Art Collection

 Artist Information

Accession # 2001.001.1-2

Artist: Robert Davidson

Title: Grizzly Bear

Date of artwork:

Object Type: Screen Print


Height: 210

Width: 102.2

Location: Natives Studies Lounge, Otonabee College

Description: Red and black print on linen/cotton of stylized grizzly bear. No mat, black metal frame, Plexi-glazed.

Artist Biographical Info: Robert Davidson

Date of Birth: November 4th, 1946

Residence: Hydaburg, Alaska

Native Affiliation: Haida

Artists C.V.:

Group Show.

64-94: Contemporary Decades.

Eagle of the Dawn.

Canada's First People: A Celebration of Contemporary Native Visual Arts (travelling)

Land, Spirit, Power.

Selected prints from 1982 to 1990.
Watcom Museum, Bellingham, Washington

 Description of the art work / Artist Statement

Robert Davidson was one of the first northwest coast artists to apply two-dimensional design to limited edition prints. As a young artist he learned to cut his own screens and hand pull prints from them. (Retrospective of Haida Printmakers) His first editions were not numbered or signed. In 1970 he began numbering and signing his editions. He progressed from single color prints of traditional Haida crest designs to two color original images developed from his own work in wood and silver. Today Davidson, along with his jewelry and wood carving, produces multicolored prints of contemporary Haida images. He is considered amongst his peers as the premier artist of the northwest coast art form.

 Relevance to Canadian Art

In 1995 Robert Davidson received the Order of Canada for his contribution to the revival of Haida art and culture in Canada. In 1994, the Canadian Museum of Civilazation co-sponsored a retrospective exhibit, "Eagle of the Dawn," that brought together three decades of Robert Davidson's work and filled 930 m2 (10,000 square feet) of exhibition space.

 Other Collections

Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Québec
Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
Pepsico International Sculpture Park, Purchase, New York
Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, British Columbia
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario
Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, Ontario


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"Ancestral art." Toronto Star, 15 January 1994, p. J1, J6.

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Carter, Sam and Leita Richardson, et al. 64-94: Contemporary Decades. Vancouver, British Columbia: Emily Carr College of Art, 1994.

"Carver's art rooted in tradition." Toronto Star, 12 May 1996. p. B5.

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"Eagle of the dawn." Vancouver Sun, 7 August 1993, p. D7. [Review Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver]

"Eminently Canadian (9 BC appointments to the Order of Canada)." Vancouver Sun, 6 July 1996, p. A23.

Enright, Robert. "The sky is the limit: Conversations with First Nations artists." Border Crossings 11, no. 4 (1992): 46-57.

"Flying free: Retrospective of Robert Davidson's work at Vancouver Art Gallery." Vancouver Sun, 26 June 1993, p. C10-11.

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Hall, Edwin, Margaret Blackman, and Vincent Rickard. Northwest Coast Indian Graphics: An Introduction to Silkscreen Prints. Seattle, Washington: University of Washington Press, 1981.

Hansen, Thomas. "Achieving a breakthrough (1995 National Aboriginal Achievement Awards)." Performing Arts & Entertainment in Canada 29, no. 2 (Spring 1995): 24-26.

Hoover, Alan L. "Bill Reid and Robert Davidson: Innovations in Contemporary Haida Art." American Indian Magazine 18 (Autumn 1993): 48-55.

Kowinski, William S. "Giving new life to Haida art and the culture it expresses: Robert Davidson and Bill Reid rediscovered their past with the help of anthropologists, old books, tribal elders and a common ancestor. Smithsonian 25, no. 10 (January 1995): 38-47.

Lunn, Dr. John, et al. Canada's First People: A Celebration of Contemporary Native Visual Arts. Fort McMurray, Alberta: Syncrude Canada; Alberta Part Art Publications Society, 1992.

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Provincial Museum, 1980.

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"New gold coin to cost collectors $473 each [Designed by Haida artist Robert Davidson]." Vancouver Sun, 30 April 1997, p. B4.

Off, Carol. "On the edge of a knife: Robert Davidson's art walks a fine line between the personal and the political, the aesthetic and the anthropological." Canadian Art 11, no. 1 (Spring 1994): 28-35.

"On the cutting edge: Robert Davidson leads a Haida renaissance." Maclean's (Toronto Edition) 106, no. 31 (2 August 1993): 43-44.

"Robert Davidson: Eagle of the dawn." Financial Post 87, no. 34 (21/23 August 1993): S9. [Review: Vancouver Art Gallery]

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Steltzer, Ulli. Eagle Transforming: The Art of Robert Davidson. Introduction by Margaret Blackman. Vancouver, British Columbia: Douglas & McIntyre, 1994.

Stewart, Hilary. Robert Davidson, Haida Printmaker. Vancouver, British Columbia: Douglas & McIntyre, 1979.

"Taking hold of the reins: Revitalized Robert Davidson leads a new generation of Native artists." Vancouver Sun, 21 November 21 1992, p. E9.

Thom, Ian M., ed. Robert Davidson: Eagle of the Dawn. With essays by Aldona Jonaitis, Marianne Jones and Ian M. Thom. Vancouver, British Columbia: Vancouver Art Gallery in association with Douglas & McIntyre, 1993.


Native Online

Order of Canada

Robert Davison Retrospective of a Haida Printmaker

First Nations Art