Books

ENRICH your MIND through our selection of best reads on Indigenous art and culture.

  • Knowledge Within: Treasures of the Northwest Coast

    Pam Brown, Jisgang Nika Collison, Anthony Alan Shelton, Jodi Simkin, & Caitlin Gordon-Walker

    CA$60.00

    Knowledge Within: Treasures of the Northwest Coast looks into seventeen of the numerous sites in the Pacific Northwest region with major collections of Northwest Coast Indigenous material culture, bringing attention to a wide range of approaches to caring for and exhibiting such treasures. Each chapter is written by one or more people who work or worked in the organization they write about. Each author takes a different approach to the invitation to reflect upon their institution: some narrate a history of the institution, some focus on particular pieces in the collection, and some consider the significance of the work currently being done for the present and future. They show that these are places and moments in a much longer story, still ongoing, with many characters – communities, individuals, institutions, artworks, treasures.

    Hardcover

    Published in 2022

  • The Transforming Image: Painted Arts of Northwest Coast First Nations Second Edition

    McLennan & Duffek

    CA$65.00

    “An incredible archive of paintings by Northwest Coast artists, allowing the viewer to explore the creativity, energy, and depths these artists have achieved.” – Robert Davidson

    In the two decades since its initial publication, The Transforming Image has become a must-have book for scholars ad appreciators of Northwest Coast art, and, importantly, for First Nations artists, who have found inspiration in its wealth of images and ideas. A new edition of this groundbreaking volume makes its invaluable findings accessible once again.

    Its hundreds of photos of historical Indigenous artworks – objects and belongings now widely dispersed in collections around the world – are the extraordinary result of the Museum of Anthropology’s Image Recovery Project, which used infrared photography to reveal paintings on historical Northwest Coast objects whose surfaces are obscured by the patina of age. The project assembled images of nearly a thousand different paintings over its two-decade run, and worked with contemporary First Nations artists to reconstruct the compositions and understand their original context and significance, which the authors discuss in their insightful and engaging commentary. The rediscovered artworks radically deepened the understanding of Northwest Coast First Nations painting, including techniques, materials, imagery, and the creativity of generations of ancestor artists.

    A new preface by Karen Duffek speaks to what the book has helped set in motion, and how First Nations artists today are taking this art forward in new and compelling directions.

    Hardcover

    Published in 2022

    Please note: When purchasing a book online, please consider the cost of shipping to certain destinations as it may be higher than anticipated.  Please contact us for a shipping quote prior to placing your online order.

  • Dempsey Bob: In His Own Voice

    Sarah Milroy

    CA$45.00

    “Dempsey Bob: In His Own Voice draws from extensive interviews with the artist, presenting the story of Bob’s life and career in his own words, including his family history, his memories of growing up in the 1950’s and 60’s in the cannery culture of British Columbia’s Skeena River, thoughts on his artistic development and influences, his travels to connect with artists and communities both domestic and international, his engagement in advocacy and activism, and his commitment to ensuring the continuity of tradition and innovation through his teaching. Taken as a whole, this publication reflects the changing face of Northern British Columbia from the 1950’s to today.

    Photographs of Bob’s artworks from key private and public collections across Canada and the United States are supplemented by spectacular images of the Skeena River region, combined with archival documentation from the artist’s family albums. The result is a vivid portrait of the creative process and a moving record of an adventurous life lived to the fullest.”

    Hardcover

    Published in 2022

    Please note: When purchasing a book online, please consider the cost of shipping to certain destinations as it may be higher than anticipated.  Please contact us for a shipping quote prior to placing your online order.

  • Echoes of the Supernatural: The Graphic Art of Robert Davidson

    Gary Wyatt

    CA$60.00

    with Robert Davidson.

    In collaboration with the Vancouver Art Gallery. Forward by Karen Duffek.

    With over two hundred serigraphs and paintings, Echoes of the Supernatural: The Graphic Art of Robert Davidson is an exhilarating tour of a half-century of mastery and innovation of Haida formline by the most prominent Northwest Coast artist of his generation.

    Hardcover

    Published in 2022

    Please note: When purchasing a book online, please consider the cost of shipping to certain destinations as it may be higher than anticipated.  Please contact us for a shipping quote prior to placing your online order.

  • Unsettling Native Art Histories on the Northwest Coast

    Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse & Aldona Jonaitis

    CA$36.95

    Inseparable from its communities, Northwest Coast art functions aesthetically and performatively, from demonstrating kinship connections to manifesting spiritual power. By centering voices that uphold Indigenous priorities, integrating the expertise of Indigenous knowledge holders about their artistic heritage, and questioning current institutional practices, these essays “unsettle” Northwest Coast art studies. The volume exemplifies respectful and relational engagement with Indigenous art and advocates for more accountable scholarship and practices within the discipline of art history.

