Early in World War II, Kiska was a hotly contested battlefield that figured prominently in Japanese and U.S. news. Nearby, Adak supported a large military installation. In the new exhibition Kiska and Adak: War in the Aleutians, historic artifacts and then-and-now photographs illustrate the United States struggle to evict war-time intruders from Alaska.
Today, these islands are home to the physical remains of the World War II era. On Kiska, U.S. bomb craters dot the tundra and Japanese gun barrels point skyward, reminders of the air wars ferocity.
Digital art by Dirk H.R. Spennemann presents the Kiska battlefield filtered through an artists gaze. These photographs were taken during historic preservation fieldwork with the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Spennemann used digital darkroom techniques to create grittier images more evocative of the war.
Also on display are objects and photographs from the National Park Service and the museums World War II and Cold War collections. Objects include American and Japanese military gear and cartoons from the military newspaper The Adakian. There are also examples of trench art, which soldiers created using discarded items such as bullet casings.
The exhibition is on view at the Anchorage Museum
through December 31, 2010.