Unsettling Native Art Histories on the Northwest Coast

9780295747132: Hardback
Release Date: 19th July 2020

121 color illus.

Dimensions: 178 x 254

Number of Pages: 352

Series Native Art of the Pacific Northwest: A Bill Holm Center Series

University of Washington Press

Unsettling Native Art Histories on the Northwest Coast

Hardback / £32.00
This book can only be pre-ordered within 2 months of the publication date.

Inseparable from its communities, Northwest Coast art functions aesthetically and performatively beyond the scope of non-Indigenous scholarship, from demonstrating kinship connections to manifesting spiritual power. Contributors to this volume foreground Indigenous understandings in recognition of this rich context and its historical erasure within the discipline of art history.

By centering voices that uphold Indigenous priorities, integrating the expertise of Indigenous knowledge holders about their artistic heritage, and questioning current institutional practices, these new essays “unsettle” Northwest Coast art studies. Key themes include discussions of cultural heritage protections and Native sovereignty; re-centering women and their critical role in transmitting cultural knowledge; reflecting on decolonization work in museums; and examining how artworks function as living documents. The volume exemplifies respectful and relational engagement with Indigenous art and advocates for more accountable scholarship and practices.

Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse is director of the Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Native Art, curator of northwest Native art at the Burke Museum, assistant professor of art history at the University of Washington, and coeditor of In the Spirit of the Ancestors: Contemporary Northwest Coast Art at the Burke Museum. Aldona Jonaitis is former director of the University of Alaska Museum of the North, professor of anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and author of Art of the Northwest Coast andThe Yuquot Whalers’ Shrine.

An example for scholars, in this and related fields, of the kinds of insight and exchange that can emerge when a diversity of voices and different frames of reference are juxtaposed.

Charlotte Townsend-Gault, coeditor of Native Art of the Northwest Coast: A History of Changing Ideas

A welcome addition to Northwest Coast art historical scholarship.

Alan Hoover, author of Southern Northwest Coast Indigenous Canoe Racing: A Brief History