Art of the Northwest Coast is a superbly illustrated and informed overview of the First Nations art of the Northwest Coast, covering the region from Puget Sound to Haida Gwaii and Alaska, and proceeding from prehistoric times to the present. This groundbreaking volume provides an overview of the development of the art’s styles and meanings in the context of the region’s social history.
Distinguished scholar and art historian Aldona Jonaitis argues convincingly that rather than being lost following European settlement, the tradition of Native art is continuous, sometimes expressed in subtle ways but always varied and distinctive. The nineteenth century may have been a period of abundant and intricate art production, but First Nations art is flourishing now as much as ever before. Among the works in this volume, both traditional and contemporary, are wood carvings by Charles Edenshaw, Bill Reid, and Susan Point, paintings by Frederick Alexie, weavings by Selina Peratrovich, glasswork by Preston Singletary, and mixed-media work by Marianne Nicholson and Eric Robertson.
Meticulously researched, compellingly written, and beautifully designed, Art of the Northwest Coast is a cornerstone addition to any library and essential reading for anyone interested in art, First Nations cultures, and the evolution of both.
Aldona Jonaitis is the director of the Museum of the North and professor of anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Previously, Jonaitis served as vice-president for public programs at the American Museum of Natural History. Her seminal books include Art of the Northwest Coast, Chiefly Feasts, The Yuquot Whalers’ Shrine and From the Land of the Totem Poles.
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