Bill Holm’s Northwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form was the first work to systematically organize and describe this unique type of American art. First published in 1965, it has since become a foundational text for students, scholars, artists and others interested in learning about Northwest Coast Native American* art history, designs, structures and techniques. Holm established a lexicon for describing and discussing elements of this school of art, a vocabulary that is still used and continually developed by scholars today. (Perhaps the most notable term Holm coined is “formline.”)
Holm, who turns 90 this year, is the author of eight books on Northwest Coast Native art and currently Professor Emeritus of Art History at the University of Washington and Curator Emeritus of Northwest Coast Indian Art at the Burke Museum, where the Center for the Study of Northwest Coast Art is named in his honor.
The just released 50th-anniversary edition of Northwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form features color illustrations and commentary by some of today’s working Northwest Coast artists about the influence of Holm’s work.
Interested in learning about Northwest Coast Native Art? Join us at the Central Library on Thursday, December 11, at 7:00 p.m. for a slideshow and talk by Burke Museum curators Drs. Robin K. Wright and Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse, co-editors of the recent title, In the Spirit of the Ancestors: Contemporary Northwest Coast Art at the Burke Museum.
* “Northwest Coast Indians” is “the designation for a diverse group of Native American peoples inhabiting a narrow but ecologically rich strip of Pacific Northwest coastland and offshore islands extending from southeastern Alaska to the southernmost part of Oregon. Among the tribes falling under this rubric are the Bella Coola, Chinook, Coast Salish, Gitska, Haida, Kwakiutl, Makah, Nootka, Tillamook, Tlingit, and Tsimshian.” See “Northwest Coast Indians,” Encyclopedia Americana, 2014. Retrieved October 9, 2014, from Grolier Online http://ea.grolier.com/article?id=0431578-00