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UBC’s Museum of Anthropology receives anonymous donation of native art

UBC’s Museum of Anthropology receives anonymous donation of native art - image

VANCOUVER – An extensive collection of indigenous art valued at about $7 million is being given to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia by an anonymous donor.

At more than 200 pieces, the museum says it’s believed to be the largest collection of northwest coast First Nations art to return to B.C. in decades.

The museum says in a news release  that the donor was first inspired to start collecting after seeing totem poles in Vancouver’s Stanley Park in the 1970s.

The donation includes rare historical works, carvings, jewelry, basketry and textiles by West Coast artists like Bill Reid, Charles Edenshaw and Isabel Rorick.

PHOTO GALLERY: Some of the new objects in the Museum of Anthropology’s indigenous art collection 

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A Tlingit amulet made of bone from c. 1850 - 1870. The amulet is part of a donation of more than 200 pieces of indigenous art given to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia by an anonymous donor in Nov. 2015. UBC Museum of Anthropology
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A raven-shaped rattle from the Tsimshian First Nation made of maple wood c. 1880. The rattle is part of a donation of more than 200 pieces of indigenous art given to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia by an anonymous donor in Nov. 2015. UBC Museum of Anthropology
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A Haida Grease bowl from the 19th century. The bowl has hardwood sides with a cedar base and is decorated with operculum shell. The bowl is part of a donation of more than 200 pieces of indigenous art given to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia by an anonymous donor in Nov. 2015. UBC Museum of Anthropology
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An indigenous spoon made of mountain-goat horn from the 19th century. The spoon is part of a donation of more than 200 pieces of indigenous art given to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia by an anonymous donor in Nov. 2015. UBC Museum of Anthropology
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A wooden Haida fish or seal club with a sea-lion motif from the 19th century. The club is part of a donation of more than 200 pieces of indigenous art given to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia by an anonymous donor in Nov. 2015. UBC Museum of Anthropology
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A First Nation spoon made of sheep horn in the 19th century. The spoon is part of a donation of more than 200 pieces of indigenous art given to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia by an anonymous donor in Nov. 2015. UBC Museum of Anthropology
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A rattle with a possible owl motif made of maple wood c. 1850. The rattle, which is from the Gitxsan First Nation, is part of a donation of more than 200 pieces of indigenous art given to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia by an anonymous donor in Nov. 2015. UBC Museum of Anthropology
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A silver bracelet made by Haida artist Charles Edenshaw c. 1890 - 1900. It depicts a "raven with the broken beak" motif. The bracelet is part of a donation of more than 200 pieces of indigenous art given to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia by an anonymous donor in Nov. 2015. UBC Museum of Anthropology
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A Tlingit pipe bowl made of hardwood and copper from the late 19th century. The pipe bowl is part of a donation of more than 200 pieces of indigenous art given to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia by an anonymous donor in Nov. 2015. UBC Museum of Anthropology

The art will be housed in a new Gallery of Northwest Coast masterworks, funded with a $3-million donation from Montreal charity the Doggone Foundation and a $500,000 grant from the federal government.

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The Museum of Anthropology’s director, Anthony Shelton, says the artwork has been on a remarkable journey after originally being created in the northwest coast and is now back home in B.C. where it can be shared.

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