One of the most renowned Haida artists of all time is taking his place in the national spotlight as the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) highlights the work of Charles Edenshaw.
The exhibit, simply titled Charles Edenshaw, features 80 of his best pieces gathered from public and private collections throughout North America. Included in the exhibit are carvings in wood, agrillite and silver.
“We are very proud to present this exhibition, which offers a unique opportunity to appreciate the great elegance of Haida artist Charles Edenshaw’s masterful works,” said NGC director and CEO Marc Mayer.
Edenshaw’s work is moving to the National Art Gallery from the Vancouver Art Gallery and will be displayed between March 7 and May 25.
Other Haida artists said moving the pieces onto the national stage is a significant step.
“This exhibition is important in many ways. All the pieces that Charles created carry the respect of his people, ancestors and his family. To remain connected to both this line of important Haida cultural prerogatives and the changing ways of our future, we must carry on, in the Haida Way,” said Haida Chief and master carver James Hart.
“Edenshaw left a legacy through his work and we are blessed that he committed his whole life to creating art for us to enjoy and study. The magic of Edenshaw’s work embodies millennia of development of Haida art. One can relearn the magic and integrity of the history of the art form by studying his work,” said Robert Davidson.
Edenshaw was born in Skidegate in 1839. Edenshaw’s art, which also included bentwood boxes, masks and totems, continued to be much sought-after following his passing in 1920.