HART, Jim




Author Tags: Aboriginal Authors, Haida Gwaii

Born in 1952 into the Eagle Clan in Masset, Haida Gwaii, Jim Hart has been a Chief of the Eagle Clan since 1999 and holds the name and hereditary title of his great-great-grandfather, Charles Edenshaw: 7idansuu.

Hart has pursued his work as an artist since 1979. He started working with Bill Reid in 1980 on many important sculptures and smaller works until 1984. Hart carved his first totem pole for the Museum of Anthropology and raised it in the traditional manner. Since then, up to 2017, he has carved more than 25 big Haida totems.

In 1979, he was commissioned by the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria to carve a 7' x 9' cedar Dogfish Screen. In 2000 Hart carved the replacement to a Bill Reid pole within the Haida Village behind the Museum of Anthropology and in 2008 he carved the Celebration of Bill Reid Pole now located in The Bill Reid Gallery in Vancouver. In 2011 his large bronze, "The Three Watchmen", was installed outside of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa as part of their permanent collection.

Hart's art includes jewelry, fine metals and fabrics. He has built numerous Haida houses, given three potlatches and been actively involved in many others. Much of his artwork is in private and public collections worldwide. On April 1, 2017, Jim Hart raised his "Reconciliation Pole," honouring a time before, during and after Canada's Indian Residential Schools, at UBC's Main Mall.

Along with Haida carver Reg Davidson, carver, goldsmith and painter Jim Hart produced Haida Artifacts: An Exhibition (1990). In 1999, Hart received his name 7idansuu (pronounced “ee-dan-soo”) as an Eagle Clan hereditary chief. It was once held by Charles Edenshaw. In 2003 he installed The Three Watchmen, a 14-foot bronze sculpture at the entrance to an apartment residence in Kerrisdale’s Quilchena Park in Vancouver. Hart supervised the casting of the sculpture at the Tallix Art Foundry in Beacon, New York, after two years of work. Hart, who lives in Masset, received the Order of British Columbia in 2003.

Co-author with Reg Davidson of:

Haida Artifacts: An Exhibition (Berkeley, California: Lowie Museum of Anthropology, University of California, 1990).

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Charles Edenshaw

[BCBW 2017]