Aldona JonaitisDec 6, 2021
Art of the Northwest Coast
University of Washington Press 2021
Originally published in 2006, Art of the Northwest Coast offers an expansive history of this great tradition, from the earliest known works to those made at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Although non-Natives often claimed that First Nations cultures were disappearing, Northwest Coast Native people continued to make art during the painful era of colonization, often subtly expressing resistance to their oppressors and demonstrating the resilience of their heritage. Integrating the art’s development with historical events following contact with Euro-Americans sheds light on the creativity of artists as they appropriated and transformed foreign elements into uniquely Indigenous statements. A new chapter discusses contemporary artists, including Marianne Nicholson, Nicholas Galanin, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, and Sonny Assu, who address pressing issues ranging from Indigenous sovereignty and destruction of the environment to the power of Native women and efforts to work with non-Natives to heal the wounds of racism and discrimination.
Kirstin L. Ellsworth holds a Ph.D. in the History of Art from Indiana University and is Associate Professor of Art History at California State University Dominguez Hills.