson has served as curator of collections at the Alaska State Museum and adjunct instructor at the University of Alaska Southeast. In 1986, he came to Alaska as a seasonal curator at Sitka National Historical Park during a break from graduate studies at the University of Washington. Previously, he earned degrees in history and anthropology from Portland State University.
Henrikson’s work and life keep him deeply engaged with Alaska art and artists, with history and history makers, and with cultures and their descendants. He preserves, researches, develops, and exhibits Alaska’s permanent collection—30,000 historical and cultural artifacts and artwork. He led the interpretive design for the new State Museum display, which opens this May in the new Andrew P. Kashevaroff Building. The exhibit features many of the thousands of objects he found, authenticated, and collected. His broad research interests include Russian crests and markers, Alaska architecture and maritime history, and Northwest Coast Native art and culture.
Henrikson is active with the professional group Museums Alaska and as a Tlingit Clan Conference organizer. He works extensively with Native elders, artists and cultural experts, scholars, and the general public. He and his museum colleagues also consult with communities and museums statewide on museum construction and operations, including the community of Klukwan in the planning of its new cultural center. Henrikson is an honorary member of the Dak’laweidi (Killer Whale) clan of the Angoon Tlingit, and participates in clan ceremonies. He and his wife, Janice Criswell, are both artists and have collaborated on several public art projects, including the suspended bird sculpture at the Juneau International Airport.