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Spring Lecture Series 2008


Tues., March 4: Robin K. Wright ~ “Zacherias and the Chicago Settee: Connecting the Masterpiece to the Master”
6 pm, Henry Gallery Auditorium

Seventeen Haida artists’ names were recorded by James Deans in the records of a set of 29 model houses from the village of Skidegate that he commissioned for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Some of these names, like John Cross and John Robson, have been well known to those interested in Northwest Coast art history. Bill Holm's important 1981 article, “Will the Real Charles Edenshaw Please Stand Up?” described and differentiated the carving styles of six Haida artists whose works had been mistaken for those of Charles Edenshaw, among them, John Cross, John Robson, and the “Master of the Chicago Settee,” whose real name has remained unknown, until now. This lecture will reveal how the Chicago Settee has been connected to the name Zacherias, and who Zacherias, probably the Master of the Chicago Settee, really was.

Robin K. Wright is Professor of Art History, Curator of Native American Art, and Director of the Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Coast Art at the Burke Museum.

Tues., April 15: Emily Moore ~ “Chilkat Tunics: Form, Figure, Function”
7 pm, Burke Room

Compared to the excellent scholarship on the Chilkat blanket, little scholarship has focused closely on the Chilkat tunic. Spurred by George T. Emmons's note in 1907 that the tunic “commands double or treble the price” of the Chilkat blanket and that the Tlingit held their tunics in high esteem, this talk presents on-going research on Chilkat tunics, with special emphasis on the tunics (and possible tunic fragments) at the Burke Museum. In particular, the research focuses on a relationship Cheryl Samuel once noted between tunic crest designs and carved and painted house posts—a relationship that would revise earlier assessments of Chilkat tunic design.

Emily Moore is a graduate student in the history of art at the University of California, Berkeley. She received a Bill Holm Center Visiting Researcher Award in May 2007 to study Chilkat tunics and the Burke’s Tlingit collection. Her dissertation research focuses on the Tlingit and Haida totem parks of the New Deal.

Tues., April 22: Katie Bunn-Marcuse ~ “All that Glitters Is Not Gold—Usually It’s Silver: Artist Attributions for Nineteenth-Century Haida Jewelry”
7 pm, Burke Room

Charles Edenshaw is one of the few named artists of the nineteenth century and virtually the only named silversmith in publications on Northwest Coast art. There were other silversmiths at the time whose names and artworks deserve to be reunited. This talk will focus on new attributions of artwork to nineteenth-century Haida silversmiths.

Katie Bunn-Marcuse received the first Bill Holm Center Research Fellowship in 2005-06. She completed her Ph.D. in spring 2007, and wrote her doctoral dissertation on “Precious Metals: Silver and Gold Bracelets from the Northwest Coast.” She is now the Bill Holm Center managing editor and visiting lecturer at the University of Washington.

Tues., April 29: Nadia Jackinsky ~ “Contemporary Alaska Native Arts: Navigating Cultures, American Laws, and the Definition of ‘Native’”
7 pm, Burke Room

Alaska Native art and culture are arguably experiencing a renaissance today. Artist workshops in schools and culture camps, community research trips to museum collections around the world, and local exhibitions of historical and contemporary arts have added to this movement. Although much of the contemporary art is made for use within the culture, a significant quantity is made for the non-Native market. While discussing the current revitalization movement, Nadia will examine how non-Native forces are affecting it through the market and American laws such as the Alaska Native Land Claims Settlement Act, and the ‘Silver Hand’ program.

Nadia Jackinsky is a graduate student in the Ph.D. program in art history at the University of Washington. She received a Bill Holm Center Research Fellowship for Winter Quarter 2007. She was awarded a two-year Bank of America Diversity Fellowship to support her Ph.D. research on Alaska Native art.