Exhibit: Portrait of Alaska: A Rie Muñoz Retrospective May 6-October 29

Temporary Exhibit

Exhibit: Portrait of Alaska: A Rie Muñoz Retrospective   May 6-October 29

Portrait of Alaska, A Rie Muñoz Retrospective | May 6-October 29, 2022

One of Alaska’s best known artists, Rie Muñoz, is famous for her watercolor paintings of the daily activities of ordinary Alaskan people.  In 1950, Muñoz boarded a steamship to Alaska for an adventure and when she arrived in Juneau, she found a room to rent and a job at the local newspaper. Muñoz met and married Juan Muñoz, and they moved to King Island, Alaska, to work as teachers for a year, returning to Juneau afterward.

In Juneau, Muñoz worked in illustration and painted nine murals for various buildings and businesses. It was in Juneau that Muñoz developed her lively colorful style that is uniquely recognizable today. Throughout her life Muñoz was a prolific artist who continuously painted and sketched until vision problems slowed her down when she turned ninety. Muñoz estimated that she had completed over 2,000 paintings and more than 140 sketchbooks during her lifetime. Rie Muñoz died in 2015.

In 2019, the Muñoz Family donated a collection of Rie Muñoz original artwork to the City Museum. Included in the donation were 5 original watercolor paintings, 55 original pen & ink political cartoons, and hundreds of newspaper clippings of Muñoz cartoons. In 2022, the Muñoz Family also donated 149 Rie Muñoz sketchbooks created between 1963 and 2013. These field sketchbooks were the basis for Muñoz’s work and were among her most cherished possessions.  In all, the 149 sketchbooks chronicle 50 years of travel throughout Alaska.

This exhibit includes paintings, political cartoons, a tapestry, sketchbooks, composite drawings, and a glimpse into the life and times of Rie Muñoz.