Alaska Artists: Milo Minock

lonely caribou in Alakan Nature

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Milo Minock is known throughout Alaska for his detailed paintings and drawings of traditional Eskimo life on the lower Yukon River, Alaska. Born in either 1912 or 1917 in Pilot Station, he attended a Catholic mission school at Holy Cross, where he was probably introduced to drawing and painting. In the mid to late 1940s, he began selling ink drawings and oil paintings, most representing traditional Yup'ik Eskimo culture and ceremonies.

Although his work is relatively unknown in the outside world, he is an artist of stature among the people of the Kuskokwim-Lower Yukon Delta. During the more than thirty years that he has been working, Milo has produced a voluminous number of works ranging from pen drawings to skin paintings.

Milo's feeling for the Upik Eskimo, his people, comes through in each one of his works, depicting the warmth and hardship of day-to-day life on Alaska's two largest rivers. His most active period as an artist was the mid 1950s through the early or mid 1980s. At least one hundred drawings and paintings from this period have been identified. Many of his pieces were sold by Alaska Native Arts and Crafts Inc. of Juneau Alaska. He died in Anchorage in 1996.

Scholars and collectors throughout North America appreciate the style and detail of Milo Minock's work as a rich visual record of Yup'ik culture. On the Yukon/Kuskoquim Delta, he is remembered for his work over three decades to document and preserve Yup'ik traditions through his art.

In the Kuigpagmiuni Kassiyulriit Yukon dance festival drawn by Milo Minock (shown right), he described how as the song ends, the central owl was lowered on a cord and its wings moved up and down. The man at the far left was dressed as a muskrat and danced in hopes of more muskrats for people to hunt in spring. At the end of the dance everything was given out and everyone got something to eat at home.

Through his work as an art instructor in Bethel, Milo Minock helped train a new generation in art and Yup'ik culture. As an artist, his greatest influence was upon his son Patrick, who attended art school at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, and who, like his father, specializes in ink drawings. Most importantly, directly and indirectly, Minock helped set the stage for, and participated in, the revitalization of Yup'ik ceremonialism and dancing of the 1970s and 80s.

"I really think that artists like Milo had a sense that a lot of this knowledge was dying out," Alaska State Museum curator Steve Henrikson said. "By drawing some of it, he hoped to preserved it. Even though the drawings would inevitably be purchased by a non-Native person, it still sends the knowledge out to be saved."

Johnny AculiakEdwin Tappan Adney| George Twok Aden AhgupukAlvin Eli Amason| Saradell Ard|   Belmore Browne| Vincent ColyerJules Bernard DahlagerLockwood De Forest| Frederick Samuel Dellenbaugh| William Franklin Draper| | Henry Wood Elliott| John Fehringer| Claire Fejes| Louis Agassiz Fuertes| Magnus Colcord Heurlin| Norman Jackson| Rockwell Kent| Sydney Mortimer Laurence| Fred Machetanz| Marvin Mangus| Milo Minock| James Kivetoruk Moses| Rie MunozJoseph Henry Sharp| James Everett Stuart| John Webber| Kesler Woodward|


Milo Minock drawing of native alaska

Milo Minock alaska drawing

Alaska's Tribes:

Below is a full list of the different Alaska Native cultures. Within each culture are many different tribes.

Learn more about Alaskan tribes

Aleut Athabascan Eyak
Haida Inuit Tlingit
Tsimshian Yupik