Log In | Contact Us| View Cart (0)
Browse: Collections Digital Content Subjects Creators Record Groups

Amos L. Wallace Collection

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Amos L. Wallace Papers

Amos L. Wallace Photographs

Amos L. Wallace Associated Art

Amos L. Wallace Recordings



Contact us about this collection

Amos L. Wallace Collection, 1890-2013 | Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

By Zachary R. Jones, Archivist

Printer-friendly Printer-friendly | Email Us Contact Us About This Collection

Collection Overview

Title: Amos L. Wallace Collection, 1890-2013Add to your cart.

ID: MS/041

Primary Creator: Wallace, Amos L. (1920-2004)

Other Creators: Wallace, Brian

Extent: 11.0 Boxes

Date Acquired: 05/02/2012

Subjects: Tlingit art., Tlingit Indians--History.

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains the personal papers, photographs, recordings, and art pieces of Tlingit artist Amos L. Wallace (1920-2004). The collection has high research value for understanding the professional and personal life of an accomplished Tlingit artist, as well as the actions of the Tlingit community in regards to culture and political actions. The collection also has high potential for museum exhibition purposes.

The collection has been organized into three Series of materials; Series 1: Amos Wallace Papers; Series 2: Amos Wallace Photographs; and Series 3: Amos Wallace Art.

Series 1 contains Amos Wallace’s papers, including his personal and professional papers. These consist of correspondence, legal papers, clippings about Wallace, interviews of Wallace, and other documents.

Series 2 consists of photographs that concern Amos Wallace, approximately 500 images in total. These photographs capture images of Wallace working on his art, images of his art, photographs from scrapbooks, historic family photographs, and digital photographs of Wallace’s art (most in family possession) taken by his son Brian Wallace.

Series 3 consists of art items created by or associated with Wallace. These include hand drawn art sketches, hand drawn art patterns (such as bracelet patterns) used by Wallace for his work, metal jewelry patterns, reference images of art, unfinished art items, and oversized art drawings, papers, and photographs.

Series 4 consists of recordings collected, made by, or of Amos L. Wallace. These recordings were captured on open reel, mostly all by Wallace, as he was acting as a type of ethnographer/historian among his own community; documenting important events, meetings, and actions of the community. These recordings include content concerning Wallace as an artist, the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood, the Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, land claims, land tenure, interactions with the BIA, and other.

Researcher Note: Sealaska Heritage Institute also holds other art items created by Amos Wallace and his brother Lincoln Wallace. Contact the curator for questions. Sealaska Heritage Institute also contains the photographs of Amos Wallace’s son, Brian Wallace, which contain images of Amos and the wider Wallace family.

Biographical Note

Amos L. Wallace (1920-2004) was born in Juneau, Alaska on November 28, 1920, the son of Frank Thomas and Anna Cora Allen Thomas (1902-1970). Amos Wallace was a Tlingit Indian of the Raven Moiety, T’akdeintaan Clan of Hoonah and is often remembered for his art, being widely recognized Tlingit artist. His Tlingit name was Jeet Yaaw Dustaa.

Although Wallace was born in Juneau in 1920, his family then resided in Hoonah, and Wallace’s first six years were spent in Hoonah. Shortly thereafter Wallace’s father died and the family moved to Juneau, and a few years later Wallace’s mother married Frank Wallace in Juneau. Amos Wallace obtained his grade school education at the Indian boarding school in Skagway, a Catholic operated school known is Pius X Mission. He later obtained the remainder of his K-12 education at the Wrangell Institute, a boarding school for Alaska Native youth.

Upon completion of his K-12 education Wallace joined the U.S. Army in 1942 during the Japanese invasion of Alaska, served in Alaska, and according to Wallace’s military documentation his duties were “deck hand, radio operator, wheel watch, and winch operator.” Wallace was honorably discharged in 1945 as a Private First Class, thereafter he returned to Juneau. In 1960 Wallace married widowed Dorothy Wanamaker (1916-2006), Wallace warmly adopted her children, and the couple remained married for forty-four years, until Amos Wallace’s death in 2004. They made Juneau their home and took active roles in civic and community affairs, working to fight for civil rights as members and leaders of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood.

