Art of the Northwest Coast / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $11.20
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 58%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $11.20   
  • New (5) from $17.95   
  • Used (6) from $11.20   


Art of the Northwest Coast is a comprehensive survey of the Native arts of the Pacific Northwest Coast, from Puget Sound to Alaska and from prehistoric times to the present. Incorporating the region’s social history with the observations of anthropologists, historians of art, and Native peoples, this groundbreaking volume examines how the upheavals of European contact affected the development of a powerful traditional art. By exploring the distinct origins of each of the area’s linguistic groups and their histories, mythologies, and art forms, art historian Aldona Jonaitis reveals how a complex web of factors informed these groups’ varied responses to the changes and challenges brought about by contact with Europeans.

The post-contact period has often been considered a time of decline for Native artistic traditions and techniques, but Jonaitis convincingly argues against this assumption. The traditions were not lost, she asserts, but rather were expressed in different ways. Forms such as tourist art – made expressly for sale rather than for community use – were for some the only outlets available in the trying, repressive years when Natives were deprived of their land, rights, and essential cultural expressions. While art made for community use was often judged "inferior" in quality to nineteenth-century creations, it still expressed the strong aesthetics of a surviving Native culture.

Since the 1960s, Native artistic activity has flourished and is increasingly recognized as fine art rather than anthropological artifact. Repatriation of Native works of art from museums, a strong market for collectors and dealers, and a reaffirmation of traditional culture and heritage among Native communities all contribute to a vibrant field in which Native artists reflect their enduring cultures in works that explore many contemporary directions.

Compellingly written and beautifully illustrated, Art of the Northwest Coast is a cornerstone addition to any library and essential reading for anyone interested in the art of Native cultures.

University of Washington Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Choice Magazine
A masterfully written, superbly illustrated, welcome addition to any collection. Must read for anyone interested in the arts of Native cultures.
Alaska History
The book is an excellent source for readers new to Northwest Coast art and for students. Jonaitis' comprehensive analysis is thorough and the images, plates, and illustrations are exceptional. Jonaitis' writing style is sophisticated and clear.... Art of the Northwest Coast reflects a new paradigm of examining indigenous art forms and history.
American Book Review
[This] book as a whole proves that this is a significant and worthy contribution to the literature on the art... The book does a thorough job of presenting an overview of the art tradition and commenting on it from first white contact and how it has persisted, thrived, and evolved to our own time.
Masterfully written, superbly illustrated. … Must reading for anyone interested in the arts of Native cultures.
The Bloomsbury Review
A compact, thorough, and very attractive survey of indigenous art from the Pacific coast between Puget Sound and Alaska..carefully and responsibly blends text, captions, graphics, and color reproductions to build a complete picture of the rich artistic traditions that developed among the coastal people.
Multicultural Review
Jonaitis illustrates the vibrancy and diversity of nineteenth-century art of the Northwest Coast, connecting both the past of pre-contact and the future of today's art and artists… Art of the Northwest Coast is an excellent and informative portrayal of Northwest Coast art, the people, traditions, geographic regions, and transformation involved from pre-contact to today.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780295986364
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 322
  • Sales rank: 794,503
  • Product dimensions: 6.86 (w) x 9.64 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Aldona Jonaitis is director of the University of Alaska Museum of the North and professor of anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She is the author of From the Land of the Totem Poles: The Northwest Coast Indian Art Collection at the American Museum of Natural History and The Yuquot Whalers' Shrine, among other books on the art of the Northwest Coast.

University of Washington Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. Creating a Great Art Tradition2. Art at the Time of Contact3. Nineteenth-Century Southern Coast Art4. Nineteenth-Century Central Region Art5. Nineteenth-Century Northern Coast Art6. Settlement and Its Consequences7. Public Awareness of Northwest Coast Art8. Persistence of Artistic Traditions, 1900 to 19609. Identity and Sovereignty, 1960s to TodayNotesBibliographic EssayIndex

University of Washington Press

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)