Many direct descendants of the Alaskan Haida artist John Wallace (b. ca. 1861, d. 1951), along with members of both the Haida Laas and Git Goan dance groups joined friends of the Bill Holm Center to help us unveil this basket and thank the donors who helped us acquire it for the Ethnology collection.
Painted Twined Rattle-top Basket, painting attributed to John Wallace, ca. 1930s
Spruce root, paint
Formerly in the collection of Belle Silver
Burke Museum, cat. no. 2012-150/1
We were also pleased to unveil the newest contemporary work of art recently added to the Ethnology collection at the Burke.
Inert, Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Aleut), 2009
Wolf pelts, felt
Burke Museum cat. no. 2012-83/1
Inert: adj : unable to move or resist motion
“The inability to progress or move forward was the basic concept. I look at this piece in cultural terms. Mainstream society often looks at Indigenous or Native American art through a romantic lens, not allowing a culture like my Tlingit community room for creative sovereign growth. The back half of this piece is contained, a captured trophy or rug to bring into the home, while the front continues to move. It is sad and the struggle is evident.” – Nicholas Galanin.