C h a r l e s    E d e n s h a w

b. 1839 Da.axiigang, Skidegate, Haida Gwaii
d. 1924
First Nations Affiliation: Haida

In his lifetime, Charles Edenshaw (Chief Tahayghen) was hailed as one of his nation's greatest carvers, whose work and knowledge was sought by anthropologist Franz Boas and important collectors. Born Da.axiigang, he moved to Masset, as was customary, to live with his maternal uncle Albert Edward Edensaw, head of the S'daast-aas eagle lineage, who gave him his chiefly name Itinsaw. It is also surmised that Albert trained the young boy, who already carved in argillite and silver, to carve totems. Unlike other artists who needed to supplement their incomes with fishing or hunting, by the 1880s, Edenshaw was supporting his family completely through his art. His work has been celebrated for being narratively original and innovative while adhering to the complex formline design principles of classic Haida art.

 S E L E C T E D   E X H I B I T I O N S

1998 Attributed to Edenshaw: Identifying the Hand of the Artist.
University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, BC
1967 Arts of the Raven.
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia
1927 Exhibition of Canadian West Coast Art - Native and Modern.
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario

S E L E C T E D   C O L L E C T I O N S

American Museum of Natural History, New York
Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, Seattle, WA
Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Québec
Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois
Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, England
Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, British Columbia
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington
University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, BC
Vancouver City Museum, British Columbia


S E L E C T E D   B I B L I O G R A P H Y

Barbeau, Marius C. Haida Carvers in Argillite. Ottawa, Ontario: Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources, National Museum of Canada, 1957.

Canadian Museum of Civilization, ed. In the Shadow of the Sun: Perspectives on Contemporary Native Art. Hull, Québec: The Museum, 1993.

Dockstader, Fredrick. Great North American Indians: Profiles on Life and Leadership. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1977.

Duff, Wilson, Bill Holm, and Bill Reid. Arts of the Raven: Masterworks by the Northwest Coast Indian; An Exhibition in Honour of the One Hundredth Anniversary of Canadian Confederation. Vancouver, British Columbia: Vancouver Art Gallery, 1967.

MacDonald, George F. Haida Art. Hull Québec: Canadian Museum of Civilization; Vancouver, British Columbia; Toronto, Ontario: Douglas & McIntyre, 1996.

National Gallery of Canada. Canadian West Coast Art. Ottawa, Ontario: The Gallery, 1927.


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