Books

  • Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast

    Ian M. Thom

    CA$60.00

    In a stunning resurgence over the past few decades, contemporary First Nations artists of the Northwest Coast have established themselves as among the most dynamic and important artist working in North America. Challenging Traditions honours this success by presenting the work of 40 of the most celebrated living artists, whose achievements reveal an accomplished melding of contemporary vitality with traditional genres. The work of such acknowledged masters as Robert Davidson, Dempsey Bob, Susan Point, Preston Singletary, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Jim Hart, and Richards Hunt, plus many younger artists, is presented in 100 colour photographs of primarily new pieces, amply demonstrating that the historic strengths of Northwest Coast culture are alive, well and continuously evolving.

    For more than a century, the state and church actively discouraged First Nations from pursuing their traditional cultures, but they persisted in keeping alive their art and ceremony. With the rise of cultural and political activism, Native art is now flourishing on an unprecedented scale. Many artists are examining the meaning and purpose of First Nations art in the twentieth-century, while following traditions and boldly experimenting with innovative subjects, techniques and materials.

    Ian Thom explores these contradictions by describing the career, working methods and philosophy of each artist, all of whom he interviewed especially for this book. He also discusses at least two significant recent artworks by each artist.

    Both senior and younger artists from all of the major First Nations on the Northwest Coast are featured, working in a variety of media and styles: groundbreaking abstract painting and metal sculptures, painstakingly woven spruce root hats and ceremonial woollen robes, works in glass, masks, carved panels, painted drums, striking political paintings, “Haida manga,” jewelry, carved argillite works and bentwood boxes.

    This book is beautiful, provocative introduction to the best contemporary First Nations art of the Northwest Coast, in the words and works of some of its leading lights.

    Published in 2009

    Hardcover

  • Huupukanum Tupaat : Out of the Mist: Treasures of the Nuu Chah Nulth Chiefs

    Martha Black

    CA$39.95

    This visually sumptuous book features works of the historical and contemporary importance of Nuu Chah Nulth art and culture.  It illustrates and documents the traveling exhibition of the same name curated by the Royal British Columbia Museum.

    Huupukwanum and Tupaat are Nuu-chah-nulth words that designate everything a chief owns, including valued hereditary names and songs, objects and dances, rights and privileges, lands and resources.

    These Nuu-chah-nulth concepts introduce non-aboriginal people to the profound philosophical, spiritual and personal connections that these objects had – and continue to have – with Nuu-chah-nulth communities.

    Published in 1999

    Softcover

  • Totem Pole Carving: Bringing a Pole to Life

    Vickie Jensen

    CA$26.95

    The totem pole is a distinctive and widely admired form of traditional Northwest Coast Native art.  Once nearly lost, this art form is alive and thriving today.  In this beautifully photographed book, Vickie Jensen collaborates with Norman Tait, a renowned Nisga’a artist, and his crew of young carvers to document the process of transforming a log into a totem pole.

    Throughout the carving process, Tait requires the apprentices to make their own tools, design their regalia and practice traditional drumming, songs and dances.  He teaches the young carvers that carving a pole requires more than time and labour, more than a firm understanding of the tools and techniques and more than artistic and emotional commitment.  The process involves respecting and following tradition and becoming involved in their cultural background.

    Published in 2003

    Softcover

  • The Raven Steals the Light

    Robert Bringhurst and Bill Reid

    CA$14.95

    Ten masterful, complex drawings by Bill reid are accompanied by ten episodes from Haida mythology told by Bill Reid and Robert Bringhurst.  The result brings Haida art and mythology alive as never before.

    Published in 1996

    Softcover

  • Eagle Transforming: The Art of Robert Davidson

    Ulli Steltzer & Robert Davidson

    CA$45.00

    Robert Davidson’s own words, combined with Ulli Steltzer’s photo documentation, give readers a rich visual survey of the inspirations and achievements of the artist.

    Published in 1994

    Hardcover

  • S’abadeb The Gifts: Pacific Coast Salish Art and Artists

    Barbara Brotherton

    CA$50.00

    Coast Salish oral traditions, history and artistry from prehistory to the present is captured in this visually stunning book.

    A principal at the heart of Salish culture is a reciprocal exchange of physical, spiritual and intangible gifts, including songs, spirit powers, titles, names, food, natural resources and artistic creations.  The term for “gifts” in Lushootseed, a Coast Salish dialect, is S’abadeb and this book illuminates the concept by exploring the intersection of art with ceremony, oral traditions, the land, and contemporary realities.

    Published in 2008

    Softcover

  • Art of the Northwest Coast

    Aldona Jonaitis

    CA$32.95

    Aldona Jonaitis is the Director of the University of Alaska Museum of the North, and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

    An extensive overview of the First Nations art of the Northwest Coast with detailed illustrations and up-to-date maps. This single volume book covers the development of styles by region as well as the art’s meanings in the context of the region’s social history.

    Published in 2006

    Softcover

  • Tsimshian Treasures: The Remarkable Journey of the Dundas Collection

    Donald Ellis

    CA$55.00

    A collection of 36 Tsimshian masterpieces from northern British Columbia, collected over 140 years ago.

