Museum hopes to bring rare mask that inspired Seahawks logo to Seattle

Sep 10, 2014, 5:53 AM | Updated: Sep 15, 2014, 11:12 am

A rare Native mask on display at a museum in Maine has been identified as the inspiration for the S...

A rare Native mask on display at a museum in Maine has been identified as the inspiration for the Seahawks logo. (Courtesy Hudson Museum)

(Courtesy Hudson Museum)

The Burke Museum has moved fundraising for the project to Kickstarter.

With Seahawks fever again in full swing, Seattle’s Burke Museum is looking to bring a native mask said to have inspired the team’s original logo to town.

The mask gained attention during the Seahawks Super Bowl run in January, after University of Washington students began researching the origins of the team’s logo.

After plenty of speculation, Burke Museum Curator Robin K. Wright recalled conversations with Curator Emeritus Bill Holm many years earlier about the logo.

Holm identified its source as a photo of a transformation eagle mask from the Kwakwaka’wakw – an indigenous tribe from British Columbia – published in a 1950’s book on Northwest Coast art.

After a Burke Museum blog post got shared by thousands of Seahawks fans, Native artists and others, the director of the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine contacted the Burke to tell curators they had the mask in their collection and knew it was the inspiration for the logo, but didn’t know about the published photo.

Wright says Hudson curators told her the mask was part of the collection of the German surrealist artist Max Ernst, and after his death in 1976 was acquired by a private collector, William P. Palmer III. The Palmer collection came to the Hudson Museum in 1982.

Since all of the attention earlier this year, the Hudson Museum has had the mask on display.

Now, the Hudson has agreed to lend the mask to the Burke Museum to display in Seattle. But the museum needs the public’s help to get it here.

It’s launched a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter, seeking over $14,000 to pay for conserving the mask, stabilize its movable parts, insurance and shipping.

The money will also pay for travel costs for two Kwakwaka’wakw community members to travel from northern Vancouver Island, B.C. to the Burke Museum to welcome and study the mask, the museum says. Kwakwaka’wakw cultural experts will study the mask learn more about its history. Kwakwaka’wakw community members, Burke Museum and Hudson Museum curators are hoping this consultation will reveal more about which village the mask originally came from, which artist might have created it, how old it is, and its original ceremonial function in Kwakwaka’wakw culture.

The museum hopes to have it in Seattle in time to share it with visitors during the Here and Now exhibit opening at the Burke Museum on Nov. 22, 2014.

MyNorthwest News

Washington State University (WSU) President Kirk Schulz, left, and his wife Noel Schulz speak durin...

Steve Coogan

Washington State University President Kirk Schulz announces plan to retire in 2025

Washington State University President Kirk Schulz announced his plan Friday to retire in June 2025. He has held the position since 2016.

2 hours ago

Photo: Then-Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., speaks on Nov. 6, 2018, at a Republican party election nig...

Bill Kaczaraba

Boos, chaos at Washington GOP convention over gubernatorial candidate endorsement

The state GOP convention going on in Spokane is looking more like a demolition derby than a meeting of the minds.

3 hours ago

wsp charges protest I-5...

Heather Bosch and Kate Stone

Charges filed against protesters who shut down I-5 in Seattle

Charges have been filed against six protesters who were involved in the pro-Palestinian protest that shut down I-5 in Seattle on Jan. 6.

5 hours ago

Image: The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) closed part of Interstate 90 on Fr...

Steve Coogan

I-90 reopens after a closure due to an emergency tree removal

I-90 reopened after needing to close Friday afternoon due to an emergency tree removal, the Washington State of Transportation said Friday.

8 hours ago

The WNBA's Seattle Storm opens new facility in Interbay. (Seattle Storm X post)...

The MyNorthwest staff with wire reports

Seattle Storm unveil new Interbay practice facility, alternative uniforms

The $64 million facility in the Interbay neighborhood is an upgrade for the WNBA's Seattle Storm, which also debuted new alternate uniforms.

12 hours ago

Starbucks noise...

Bill Kaczaraba

‘What’d you say?’: Starbucks attempts to tamp down the noise

The coffee retailer, Starbucks, aims to reduce noise levels and enhance accessibility through strategic changes.

12 hours ago

Museum hopes to bring rare mask that inspired Seahawks logo to Seattle