    Katherine Bunn-Marcuse is director of the Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Native Art, curator of Northwest Native art at the Burke Museum, and associate professor of art history at the University of Washington.

    Aldona Jonaitis is the former Director of the University of Alaska Museum of the North and a professor of Anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

    Published in 2020
    Softcover

    Please note: When purchasing a book online, please consider the cost of shipping to certain destinations as it may be higher than anticipated.  Please contact us for a shipping quote prior to placing your online order.

  • Art of the Northwest Coast: Second Edition

    Aldona Jonaitis

    CA$38.95

    Art of the Northwest Coast is a superbly illustrated and informed overview of the Indigenous art of the Northwest Coast, covering the region from Puget Sound to Haida Gwaii to Alaska, and proceeding from prehistoric times to the present.

    By tracing the development of the art alongside historical events following contact with settlers, Jonaitis sheds light on the creativity of artists as they transformed foreign elements into uniquely Indigenous statements. A new chapter discusses contemporary artists, including Marianne Nicolson, Nicholas Galanin, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, and Sonny Assu, who addresses important themes ranging from Indigenous sovereignty and the power of Indigenous women, to the destruction of the environment and reconciliation efforts to heal the wounds of racism and discrimination.

    Aldona Jonaitis is the former Director of the University of Alaska Museum of the North and a professor of Anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

    Published in 2021

    Softcover

    Please note: When purchasing a book online, please consider the cost of shipping to certain destinations as it may be higher than anticipated.  Please contact us for a shipping quote prior to placing your online order.

  • Mischief Making: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Art and the Seriousness of Play

    Nicola Levell

    CA$29.95

    In a gorgeously illustrated exploration of the art of Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Mischief Making disproves any notion that play is frivolous. Deploying mischievous tactics, Yahgulanaas shines a spotlight on serious topics. As he investigates Indigenous and other worldviews, the politics of land, cultural heritage, and global ecology, his distinctive style stretches, twists, and flips the framelines of classic Haida art to create imagery that resonates with the graphic vitality of Asian manga. This engaging and beautiful book delineates the philosophical underpinnings and evolution of the artist’s visual practice, revealing his deep understanding of the seriousness of play.

    Softcover
    Published 2021

    Please note: When purchasing a book online, please consider the cost of shipping to certain destinations as it may be higher than anticipated.  Please contact us for a shipping quote prior to placing your online order.

  • Where the Power Is: Indigenous Perspectives on Northwest Coast Art

    Karen Duffek, Bill McLennan, & Jordan Wilson

    CA$65.00

    In collaboration with the Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia.

    Where the Power Is: Indigenous Perspectives on Northwest Coast Art is a landmark volume that brings together over eighty contemporary Indigenous knowledge holders with extraordinary works of historical Northwest Coast art, ranging from ancient stone tools to woven baskets to carved masks and poles to silver jewellery. First Nations Elders, artists, scholars, and other community members visited the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia to connect with these objects, learn from the hands of their ancestors, and share their thoughts and insights on how these belongings transcend the category of “art” or “artifact” to embody vital ways of knowing and being in the world. Texts by the authors sketch the provenance of the objects, and, in dialogue with the commentators, engage in critical and necessary conversations around the role of museums that hold such collections.

    The voices within are passionate, enlightening, challenging, and humorous. The commentators speak to their personal and family histories that these objects evoke, the connections between tangible and intangible culture, and how this “art” remains part of Northwest Coast Indigenous peoples’ ongoing relationships to their territories and political governance. Accompanied by over 300 contemporary and historical photographs, this is a vivid and powerful document of Indigenous experiences of reconnection, reclamation, and return.

    Hardcover

    Published in 2021

    Please note: When purchasing a book online, please consider the cost of shipping to certain destinations as it may be higher than anticipated.  Please contact us for a shipping quote prior to placing your online order.

  • Totem Pole Carving: Bringing a Pole to Life [Second Edition]

    Vickie Jensen

    CA$45.00

    In 1985, photographer and writer Vickie Jensen spent three months with Nisga’a artist Norman Tait and his crew of young carvers as they transformed a raw cedar log into a forty-two-foot totem pole for the BC Native Education Centre. Having spent years recovering the traditional knowledge that informed his carving, Tait taught his crew to make their own tools, carve, and design regalia, and together they practiced traditional stories and songs for the pole-raising ceremony.

