Contemporary Art Gallery

Part of Northwest Coast Hall.

Contemporary art gallery within the Northwest Coast Hall features a glass display case with artworks hung on the surrounding walls. View of the exhibition Living with the Sea in the Northwest Coast Hall.
Denis Finnin/© AMNH

Closed. New exhibition coming soon. 

Living with the Sea, the inaugural display in the Hall’s rotating contemporary art gallery, explores what the ocean means to Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast through 14 works on paper and one sculpture.

The sea offers salmon, shellfish, and other gifts in ever-decreasing numbers. It also provides the main route for transportation and trade among Indigenous communities on islands and inlets. The works on view both reaffirm and reinterpret a way of life sustained by the sea that is now threatened by pollution, climate change, overfishing, and government policies restricting Indigenous rights.

Sculpture comprised of red cedar wood and bark, synthetic hair, bear fur, seagull feather quills, acrylic paint and more, housed inside a glass display case. The Whaler’s Wife Transforming into a Whale, 2018, by Greg Colfax KlaWayHe
Matt Shanley/© AMNH
Silk-screened framed print. Killer Whale with Fireweed, 1979, by Walter Harris
Matt Shanley/© AMNH

Exhibits include:

  • The Whaler’s Wife Transforming into a Whale, 2018, by Greg Colfax KlaWayHe. Red cedar wood and bark, synthetic hair, bear fur, seagull feather quills, acrylic paint, metal nails and wire, hard hat suspension, rubber bicycle innertube, deep sea fishing line, dyed cotton cloth. Greg Colfax KlaWayHee, a Makah artist in Neah Bay, Washington, worked in tribal government before training as a carver and artist.
  • Voyagers, 1995, by Eugene Hunt. Silkscreen print (ink on paper). Eugene Hunt was a Kwakwaka’wakw carver, painter, and printmaker from Fort Rupert, British Columbia. His works are considered classic examples of Kwakwaka’wakw design.
  • Tang. Gwaan, 2019, by Yahl 'Aadas Cori Savard (White Raven). Serigraph print (ink on paper). Yahl 'Aadas Cori Savard (White Raven) is a Haida artist, Yahgu'laanaas Raven Clan. While growing up in Quebec, in eastern Canada, she remained connected to Haida culture. In 2001, she returned to her birthplace, Haida Gwaii, to study art with acclaimed masters there.
  • Tide Walker, 2012, by tlajang nang kingaas Ben Davidson. Serigraph print (ink on paper). tlajang nang kingaas Ben Davidson (The One Who is Known Far Away) was a Haida carver from Old Masset, Haida Gwaii, of the Yahgu’laanaas, Raven Clan. Like his father, the renowned artist guud san glans Robert Davidson, he was a leader in the contemporary revival of Haida art and culture. 

The contemporary art gallery is supported by the Henry Luce Foundation.