Eagle Transforming: The Art of Robert Davidson

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9780295973715: Eagle Transforming: The Art of Robert Davidson

Ulli Steltzer, a distinguished photographer, takes the reader into the carving shed and studio to see Robert Davidson as he creates both monumental poles and intricately detailed powerful masks. More than 100 of her black-and-white photographs, reproduced in duotone, record both the evolution of Davidson and his art, from the early days up to the present, a span of 25 years. In the accompanying text and captions, Robert Davidson writes movingly about growing up Haida and his development as an artist, describes the creative and practical process of carving poles and masks, and discusses the place of art in Haida culture.

An introduction by Aldona Jonaitis assesses Robert Davidson's place in the world of art. Robert Davidson has produced an internationally acclaimed body of art, in particular a number of large totem poles and masks in collections in Canada and the United States, including the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

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About the Author:

Ulli Steltzer's photographic studies of Native peoples, Princeton intellectuals, American migrant workers and the Cakchiquel of Guatamala have been shown in major exhibitions. Her books include Indian Artists at Work, Coast of Many Faces, Inuit, Spirit of the Haida Gwaii and Black Canoe.

Robert Davidson is a carver, sculptor, painter, printmaker and jeweller, whose work is in private and public collections internationally. He is also a student of the Haida language, culture and history, and performs Haida songs and dances as a member of the Rainbow Creek Dancers. Two books have been published on his work, Robert Davidson, Haida Printmaker by Hilary Stewart and Robert Davidson: Eagle of the Dawn edited by Ian M. Thom, in conjunction with a major retrospective of his work at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Aldona Jonaitis is the author of a number of books including Art of the Northwest Coast and, with Aaron Glass, The Totem Pole: An Intercultural History.

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.

From Library Journal:

Haida artist Davidson is renowned for his work in various media, though he is best known for sculpture and printmaking that reflect his Northwest Coast heritage. While several books on Davidson are available, this publication is most valuable because it relies on his ideas rather than interpretation from others-a kind of filtration to which much writing about Native American art is too often subjected. Davidson's own words, effectively allied with Steltzer's photo documentation, give readers a strong visual survey of the artist's inspirations and achievements. Like his equally famous peer, Bill Reid, Davidson has been nurtured by a rich background of creative imagery, especially totem poles and ceremonial masks, and his comments here illuminate Haida culture and art forms. An appropriate supplement to Robert Davidson: Eagle of the Dawn (Univ. of Washington Pr., 1993) and a useful purchase for libraries covering contemporary art history, Native American culture, and Pacific Northwest regional studies.
Paula A. Baxter, NYPL
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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