    Totem Pole Carving shares two equally rich stories: the step-by-step work of carving and the triumph of Tait teaching his crew the skills and traditions necessary to create a massive cultural artifact. Jensen captures the atmosphere of the carving shed — the conversations and problem-solving, the smell of fresh cedar chips, the adzes and chainsaws, the blistered hands, the tension-relieving humor, the ever-present awareness of tradition, and the joy of creation. Generously illustrated with more than 130 striking photographs, and originally published as Where the People Gather, this second edition features a new preface from Jensen and an updated, lifetime-spanning survey of Tait’s  major works.

    Published in 2020

    Softcover

    Please note: When purchasing a book online, please consider the cost of shipping to certain destinations as it may be higher than anticipated.  Please contact us for a shipping quote prior to placing your online order.

  • In the Spirit of the Ancestors: Contemporary Northwest Coast Art at the Burke Museum

    Robin K. Wright & Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse

    CA$52.50

    In the Spirit of the Ancestors celebrates the vitality of contemporary Pacific Northwest Coast art by showcasing a selection of objects from the Burke Museum’s collection of more than 2,400 late-twentieth- and early-twenty-first-century Native American works.

    Essays focus on contemporary art while exploring the important historical precedents on which so many artists rely for training and inspiration. Margaret Blackman reflects on building one of the largest collections of Northwest Coast serigraphs, and Joe David reminisces about his artistic journey through mask-making. Shaun Peterson, Lisa Telford, and Evelyn Vanderhoop discuss the historical precedents for working in styles that were kept alive only by a few critical artists and are now making a comeback. Robin K. Wright explores the history of box drums and their revival. Emily Moore discusses the repatriation of two stolen house posts and proposes a new concept of “propatriation” to describe the resulting commissioning of contemporary posts to take their place. Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse explores the power of adornment and how clothing, jewelry, and personal adornments like tattooing express tribal and personal identity in ways both connected to the past and grounded in the present.

    The diversity of approaches presented by these contributors speaks to artists, collectors, academics, tribal communities, and all those interested in Pacific Northwest Coast art. Splendid color photographs of works never before published will delight everyone.

    Soft cover

    Please note: When purchasing a book online, please consider the cost of shipping to certain destinations as it may be higher than anticipated.  Please contact us for a shipping quote prior to placing your online order.

  • Carpe Fin: A Haida Manga

    Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

    CA$29.95

    Hardcover
    2019

    In a prequel to the award-winning Red: A Haida Manga, acclaimed artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas blends Asian manhwa/manga with the Haida artistic and oral tradition in another stunning hand-painted volume.

    In a small near-future community perched between the ocean and the northern temperate rainforest, a series of disasters is taking a heavy toll. It is early fall and a fuel spill has contaminated the marine foods the village was preparing to harvest. As food supplies dwindle, a small group decides to make a late season expedition to search for sealions. Surprised by a ferocious storm, they abandon one man, Carpe, on an isolated rock at sea. After ten days they are finally bale to return, but he has vanished. The story follows Carpe’s encounters with the Lord of the Rock, who demands retribution for Carpe’s role in the hunt, and Carpe’s fate in the half-life between human and animal, life and death.

    Please note: When purchasing a book online, please consider the cost of shipping to certain destinations as it may be higher than anticipated.  Please contact us for a shipping quote prior to placing your online order.

  • The Way Home: David Neel

    David Neel

    CA$32.95

    David Neel was an infant when his father, a traditional Kwakiutl artist, returned to the ancestors, triggering a series of events that would separate David from his homeland and its rich cultural traditions for twenty-five years. When he saw a potlatch mask carved by his great-great-grandfather in a museum in Fort Worth, Texas, the encounter inspired the young photographer to rekindle a childhood dream to follow in the footsteps of his father.

    Drawing on memories, legends, and his own art and portrait photography, David Neel recounts his struggle to reconnect with his culture after decades of separation and a childhood marred by trauma and abuse.  He returned to the Pacific Coast in 1987, where he apprenticed with master carvers from his father’s village. The art of his ancestors and the teaching of the people he met helped to make up for the last years and fueled his creativity.  His career as a multi-media artist also gave him the opportunity to meet and photograph leading artists, knowledgeable elders, and prominent people from around the world.  In time he was a recognized artists, with his artwork presented in more than forty solo and sixty group exhibitions.

    The Way Home is an uplifting tale that affirms the healing power of returning home.  It is also a testament to the strength of the human spirit to overcome great obstacles, and to the power and endurance of Indigenous culture and art.

    Softcover

    Please note: When purchasing a book online, please consider the cost of shipping to certain destinations as it may be higher than anticipated.  Please contact us for a shipping quote prior to placing your online order.

  • Understanding Northwest Coast Indigenous Jewelry; The Art, The Artists, The History

    Alexander Dawkins

    CA$24.95

    As beautiful as it is useful, Understanding Northwest Coast Indigenous Jewelry is an invaluable tool for anyone interested in learning about or deepening their understanding of a fascinating craft.