Earlier in Wallace’s youth, at age seven, he had begun to carve Tlingit art items, including model totem poles. Reportedly, Wallace’s older brother Lincoln Wallace (1919-1981) began teaching Amos to carve, and together the two carved alongside each other during their youth. Amos Wallace continued to develop his artistic talents, which soon attracted national attention beginning 1958. That year he was contracted by a New York City department store, Abraham & Strauss, to carve a totem pole in New York, the pole later being placed at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. A few months later Wallace was asked to be a guest on the Jack Parr Show (later the Tonight Show) to speak about his art and life. Such publicity at a national level garnished Wallace numerous contracted totem carving projects, such as in 1960 being contracted to carve a totem pole at Disneyland’s Indianland. With Alaska obtaining statehood in 1959 and Wallace being a publicly known Alaska Native artist, his art work continued to grow. The Alaska State Museum’s Statehood Exhibit featured a totem pole carved by Wallace, as a centerpiece of the exhibit.

From this point Wallace’s art career continued to grow. He carved totems and large wall-plagues for a number of individuals, parks, entities, and organizations during his life. He also became a master silversmith and jeweler, carving highly artistic formline gold, silver, and copper bracelets and jewelry. Wallace was also contracted by Griffin’s-Alaska of Edmonds, Washington to carve Tlingit art pieces, such as model totem poles, plaques, bowls, and other, which Griffin’s-Alaska sold widely. His art was also sold through the Alaska Native Arts Cooperative Association, where he also became a board of director. During his later years he began teaching and apprenticing other Tlingit artists, sharing his knowledge of Tlingit art.

Amid Wallace’s art career he remained committed to his community and state affairs. He served in various capacities within the Alaska Native Brotherhood, as well as on Juneau’s Housing & Community Development Citizens Committee, the Juneau Community Education Council, and on the state’s Historic Sites Advisory Committee. In 1970 Wallace was the recipient of the Governor’s Award, the highest award given by the state to community members and artists. In 1998 the Juneau Tlingit-Haida Community Council named Wallace a Living Cultural Treasure. Wallace remained in Juneau until his passing in 2004.

Subject/Index Terms

Tlingit art.
Tlingit Indians--History.

Administrative Information

Repository: Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

Acquisition Source: Brian Wallace

Acquisition Method: The Amos Wallace material in the collection was donated to Sealaska Heritage Institute by Brian Wallace, the son of Amos L. Wallace in various batches between 2012 and 2013, the first donation coming on 5/2/2012.

Processing Information: Processed by Zachary R. Jones, Archivist, in 2012.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Amos L. Wallace Papers],
[Series 2: Amos L. Wallace Photographs],
[Series 3: Amos L. Wallace Associated Art],
[Series 4: Amos L. Wallace Recordings],
[All]

