Eagle's Gift

About this object

History of use

Northwest Coast serigraphs are a contemporary art form, deriving from early 20th Century drawings of traditional crest and decorative designs, commissioned by anthropologists and undertaken by artists such as Charles Edenshaw. Residential schools reinforced the medium, while discouraging the use of traditional themes. An important series of traditional designs in coloured pencil and watercolour were done by Mungo Martin for UBC in 1949-50. The 1960's saw the rapid growth of prints, first in unlimited poster editions, and later with the establishment of the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art at 'Ksan (1967), and of the Northwest Coast Indian Artist Guild (1977), limited edition art runs became the standard. Northwest Coast silkscreen prints are part of the mainstream art market, as well as, functioning within the native context as potlatch gifts, and commemorative prints. Although, there are distinctive regional styles, individual artists may work in several styles, or apply unique themes and variations to specific works.

Cultural context

contemporary art

Physical description

Monochromatic brown images on light white-brown stock. From top; horizontal line of circles with round edged four pointed star or diamond shapes at centres; bird with profile head facing left with hooked, open beak, tapering oval eye in ovoid with circular centre. Wings are spread and mirrored on each side with seven elongated u and split u sections and three longer, more detailed sections to outside. Body is a circle with central four pointed star or diamond shape. Bottom image is profile whale facing right with open mouth, eyebrow above eye (as in bird), second profile head behind first, narrowing to double fluted tail meeting at two central circles. Inscription along bottom reads: "79/125 Eagle's Gift. J. David 81." Embossed stamp at bottom right reads: "Open Pacific Graphics."