Chuna McIntyre (Yup’ik) Lecture at the Sheldon Jackson Museum

On Saturday, May 4th at 3pm the Sheldon Jackson Museum will host a talk by Yup’ik culture bearer and artist, Chuna McIntyre. McIntyre will present on European Artists inspired by Yup’ik masks with a focus on the surprising artistic and spiritual connection between the French modern master Henri Matisse and indigenous peoples of the Arctic. Best known for his fauvist style, expressive use of color, and paper cutouts, Matisse is less known for having painted thirty-nine black and white portraits inspired by a group of Yup’ik masks. This was the subject of Yua: Henri Matisse and the Inner Arctic Spirit, the 2018 groundbreaking exhibition co-curated by McIntyre at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona.


Chuna McIntyre will be an artist-in-residence at the Sheldon Jackson Museum in late April and Early May. During his residency, he will collaborate with museum staff and provide cultural expertise to help document the stories associated with Yup’ik masks and other Yup’ik material in the museum’s permanent collection. McIntyre has provided similar consultations to the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art in New York, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Anchorage, Alaska, the Honolulu Museum of Art in Hawaii, among others.


Born in Eek, a small village on the coast of the Bering Sea, McIntyre learned traditional Yup’ik dance, stories, and songs from his grandmother. He later founded and directed the Nunamta Yup’ik Eskimo Singers & Dancers, a troupe that has travelled the world. In 2007, he was an artist demonstrator at the Sheldon Jackson Museum. Twelve years later, the Sheldon Jackson Museum is elated to bring back this garment maker, painter, storyteller, and cultural expert for this consultation project focusing on the documenting the Yup’ik mask collection.


The Alaska Native Artist Residency Program is made possible through the support of the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund, Sitka Fine Arts Camp, Alaska Airlines, the Friends of the Sheldon Jackson Museum, and private donations.

Summer hours at the Sheldon Jackson Museum 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, daily except holidays. Summer admission is $7 for adults and $6 for seniors. Visitors 18 and under are admitted free of charge. Assistance is available for visitors with special needs. Please contact the museum for more information at 907.747.8981.