Series 4: Amos L. Wallace RecordingsAdd to your cart.
Box 1: RecordingsAdd to your cart.
Folder 1: Audio recording of a koo.éex’ or ceremonial gathering, host and guests unknown and do not self-identify, location likely Angoon, reel labeled “Indian songs, Henry Anderson, 10 minutes, John K. Smith – introduction; Speech on Indian costumes, Henry Anderson; 20 minutes; Mrs. Ed Kunz, explains costumes, 10 minutes,” dated October 27, 1961. Format; original reel and CD; migrated by donor in 2013. 58 minutes in length. Content includes speaking, oratory, oratorical responses, host to guest responses, and singing/chants in the Tlingit language. It does appear that the Raven/Coho people are involved in this event. Fluent speaker summary notes in file.Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Audio recording continued from the previous, of a koo.éex’ or ceremonial gathering, host and guests unknown and do not self-identify, location likely Angoon, Oct. 27, 1961. Format; original reel and two CDs; migrated by donor in 2013. Speaking and singing in the Tlingit language. Content includes speaking, oratory, oratorical responses, host to guest responses, and singing/chants in the Tlingit language. Angoon Deisheetaan people are present, and the voice of Jimmy George, Killer Whale clan, of Angoon, speaks from 14:38-18:16 on Side A Fluent speaker summary notes in file.Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Black and white audiovisual recording and interview of Amos L. Wallace about his life and art, interview by his nephew Sam Akagi during the 1971/72 school year. 16 minutes in length.Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Audio recording attributed as containing an Alaska Native Brotherhood meeting, circa 1967-68. Format; open reel.Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Audio recording attributed as containing an Alaska Native Brotherhood meeting, circa 1960s. Format; open reel. Label reads “T&H Juneau,” numbers 7 & 8. Note: although the original label’s title could denote this as being a recording of a Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska meeting, the donor reviewed this reel in 2013 and felt it was an ANB meeting dating to the 1960s. Format; open reel.Add to your cart.
Box 2: RecordingsAdd to your cart.
Folder 1: Audio recording of three Tlingit songs, performed in Juneau for Congressman Wayne N. Aspinal (of Colorado), who the Tlingit were appealing to for assistance with land claims, circa 1951. Singing in Tlingit with informal conversations in the background with Congressman Aspinal. Format; open reel and CD. Migrated by donor in 2013. Length; 10 minutes. Audio quality is fair to poor.Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Audio recording containing singing and speaking in Tlingit at a koo.éex (memorial party), appears to be an Eagle party; Side with speaking and singing by multiple clans, Side B associated with the Lukaax.ádi clan; various Lukaax.ádi songs are sung, love songs, circa 1960s, location attributed to Juneau. Format; open reel. Side A is 1 hour and 45 minutes long, Side B is 17 minutes long.Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Audio recording attributed to containing singing and speaking in Tlingit, circa 1960s. Format; open reel.Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Audio recording attributed to containing an anniversary Russian Orthodox sermon discussion how Russian Orthodoxy and Tlingit spirituality intersect, circa 1960s. Format; open reel.Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Audio recording attributed as containing an Alaska Native Brotherhood meeting, circa 1967-68. Format; open reel.Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Audio recording attributed as containing an Alaska Native Brotherhood meeting, circa 1967-68. Format; open reel. [note; two reels are present in this folder, one contains the ANB recording, the other is blank and should be discarded upon review for content]Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Audio recording and interview of Andrew Hope, Andrew Wanamaker, and David Howard about the history and founding of ANB, interviewed by Amos L. Wallace, 12/20/1966. Format; reel and CD; Migrated by donor. 1 hour and 23 minutes in length. Contains information about the founding of ANB and founding fathers.Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Audio recording of Forest DeWitt speaking in Tlingit, circa 1969. Format; open reel and DVD; migrated by donor in 2013. 8:30 in length.Add to your cart.
Content includes DeWitt speaking (continued from a previous recording not in this collection) about how the Russians and Tlingit made peace at Sitka after the 1802/04 conflict, how peace also occurred with interior tribes, how non-Tlingit people were adopted and given clan names, then how people embraced a belief in a Higher Power, but some chose to follow the land otter people; then DeWitt states why he believes this, in part because he felt the Tlingit could obtain their land back
Box 3: RecordingsAdd to your cart.
Folder 1: Audio recording of the Bulldog Committee Meeting, 1966, Juneau. Format; open reel and DVD; migrated by donor in 2013. The Bulldog Committee was a Tlingit group and committee fighting to protect Native land rights, as the CBJ sought to remove various Tlingit individuals from their lands during the twentieth century.Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Audio recording of the Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska meetings, including the tribal election meeting and results, 1967, Juneau. Format; open reel and DVD; migrated by donor in 2013.Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Audio recording of an Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood meeting, likely Camp 2, 1/12/1970, Juneau. Format; open reel and DVD; migrated by donor in 2013.Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Audio recordings of the BIA speaking to the Tlingit about financial planning and land tenure, circa 1968, Juneau. Format; two open reels and one DVD; migrated by donor in 2013. Content note: includes a BIA official lecturing the Tlingit about how to manage finances and land, paternalistic and condescending, with some kind but critical remarks from the audience about the BIA’s paternalistic and condescending presentation.Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Audio recording of public Tlingit singing and oratory (Side A) and an ANB/ANS meeting (Side B). Format; open reel and DVD; migrated by donor in 2013.Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Audio recording of Amos Wallace speaking/being interviewed on KTOO FM radio about his life and work, Juneau, dated 1/16/1985. Format; cassette and CD. [migrated by donor in 2013]Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Audiovisual recording of Amos Wallace’s recordings, including a Yupik dance performance, winter time in Juneau, and dance and ceremony at the memorial party for Jimmy George of Angoon, undated. 27 minutes long. The Jimmy George party shows Dakl’aweidí songs being sung and danced. Cassette and CD. [migrated by donor in 2013]Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Amos L. Wallace Papers],
[Series 2: Amos L. Wallace Photographs],
[Series 3: Amos L. Wallace Associated Art],
[Series 4: Amos L. Wallace Recordings],
[All]


Page Generated in: 12.909 seconds (using 193 queries).
Using 7.4MB of memory. (Peak of 7.52MB.)

Powered by Archon Version 3.21 rev-1
Copyright ©2012 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign