The Baranov Museum is closed starting in February, but the staff remains active. Tiffany Brunson, the executive director of the Kodiak Historical Society and Baranov Museum, says the museum closes during the same month every year and has been doing so for at least a decade.
“We generally do it just because attendance really slows down in the winter months for people who are just walking in. It helps us have some time to make any changes we need to on the exhibit floor, to do any cleaning of artifacts or cases and just a general sort of spring cleaning of February.”
She says the cases the museum uses need cleaning, especially because they’re not standard museum equipment.
“I think they were originally jewelers’ cases, so they do let in dust and things like that, so every year we have to open them and carefully remove a lot of the objects and dust them and then put everything back. So, a lot of the times we do that in February because it allows us to work while the museum’s closed. We don’t have to shove it in after the museum is closed for the day or on a Sunday or anything like that.”
Brunson says they usually dismantle temporary exhibits in February and prepare new ones to open in March. She says it’ll be a little different this time around.
“This year our temporary exhibit is actually opening for Crab Fest on Kodiak’s West Side Stories, which was a program we did last summer on oral histories, so we’re not actually taking down the temporary exhibit this February. People will still be able to see the Waves of Change, which is the 1964 tsunami exhibit in March and April. We’ll probably shut it down at the end of April, beginning of May.”
She says planning an exhibit is a big endeavor.
“It doesn’t seem like it necessarily when you come and you look at a single room that has panels and objects out, but actually doing all the research and creating all the panels and actually installing everything takes a long time. So, we’re still working on that now. And the West Side Stories one we have a relatively ambitious project planned, so.”
Brunson says patrons can still call ahead and request to see the museum.
The Baranov will also be open for special events, like a workshop on Saturday where attendees can make valentines by weaving paper in the Scandinavian style. That class will be 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.