Northwest Coast Indian Art

An Analysis of Form

Bill Holm

  • $18.95 paperback (9780295951027) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 1978
  • Subject Listing: Native American Studies
    Native American Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 133 pp.
  • Territorial rights: N / A In Canada
  • Published with: Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Coast Art, Burke Museum, Seattle
  • Series: Native Art of the Pacific Northwest: A Bill Holm Center
  • Contents

The masterworks of Northwest Coast Indians are admired today as among the great achievements of the world's primitive artisans. The painted and carved wooden screens, chests and boxes for storage and cooking, dishes, rattles, crest hats, and other ceremonial paraphernalia reveal a rare artistic virtuosity and document the unique involvement of these craftsmen with their environment.

After many years of examining countless artifacts, from Bella Coola to Yakutat Bay, and after himself creating objects in the same style, artist-teacher Bill Holm makes available the results of his investigation in this handsomely illustrated volume. With his deep knowledge and understanding of Indian art, the author has recognized how these pieces, although varied in origin, material, size, and purpose, are related to a surprising degree in the organization and form of their two-dimensional surface decoration.

The author presents an incisive analysis of the use of color, line, and texture; the organization of space; and such typical forms as ovoids, eyelids, U forms, and hands and feet. The evidence upon which he bases his conclusions constitutes a repository of valuable information for all succeeding researchers in the field.
Historical Background
Symbolism and Realism
Uses of Two-Dimensional Art
Elements of the Art
Principles of Form and Organization

"The drawings, together with suitable photographs and a beautiful format, combine into a masterpiece of printer's art."
-Art Journal

"[A]n indispensable text for anyone wishing to penetrate beyond the narrative and ceremonial aspects of Northwest Coast Indian art."
-Vancouver Sun

"Holm inspired a renaissance .. Terminology he invented .. are today the standard way of referring to the art."
-Seattle Times