Photo Description: Gretchen Guess, President and CEO of Rasmuson Foundation, at the celebration of “Taking Flight,” a new permanent installation outside of Anchorage Museum. Photo by Michael Dinneen Photography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

June 7, 2024 

“Taking Flight” is a new permanent installation on the lawn of the Anchorage Museum that invites connection while providing rest for museum goers and passersby. It’s not your traditional park bench, its construction is a hanging wing anchored by five cement blocks representing the five regions of Alaska working together to support the flight of bench users.  

The bench is a memorial for Ed Rasmuson, a philanthropist whose passion for aviation and fishing was only second to his commitment for the state itself. Longtime chair of Rasmuson Foundation, a family philanthropy founded by his grandmother Jenny Rasmuson, he is remembered for always searching for new and better ways to improve life for all Alaskans.   

Staff of the Foundation funded the installation to honor the former chair and his legacy to support big ideas, innovation, and a belief that empowering Alaskans to help each other would lead to long-lasting benefits. Intrinsic Landscapes, LLC, led by Chad Taylor of Anchorage designed the memorial.   

“Take care of the fish and they will support you” is a Rasmuson quote that Taylor took literally with his design. Built into the ribs of the bench wing are abstract wild Alaska salmon providing the support for Alaskans taking a respite on the bench.  

“It’s a lovely memorial and I’m thankful to the Foundation staff for making it happen,” said Ed’s wife, Cathy Rasmuson. “Architect Chad Taylor really captured Ed and what he believed in with this piece. The importance of helping Alaskans, his love of fish, and his passion for flight. I’m also grateful to the Anchorage Museum for welcoming it as a permanent installment on the lawns.”  

“Taking Flight” was installed in May 2024.  

About the Foundation 

Rasmuson Foundation is a private family foundation based in Anchorage, Alaska. The Foundation was created in 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson, a Swedish missionary, to honor her late husband, banker E.A. Rasmuson. 

Photos available upon request.  

[Download press release here]