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Bill Reid (1920-1998)

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Raven and the First Men (Bill Reid) Enlarge

Raven and the First Men
(Bill Reid, 1980, Photography: Michel Teiten, public domain)

Bill Reid (1920-1998)

An important player in the renewal of Aboriginal art in British Columbia, sculptor William Ronald Reid, born of an American father and a Haida mother in Victoria, was virtually ignorant of his Haida origins until adolescence.

Announcer at Radio-Canada, he attended silversmith classes and studied Aboriginal traditional arts in the late 20's. He thus walked in the footsteps of not only his grandfather Charles Gladstone, engraver and sculptor, but equally his great-great-uncle Charles Edenshaw, the celebrated 19th century Haida artist.

Reid left the world of the broadcasting in 1958 to devote himself solely to his art. A talented sculptor, he worked materials as varied as wood, silver, bronze, and argillite. His most monumental work is "The Spirit of Haida Gwaii", a bronze sculpture weighing nearly 5,000 kg. Completed in 1991, today it stands inside the Canadian Embassy in Washington.

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