1927 - 2006
painted cedar mask
11 x 7 x 7 1/2 in, 27.9 x 17.8 x 19.1 cm
Estimate: $600 - $800 CAD
Sold for: $3,438
Private Collection, Vancouver
Audrey Hawthorn, Kwakiutl Art, a similar mask in the collection of the Museum of Anthropology, UBC, reproduced page 192, Fig. 380
When discussing the history of First Nations art of the Pacific Northwest Coast in the second half of the twentieth century, the name Doug Cranmer continually shows up. Central to the renaissance of Haida Art, Cranmer worked alongside masters such as Bill Reid and Mungo Martin in reviving Haida and Kwakwaka'wakw visual culture.
In 1958 Cranmer, alongside Reid, was hired by the University of British Columbia to help carve a replica of a Haida village which still sits on the grounds of the Museum of Anthropology. He was instrumental in helping produce the next generation of Pacific Northwest Coast artists. In 1970, along with Tony Hunt and Robert Davidson, Cranmer was among the first instructors hired to teach at the newly opened Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Art at ‘Ksan.
Born in Alert Bay, BC in 1927, Cranmer was taught how to carve directly from the previous generation of Kwakwaka'wakw carvers. At 10 months old he was given the name Kesu’ which means “wealth being carved.” He is renowned as a master carver as well as an accomplished painter, and his work is held in numerous public and private collections worldwide, including the Royal British Columbia Museum, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Museum of Anthropology. In 2012 the Museum of Anthropology held a comprehensive retrospective of his work.
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