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James Hart

1952 -

“[My work] has to have integrity… for myself, for our ancestors, for our people”  10 November, 2011

James (Jim) Hart is one of the Northwest Coast’s most accomplished artists.  In addition to his mastery in carving monumental sculptures and totem poles, he is a skilled jeweler and printer and is considered a pioneer among Haida artists in the use of bronze.  

Jim Hart has been a carver since 1979.  He first apprenticed with renowned Haida artist Robert Davidson and then worked with master carver Bill Reid from 1980 to 1984.  Among other projects, he supervised the construction of the Haida House in the Grand Hall of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and restored an old Haida pole for the Smithsonian in New York City.  Hart has had solo exhibitions in Vancouver and Singapore and set up a booth in the Louvre in Paris with other international artisans.

Jim Hart comes from a long line of Haida chiefs who were carvers. As Chief of the Eagle Clan since 1999, he holds the name and hereditary title of his great-great-grandfather, Charles Edenshaw.  As such, he maintains a practice devoted to his community, carving and raising poles as well as building several Haida longhouses in Old Massett, Skidegate.  His poles, such as Ottawa’s The Three Watchmen (2003, cast 2010), can be found in collections throughout the world.  He receives commissions from private collectors across the world and is the recipient of several awards and honours including the Order of British Columbia in 2003.

James Hart
Photography: National Gallery of Canada

Birth name

James Hart

Born

Born Canada: Colombie-Britannique, Old Massett, 1952

Nationality

Canada

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