Raven and the First Men clam

Bill Reid



In Memoriam

frog "Art can never be understood, but can only be seen as a kind of magic, the most profound and mysterious of all human activities. Within that magic, one of the deepest mysteries is the art of the Northwest Coast -- a unique expression of an illiterate people, resembling no other art form except perhaps the most sophisticated calligraphy."
    Bill Reid's signature
Bill Reid in "Silent Speakers: The Arts of the Northwest Coast," by Martine J. Reid. The Spirit Sings. Artistic Traditions of Canada's First People. McClelland and Stewart, Glenbow Museum, 1988.

Bill Reid
sculptor, carver, jeweller, metalsmith, canoe-builder,
printmaker, book illustrator, poet and storyteller,
artiste extraordinaire

Biographical Notes
"Remembering Bill Reid"
Farewell to a Friend
Quotations: By and About Bill Reid
Reid's Bestiary
Suggested Readings
See our Bill Reid Collection in the Cyberboutique

"Canada has lost one of its greatest artists. A descendant of a lineage of great Haida artists which included Albert Edward Edenshaw (1812-1894) and Charlie Edenshaw (ca. 1838-1924), Bill Reid revived an artistic tradition that had survived only in museum collections. Drawing on the rich animistic traditions of Haida culture and mythology, he reinterpreted them for a sophisticated audience of connoisseurs around the world, emphasizing exquisite proportions and craftsmanship expressed in precious metals, choice woods, glass and works of paper. Bill Reid pushed Haida art in every direction, including scale -- rendering a work like Raven and the First Men first as a golf-ball sized sculpture in boxwood, then as an elephant sized carving in yellow cedar. The Canadian Museum of Civilization is proud to have some of the major works of Bill Reid on permanent display."

From a eulogy delivered by Dr. George MacDonald at the memorial service, 24 March 1998