Robert Davidson (artist)

Robert Davidson (artist)

Robert Charles Davidson, C.M., O.B.C., D.F.A. (Hon) (born 4 November 1946 in Hydaburg, Alaska), is a Canadian artist of Haida heritage. His specialties are in carving (such as totem poles and masks), sculpture and painting.

His parents are Claude and Vivian Davidson and, through Claude, he is the grandson of the Haida artist and memoirist Florence Davidson. He is a member of the Eagle moiety, Ts'ał'lanas lineage. In infancy, he moved to the Haida village of Masset, British Columbia, on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands). For high school, he moved to Vancouver to attend Point Grey Secondary School in 1965. In 1966 he became apprenticed to the master Haida carver Bill Reid. In 1967 he began studies at the Vancouver School of Art. In 1969 he raised the first totem pole on Haida Gwaii in approximately ninety years.

Davidson, known internationally as a carver of totem poles and masks, printmaker, painter and jeweller, has become a leading figure in the renaissance of Haida art and culture. Today he lives near Vancouver, working out of a studio on Semiahmoo First Nation land and making annual return visits to Haida Gwaii.

Some of his works were featured at the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The first major public exhibition in ten years, "Robert Davidson: The Abstract Edge" was organized by the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia (UBC) for viewing at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa in 2007.

His younger brother and former apprentice, Reg Davidson, is also a Haida carver.

Awards and Recognition

* 1992 : University of Victoria, awarded Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts
* 1995: appointed Order of British Columbia
* 1995 : received the Aboriginal Achievement Award
* 1996 : appointed Member of the Order of Canada
* 2007 : received honorary degree Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) from UBC
* 2007 : received lifetime achievement award by the B.C. Creative Achievement Awards for Aboriginal Art


* Blackman, Margaret B. (1982; rev. ed., 1992) "During My Time: Florence Edenshaw Davidson, a Haida Woman." Seattle: University of Washington Press.

* Jensen, Doreen, and Polly Sargent (1986) "Robes of Power: Totem Poles on Cloth." Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.

* Macnair, Peter L., Alan L. Hoover, and Kevin Neary (1984) "The Legacy: Tradition and Innovation in Northwest Coast Indian Art." Vancouver, B.C.: Douglas & McIntyre.

* Stewart, Hilary (1993). "Looking at Totem Poles." Seattle: University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-97259-9.

* Robert Davidson lands lifetime achievement award By Alex Browne, Arts Reporter, "Peace Arch News", June 12, 2007

External links

* [ Robert Davidson official website]
* [ Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)]
* [ Kinsman Robinson Galleries]
* [ Order of British Columbia: Robert Davidson]
* [ Robert Charles Davidson] at The Canadian Encyclopedia

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