Native Art of the Northwest Coast

SKU: 9780774820509

Jennifer Kramer, Charlotte Townsend-Gault
Grade Levels:
Twelve, College, University
Coast Salish, Gwich'in, Haida, Heiltsuk, Kwakiutl, Kwakwaka'wakw, Makah, Musqueam, Nisga'a, Nuuchahnulth, Nuxalk, Pacific NW, Tlingit, Tsimshian, Wet'suwet'en
Book Type:
UBC Press
Copyright Data:

Sale price$75.00


Native Art of the Northwest Coast: A History of Changing Ideas is an impressive volume that presents a sweeping survey of the history of ideas and arguments that have shaped and disputed Northwest Coast First Nations art for more than 250 years. Since the mid-1700s, objects or "art" deriving from the Indigenous cultures of this area have been desired, displayed, and exchanged, classified and interpreted, stolen and confiscated, bought and sold, and displayed again in many parts of the world. A work of critical historiography, it makes accessible for the first time in one place a broad selection of more than 250 years of writing on Northwest Coast "art." Organized thematically, its excerpted texts are from both published and unpublished sources, some not previously available in English. They cover such complex topics as the clash between oral and written knowledge, transcultural entanglement, the influence of surrealist thinking, and the long history of the deployment of Northwest Coast Native art for nationalist purposes. The selections are preceded by thought-provoking introductions that give historical context to the diverse intellectual traditions that have influenced, stimulated, and opposed each other. The central importance of this book is that it counters the tendency to turn Northwest Coast Native "art" into a one-dimensional spectacle that obscures and reduces the values of its component cultures and ignores the wider histories of thought that have contributed to its production. In unsettling the conventions that have shaped "the idea of Northwest Coast art," this book takes a central place in the lively, often heated, and now global, debates about what constitutes First Nations art and who should decide. Unique features of this 1000 plus pages volume include: 30 Contributors include leading Indigenous and non-Indigenous historians, art historians, anthropologists, legal experts, artists, and holders of traditional Indigenous knowledge; and richly illustrated with black-and-white figures and colour plates.

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