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November 27 2020

Rare Works by Charles Edenshaw Head to Market at Art Toronto

Vancouver Sun

Kevin Griffin of the Vancouver Sun highlights that Donald Elli Gallery will showcase an exceptionally rare selection of six argillite carvings and silver jewellery by the Haida artist Charles Edenshaw (Tahayghen, 1839–1920) in the digital edition of Art Toronto 2020. Edenshaw is widely considered the most renowned and accomplished artist of the Northwest Coast, and his artistic achievements place him as a major figure in Canadian art history. “I hold him up there with Lawren Harris,” Donald Ellis said in a phone interview. “He was an innovator, a modernist, an astonishing craftsperson. A remarkable talent.”

Born in 1839, Edenshaw created work for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous patrons, masterfully adapting Haida design traditions with a sense of modernity that was deeply innovative. Edenshaw’s work is highly sought after today, and is represented in the permanent collections of major institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver; and The National Museum of the American Indian, Washington D.C. 

Highlights will include two model totem poles carved of argillite, a form of dense shale unique to a single quarry in Haida Gwaii, and a pair of silver bracelets considered one of only two known examples carved with matching totemic designs by Edenshaw.

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Rare Works by Charles Edenshaw Head to Market at Art Toronto