National Visions, National Blindness
456 pages, 6 x 9
26 b&w illustrations
Paperback
Release Date:01 Jan 2007
ISBN:9780774812184
Hardcover
Release Date:20 Aug 2006
ISBN:9780774812177
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National Visions, National Blindness

Canadian Art and Identities in the 1920s

UBC Press

In the early decades of the twentieth century, Canada sought to define itself as an independent dominion with allegiance to the British Empire. The visual arts were considered central to the formation of a distinct national identity, and the Group of Seven’s landscapes became part of a larger program to unify the nation and assert its uniqueness. National Visions, National Blindness traces the development of this program and illuminates its conflicted history. Using newly discovered archival evidence, Leslie Dawn revises common interpretations of several well-known events and rescues others from obscurity. He problematizes conventional perceptions of the Group as a national school and underscores the contradictions inherent in international exhibitions showing unpeopled landscapes alongside Northwest Coast Native arts and the “Indian” paintings of Langdon Kihn and Emily Carr. Dawn examines how this dichotomy forced a re-evaluation of the place of First Nations in both Canadian art and nationalism.

National Visions, National Blindness is an elegantly written work offering new and insightful analysis, and will be of great interest to readers and researchers of Canadian art history, First Nations art and history, tourism, cultural politics, museum studies, and ethnographic practices.

National Visions, National Blindness is an elegantly written work offering new and insightful analysis, and will be of great interest to readers and researchers of Canadian art history, First Nations art and history, tourism, cultural politics, museum studies, and ethnographic practices.

Awards

  • 2008, Winner - Raymond Klibanksy Prize, The Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Leslie Dawn is a professor in the Department of Art at the University of Lethbridge.

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1 Canadian Art in England

2 England in Canadian Art

3 Canadian Art in Paris

4 Canadian Primitives in Paris

5 Barbeau and Kihn with the Stoney in Alberta

6 Barbeau and Kihn with the Gitxsan in British Columbia

7 Giving Gitxsan Totem Poles a New Slant

8 Representing and Repossessing the Skeena Valley

9 West Coast Art, Native and Modern

10 The Downfall of Barbeau

11 Revisiting Carr

Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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