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Traveling Exhibits Service

Then & Now: The Changing Arctic Landscape

A picture is worth a thousand words, and Then & Now: The Changing Arctic Landscape—a traveling exhibit from the University of Alaska Museum of the North—speaks volumes about the effects of climate change in Alaska's Arctic.  “A visitor to the Arctic might be struck by the apparent timelessness and constancy of the place, but that impression is misleading,” said Museum of the North guest curator and environmental photographer Ken Tape whose stunning book—The Changing Arctic Landscape—inspired the exhibit.

Then & Now sets changes in the landscape in stark relief, pairing decades-old, large-format photos of Alaska's Arctic with contemporary views from the same vantage points. Sections on vegetation, permafrost, and glaciers reveal the startling effects of climate change—glaciers receded or disappeared altogether, trees and shrubs grow where they didn't decades earlier, and topography changed as the underlying permafrost thawed. In addition to the photos, the exhibit provides context about the Arctic ecosystem and illuminates the behind-the-photo stories of the pioneering geologists who spent decades working in Alaska.

A series of thought provoking quote panels and media presentations provide visitors with an understanding of the deep cultural connection that Arctic indigenous residents have to this fragile land. Then & Now features an interactive program where visitors can navigate through 360-degree photo panoramas to explore Arctic mountains, glaciers, and tundra while listening to sounds and narratives associated with each scene. A timeline spanning 15,000 years helps visitors put 20th century changes in long-term context. Also enhancing the visitor experience are animations that illustrate research methods and permafrost thawing.

Then & Now: The Changing Arctic Landscape produced by the University of Alaska Museum of the North.  Made possible with a grant from The Rasmuson Foundation and contributions from Fairbanks Memorial Hospital / Denali Center, Holland America Tours, Doyon Utilities, and Yukon Accounting. Exhibit toured by the Burke Museum Traveling Exhibits Service, University of Washington.

About Ken Tape
Ken Tape was raised in Fairbanks Alaska and has been studying and photographing the Arctic for over a decade. He has participated in or led a dozen boating, skiing, mushing, and snowmachining expeditions across the North American Arctic from Alaska to Greenland. He has undergraduate and masters degrees in geology, and a Ph.D. in biology. Tape's book—The Changing Arctic Landscape—is a stunning reminder of the inexorable change in the Arctic landscape.

Itinerary and Availability Information

Exhibit Specifications:


23 large-format framed photos [10 sets of photo pairs and 3 singles], 12 labels, 16 framed graphic panels, 5 Arctic indigenous resident quote panels, and a DVD containing the 360-degree Arctic Panorama interactive program, Elders Speak/Portraits of Change presentation, Permafrost and Discovering Past Temperatures animations

Note: host institutions will need to provide computers with monitors to install and run the programs

Participation Fee

$1,875 US for a 10-week booking plus the cost of inbound shipping

Exhibit Support

Educational and programming resources, publicity kit, and exhibit technical manual sent in advance to receiving the show


Approx. 1,000 square feet [150 running feet]




780 pounds, est.




Inbound – Note: Additional shipping and/or custom fees apply for venues in Alaska and Canada

Tour Begins

September 2012

Okpilak Glacier; 1907 Ernest Leffingwell.
Okpilak Glacier; 2007 Matt Nolan.
The Changing Arctic Landscape by Ken D. Tape.
Exhibit installation at the University of Alaska Museum of the North.
Exhibit installation at the University of Alaska Museum of the North.

Exhibit Support and Registrarial Requirements

As a host of Then & Now: The Changing Arctic Landscape, you will receive the following:

  • Complete registrarial information
  • Complete shipping, handling, and installation instructions
  • Public relations support in the form of  digital press releases, images, and logos; and advice on promoting the show
  • Educational and programming resources

Registrarial Requirements
This exhibit has been designated Moderate security. It contains wall-hung elements consisting of 23 large-format framed photos, text panels, and captions.


  • Venues must have a limited-access gallery of sufficient area and wall space to accommodate the exhibition. An open mall, hallway, or lounge area is not acceptable.
  • Smoking, eating, and drinking are prohibited in the exhibition area, exhibitor receiving, and staging spaces.
  • No part of the exhibition may be stored, crated, or moved off the premises without prior authorization from the Burke Museum. Empty crates for all exhibit contents must be stored in secured, pest-free, and fire-protected storage.


  • Trained professional guards and/or personnel must be present in sufficient numbers to protect the exhibition adequately throughout the time it is on site (during truck off-loading, unpacking, installation, deinstallation, repacking, and truck loading) and on view.
  • The exhibition area must be locked and secured during closed hours. Alarms and/or guards during closed hours are preferred but not required.
  • Functioning fire-prevention systems and other fire-protection devices that meet local ordinances must be available in the exhibition, staging, and storage spaces.

Environmental Controls

  • The exhibition, staging, and storage areas should have a temperature range of 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity range of 40-60% relative humidity, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Venues without an HVAC system will need to provide climate data that reports consistent environmental conditions.
  • The venue must have environmental recording equipment (hygrothermographs or dataloggers) in the exhibition, staging, and storage areas. A member of the collections management or registration staff must make routine checks of the exhibition.
  • There must be no direct sunlight in the exhibition, staging, or storage areas. It should be diffused or eliminated. Light levels must be limited to 20 foot-candles. Light must be filtered for UV.

Exhibition Care

  • Handling of all exhibit contents during unpacking, installation, deinstallation, and repacking must be done by curatorial, registrarial, or by other trained and experienced museum professionals.
  • The exhibition may contain crates weighing up to 400 pounds. Venues will need to have the facility and staff or the ability to hire skilled personnel for crate delivery and movement.
  • The exhibition contents must be left in their crates for 24 hours before unpacking.

For more information, please contact:
Mark R. Hand
Traveling Exhibits Coordinator
Phone: 206-616-0268
E-mail: mrhand@u.washington.edu