Robert Davidson

Part of the Totems to Turquoise exhibition.

Carver, painter, printmaker, and jeweler, Robert Davidson (b. 1946) is famed for his experimentation with the conventions of Haida design. He first mastered the basics by studying the work of his great-grandfather Charles Edenshaw. "It's very important to start understanding the rules," Davidson said. "It's like when my children would constantly practice their ABCs, then eventually they could start creating their own stories."

Early in his career, Davidson pushed the boundaries of Haida bracelet design, introducing massive, thick formlines, and enlarging certain features, such as eyes and mouths, to boldly fill the entire design field. Throughout his career, in a variety of media, Davidson has continually brought new ideas into the Northwest Coast artistic tradition. "If the ideas work, they become part of the culture. If they don't work, then they become part of the experience."