    Edited by Donald Ellis, with essays by Steven Clay Brown, Bill Holm, Alan L. Hoover, Sarah Milroy, and William White.

    Tsimshian Treasures is an extraordinary collection of masterpieces from the Dundas collection that were acquired by Reverend Robert J. Dundas in October 1963 from Natives at Old Metlakatla. The images and essays in this book honour a remarkable moment in Canadian cultural history and the triumphant return of these masterworks of Northwest Coast art after more than a century in exile.

    Published in 2007

    Hardcover

  • Breathing Stone: Contemporary Haida Argillite Sculpture

    Carol Sheehan

    CA$42.00

    Working with a soft black stone known as Argillite, Haida sculptors over a period of two centuries have created a stunning body of work that is exceptional in its craftsmanship and beauty.

    Haida argillite sculpture constitutes one of the longest creative traditions in Canadian art. What is not always recognized is that this art form also serves as a rich portrayal of Haida history. Following the initial Euro-American contact, the Haida experienced devastating losses of population and the virtual disappearance of their culture. Argillite sculpture became almost the only means for the Haida to preserve their sense of who they were as a people. Their art became postcards to the universe explaining a heritage threatened with extinction.

    Now, a renaissance of Northwest Coast art is taking place. New artists, combining outstanding skill with an awareness of artistic developments on a global scale, are creating work of impressive quality and sophistication. Through their art, stories and fundamentals of an ancient Haida culture gain meaning and vitality for a contemporary audience.

     

    Published in 2008

  • Susan Point: Coast Salish Artist

    Gary Wyatt

    CA$59.00

    This beautiful book marks the exciting emergence of Susan A. Point as a major artist on the Northwest Coast. Point’s striking and distinctive art in the Coast Salish tradition – from jewellery in precious metals to prints, paintings and monumental pieces in wood and glass – has won worldwide acclaim. Featuring 62 full-colour and 21 black and white images.

    Published in 2000

    Softcover

  • Northwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form

    Bill Holm

    CA$44.90

    An important contribution to the fields of art and anthropology, Holm’s work is a genuinely analytical study of the basic elements of form which characterizes a particular aboriginal art style.

    Published: 50th Anniversary Edition, 2015

    Softcover

    Bill Holm passed away on December 16, 2020 at the age of 95.

  • Native American Art

    Peter Bolz and Hans-Ulrich Sanner

    CA$55.00

    The Collections of the Ethnological Museum Berlin.

    The North American collection in the Ethnologisches Museum Berlin ranks among the most important in Europe. Different Native American cultures of the United States and Canada are represented here as well as the peoples of the Arctic.

    Published in 1999

    Softcover

  • Argillite: Art of the Haida

    Leslie Drew and Douglas Wilson

    CA$40.00

    Some of the last copies of this book are available at our gallery as it is no longer being published.

    Drew and Wilson outline the history of the Haida in relation to argillite carving.

    In a key chapter, “A World Apart”, the reader is led through a tangle of Haida beliefs and legends seen through the artist’s mind as he sought to express the world around him.

    The technical aspects of argillite – its nature, how it was quarried, the relationship of the carver to his material, clues to a carver’s identity through his carving style, the transformation of argillite art with the coming of the [Europeans], and its resurgence alongside contemporary art are detailed.

    Argillite is study that will appeal to collectors, students of [First Nations] art and culture, and anyone interested in recapturing the formidable and legendary consciousness of this ancient people.

    Published in 1980

    Hardcover

  • Looking at Totem Poles

    Hilary Stewart

    CA$17.95

    Looking at Totem Poles is an indispensable guide to 110 poles which exist in outdoor locations in coastal British Columbia and Alaska. Hilary Stewart provides an account to the various poles types, their function and symbolism and how they were raised.

    Published in 1993

    Softcover

  • Looking at Indian Art of the Northwest Coast

    Hilary Stewart

    CA$17.95

    This indispensable and beautifully illustrated book is the first to introduce everyone, from the casual observer to the serious collector of Northwest Coast prints, to the forms, cultural background and structures of this highly imaginative art.

    Published in 1992

    Softcover

  • Cedar

    Hilary Stewart

    CA$29.95

    Hilary Stewart explains through her vivid descriptions, 550 drawings and 50 photographs, the tools and techniques used, as well as the superbly crafted objects and their uses in the context of daily and ceremonial life. Anecdotes, oral history and the accounts of early explorers, traders, missionaries and native elders highlight the text.

    Published in 1995

    Softcover

  • Understanding Northwest Coast Art

    Cheryl Shearer

    CA$22.95

    This easily read book introduces the reader to various symbols, crests and beings depicted in Northwest Coast artworks. Shearer provides brief descriptions of design conventions, elements and differences between cultural groups while explaining the interconnections between art, myth and ceremony.

    Published in 2000

    Softcover

  • Bill Reid and Beyond: Expanding on Modern Native Art

    Karen Dufffek and Charlotte Townsend-Gault

    CA$45.00

    Academically charged, this book offers a wide-ranging and thought-provoking collection of art and cultural scholars reappraisals regarding Bill Reid’s career and compelling artwork. Aware of political, economic and social events, this book examines and adds to the ongoing debate about aboriginality and modern art.

    Published in 2005

    Hardcover

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