In May 1989 prominent Tlingit elders, such as Austin Hammond, Jimmie George, Amy Marvin, Katherine Mills, and David Katzeek were invited to the Portland Art Museum to view and discuss the Tlingit art objects from the museum’s Axel Rasmussen Collection. The Axel Rasmussen Collection was obtained by the Portland Art Museum in 1948 and consists of Northwest Coast art items, many of Tlingit origin. The purpose of this gathering, or conference, was to gain a better understanding of the objects, both culturally and historically.
This collection is comprised of six VHS moving image recordings and seventeen audio recordings capturing the invited Tlingit elders reviewing the Tlingit from the Portland Art Museum’s the Axel Rasmussen Collection. The director of the Portland Art Museum, Dan Monroe, invited Austin Hammond (Daanawáak from the Raven / Luknaax.ádi clan), Jimmie George (Wóochx Kaduhaa from the Raven / Dakl’aweidí clan), Amy Marvin (Kooteen, from the Eagle / Chookaneidí clan), Katherine Mills (Yakwxwaan Tlaa from the Raven / T’akdeintaan clan), and David Katzeek (from the Eagle / Shangukeidí clan) to view and talk about certain items from the Axel Rasmussen Collection.
These recordings capture Tlingit speeches expressing their gratitude for being able to share their knowledge and stories, followed by a review of the art items. The conversations on these recordings are in the Tlingit with English languages.