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Published December 15, 2020

Beau Dick

Beau Dick (1955-2017), Ghost, 2012, wood, vegetable fibre, feathers, paint. MMFA, gift of W. Bruce C. Bailey. Photo MMFA, Christine Guest

Kwakwaka’wakw artist and chief Beau Dick (1955-2017) was a native of British Columbia. One of the most talented sculptors of his generation, Dick was also a hereditary chief of his nation and a political activist who was committed to Indigenous sovereignty and environmental protection. He was an active participant in various Kwakwaka’wakw ceremonies and mastered the language and customs of ceremonial dance masks. Ghost (2012) exemplifies the type of masks worn during winter ceremonies to represent the souls of the dead in the world of the living. This piece shows the vital creativity with which Beau Dick kept his nation’s sculptural tradition alive. The public can view this work in the exhibition Riopelle: The Call of Northern Landscapes and Indigenous Cultures.

The Museum warmly thanks W. Bruce C. Bailey for donating this work.

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