The images below constitute the “Haida Myths Portfolio” 167/200 by Bill Reid. This set of five signed lithographs, in original plexiglass case, were produced by Bill Reid in cooperation with Elizabeth Nichol’s Equinox Gallery in 1983. Printed on art print limited edition paper. $7500.00
BILL REID b. January 13, 1920 (d. 1998)
Bill Reid, born William Ronald Reid, was a world renowned sculptor, and is regarded as one of Canada’s finest artists. Bill was a descendant of the great Haida carver and silversmith, Charles Edenshaw.
Bill’s adult career began as a radio announcer. His deep, and resonant voice took him to a variety of stations, including ten years with CBC in Toronto, ON, and Vancouver, BC.
While Bill was in Toronto, he studied jewellery making at the Ryerson Institute of Technology, and he became acquainted with the collection of Northwest Coast Native art in the Royal Ontario Museum. Of special interest to him was a great pole from his mother’s ancestral village, Tanu. During this time Bill began to explore his cultural heritage, and the art of the Haida people. Before he left CBC in 1958, Bill wrote and narrated a television documentary that explored the salvaging of the last totem poles of the Queen Charlottes. He also narrated a film documenting the People of the Potlatch exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
When Bill Reid returned to the West Coast, he began to seriously pursue Native imagery in both jewellery and sculpture. Soon after his arrival, he was engaged in a four-year task to recreate a section of a Haida Village for UBC in Vancouver. This task was the turning point for Bill Reid’s incredible artistic career that saw him produce remarkably intricate jewellery, large sculptures, drawings, and silkscreen prints. Bill created numerous masterpieces, including The Skidegate Pole in 1978, the yellow cedar sculpture Raven and the First Men for the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, BC, in 1980, the bronze sculpture Lord of the Under Sea for the Vancouver Aquarium in 1984, the cedar canoe Lootas for Expo ’86, and the bronze sculpture Spirit of Haida Gwaii for the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, in 1990. There is also a bronze cast of the Spirit of Haida Gwaii at the International Departures Terminal at Vancouver International Airport. In addition, this sculpture was featured on Canada’s twenty dollar bill. In 1994, he received the prestigious Order of Canada from the Canadian Government.
Bill Reid passed away in 1998.