    Indigenous hand-engraved jewelry from the Pacific Northwest Coast is among the most distinctive, innovative, and highly sought-after art being produced in North America today. But these artworks are more than just stunning—every bracelet, ring, and pendant is also the product of a fascinating backstory, a specialized set of techniques, and a talented artist.

    With a clearly written text, a foreword by award-winning First Nations artist Corrine Hunt, and more than one hundred striking color photographs and sidebars, Understanding Northwest Coast Indigenous Jewelry offers an illuminating look at an exquisite craft and the context in which it is practiced.

    Providing a step-by-step overview of various techniques, the book also introduces the specifics of formline design, highlights the traits of the most common animal symbols used, offers tips for identification, and features biographies and works from over fifty of the Coast’s best-known jewelers. Finally, it delves into the history of the art form, from the earliest horn and copper cuff bracelets to cutting-edge contemporary works and everything in between.

    Softcover

    Please note: When purchasing a book online, please consider the cost of shipping to certain destinations as it may be higher than anticipated.  Please contact us for a shipping quote prior to placing your online order.

  • Discovering Totem Poles: A Traveller’s Guide

    Aldona Jonaitis

    CA$21.95

    An indispensable guide for identifying totem poles along British Columbia’s inside passage from Vancouver to Alaska.

    Whether rising from a forest mist or soaring overhead in parks and museums, magnificent cedar totem poles have captivated the attention and imagination of visitors to Washington State, British Columbia, and Alaska.

    Discovering Totem Poles is the first guidebook to focus on the complex and fascinating histories of the specific poles visitors encounter in Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver, Alert Bay, Prince Rupert, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), Ketchikan, Sitka, and Juneau. It debunks common misconceptions about totem poles and explores the stories behind the making and displaying of 90 different poles.

    Travelers with this guide in their pocket will return home with a deeper knowledge about these monumental carvings, their place in history and the people who made them.

    Published in 2012

    Paperback

    Please note: When purchasing a book online, please consider the cost of shipping to certain destinations as it may be higher than anticipated.  Please contact us for a shipping quote prior to placing your online order.

  • Red: A Haida Manga

    Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

    CA$19.95

    An innovative graphic novel, Red is the epic tale of a Haida hero, his rage and his quest for retribution.

    Referencing a classic Haida oral narrative, this stunning full-colour graphic novel documents the powerful story of Red, a leader so blinded by revenge that he leads his community to the brink of war and destruction.

    Set in the islands off the northwest coast of B.C., it tells the tale of orphan Red and his sister, Jaada. When raiders attack their village, Red, still a boy, escapes dramatically. But Jaada is whisked away. The loss of Jaada breeds a seething anger, and Red sets out to find his sister and exact revenge on her captors.

    Red blends traditional Haida imagery into a Japanese manga-styled story. Tragic and timeless, it is reminiscent of such classic stories as Oedipus Rex, Macbeth and King Lear.

    This innovation in contemporary storytelling consists of 108 pages of hand-painted illustrations. When arranged in a specific order, the panels of the narrative create a Haida formline image four metres long. The sequence for this complex design is displayed on the inside jacket.

    Published in 2009

    Paperback

    Please note: When purchasing a book online, please consider the cost of shipping to certain destinations as it may be higher than anticipated.  Please contact us for a shipping quote prior to placing your online order.

  • Ḱesu’: The Art & Life of Doug Cranmer

    Jennifer Kramer

    CA$29.95

    Northwest Coast Kwakwaka’wakw art is renowned for its flamboyant, energetic, and colorful carving and painting. Among the best-known practitioners was Doug Cranmer, whose style was understated, elegant, fresh, and unique and whose work quickly found an international following in the 1960s. Named K’esu’, or Wealth Being Carved, as a child, he was an early player in the global, commercial art market and one of the first Native artists in British Columbia to own his own gallery. A long-time teacher, he inspired generations of young Native artists in Alert Bay and beyond.

    This beautifully illustrated book is a record of the art, life, and influence of a man who called himself a “whittler” or “doodler” but who embodied “indigenous modern” well before the term had been coined. He pioneered abstract and non-figurative paintings using Northwest Coast ovoids and U-shapes; embraced the practice of silk-screening on wood, paper, and burlap; and adapted power tools to new applications in art. Skillfully weaving recollections from his friends and family, facts about his life and examples of his stunning artwork, K’esu’ is a wide-ranging celebration of Doug Cranmer and his profound influence on Kwakwaka’wakw art.

    Published in 2012

    Paperback

    Please note: When purchasing a book online, please consider the cost of shipping to certain destinations as it may be higher than anticipated.  Please contact us for a shipping quote prior to placing your online order.

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