Ruth Phillips: “Aboriginal Art between 1884 and 1960: The Art that was not Supposed to Be”

Canada Research Chair in Modern Culture at Carleton University,
Former Director of the Museum of Anthropology at UBC

This paper will explore the production of Aboriginal art during one of the darkest periods of Aboriginal history. It will discuss the ways in which Aboriginal artists found spaces in which to continue deeply rooted visual traditions in the face of oppressive official policies of assimilationism intended to stamp them out as well as how pioneering artists such as Angus Trudeau, George Clutesi, Gerald Tailfeathers and Daphne Odjig initiated a new engagement with contemporary art and modernism despite the difficulty of gaining access to professional training.