Raven Stealing the Moon

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 Artists 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

Stylized profile bird in black outline with some interior elaboration. Long open beak with circle between, in front of red tongue; red circle and split u with red on upper beak. Oval eye with diagonal lines above and below tapering oval which surrounded round iris. Centre of iris is scalloped triangle; ear or crest above is u, split by centre red section with diagonal lines on either side. At body centre is elongated u's at end. Tail of bird is five elongated u sections with split u's in each. Curved hind limb below centre body ends in rounded 4 clawed foot. Interlocking initials "CND" on leg of bird. Pencil inscription below image reads: "Claude Davidson 39/75 1979 Raven Stealing the Moon."Embossed stamp at lower right reads 'CND'. On very light white-grey stock.