Bill Reid

William Ronald Reid was one of Canada's most important artists; he was an acclaimed Haida master goldsmith, carver, sculptor, writer and spokesman. His father was of Scottish and German origin, and his mother was Haida. Reid's great-uncle was the renowned Haida carver Charles Edenshaw. It was after seeing his exquisitely carved bracelets that Reid felt that “the world was not the same."

Reid's early career in broadcasting included a ten-year contract with CBC Radio in Toronto. During this period, he studied the art of jewellery making at Ryerson Institute of Technology. Until he visited the Royal Ontario Museum, it was his intention to create contemporary jewellery. During this visit, he discovered their collection of Northwest Coast Native Art. His interest was stimulated when he saw a totem pole from his home village of Tanu. From that time on, Reid made it his life's work to explore and recapture the Haida art form and cultural tradition.

In 1985, Reid was approached by Arthur Erickson, the Vancouver architect designing the new Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Erickson discussed with Reid a possible commission - a sculpture for the building's entry court. Reid suggested a motley group of travellers in a traditional Haida canoe. The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, cast in patinated black bronze, took over five years to complete. In 1996, a full size replica was installed in the International Arrivals area at the Vancouver International Airport. In addition, the image of The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, along with three other iconic works by Reid, were used for the Canadian $20 bill from 2004- 2012.

It may be said that Reid has been an incredible impact on Haida Art and culture:

"He helped set in motion a dialogue of reconciliation and a process of reconstruction of the Haida culture of which he will inevitably remain a part, and the bridge of understanding which he helped to build between today's Native people and us others will stand as his monument. " (Doris Shadbolt, from Bill Reid)

In his career he created over 1,500 works from the "monumentally small to the exquisitely huge". His was a huge contribution to contemporary Northwest Coast art. Bill Reid died in March of 1998. He was buried in the Village of Tanu, his mother’s birthplace.

17 items

A Birthday Bull for John
Bill Reid (Haida)

1990This original drawing is only available framed.

1990This original drawing is only available framed.

$8,000.00

Angel
Bill Reid (Haida)

1997Edition 3/10This print is only available framed.This is a copper etching on paper and is date...

1997Edition 3/10This print is only available framed.This is a copper etching on paper and is dated to 1997, the year before Bill Reid passed away.

$12,000.00

Bear Bracelet
Bill Reid (Haida)

This bracelet is stored off-site. To arrange a viewing, please contact the gallery directly.From ...

This bracelet is stored off-site. To arrange a viewing, please contact the gallery directly.From Martine J Reid’s Bill Reid Collected, p. 12“With no one to teach him, Reid started by studying Haida objects depicted in early ethnographic publications and those displayed in museum collections. During seventeen years of intense contemplation od strong original Haida models, Reid respectfully submitted to the conventions of Haida art, “shamelessly copying,” to use his own words, the ancient styli...

$35,000.00

Bear Brooch, 1955
Bill Reid (Haida)

This brooch is stored off-site. To arrange a viewing, please contact the gallery directly.Bear is...

This brooch is stored off-site. To arrange a viewing, please contact the gallery directly.Bear is a dominant crest symbol. Bears are closely related to humans especially when standing on their hind legs, bridging the human and non-human realms. Their strength and intelligence are universally respected and they are considered to be helping spirits of warriors. Bear is often depicted with a short snout, round paws, stubby tail and bared teeth.

$45,000.00

Bear Rattle Sculpture
Bill Reid (Haida)

Bear is a dominant crest symbol. Bears are closely related to humans especially when standing on ...

Bear is a dominant crest symbol. Bears are closely related to humans especially when standing on their hind legs, bridging the human and non-human realms. Their strength and intelligence are universally respected and they are considered to be helping spirits of warriors. Bear is often depicted with a short snout, round paws, stubby tail and bared teeth.

$35,000.00

Bear Tie Bar
Bill Reid (Haida)

This cast Bear by Reid is an open edition casting that sold through Cavelti Jewellers. Toni Cavel...

This cast Bear by Reid is an open edition casting that sold through Cavelti Jewellers. Toni Cavelti was Bill Reid's jeweler for years and he created these pieces to Bill's specifications. These pieces were made during Bill's lifetime and bears Bill's Wolf chop as its signature.Bear is a dominant crest symbol. Bears are closely related to humans especially when standing on their hind legs, bridging the human and non-human realms. Their strength and intelligence are universally respected and th...

$8,000.00

Dogfish Plaster
Bill Reid (Haida)

c. 1991This is a plaster of the yellow cedar Dogfish door that Reid carved in 1968 and which was ...

c. 1991This is a plaster of the yellow cedar Dogfish door that Reid carved in 1968 and which was used to make an edition of paper casts in 1991.

$90,000.00

Frog Brooch and Paper Weight
Bill Reid (Haida)

Pin: $600 CADBase: $150 CADEach can be purchased separately."As a creature that lives in two worl...

Pin: $600 CADBase: $150 CADEach can be purchased separately."As a creature that lives in two worlds, water and land, the frog is revered for its adaptability, knowledge and power to traverse worlds and inhabit diverse realms, both natural and supernatural. Frogs are the primary spirit helper of shamans" (Shearar 2000:48). - Understanding Northwest Coast Art: A Guide to Crests, Beings and Symbols

$750.00

Haida Beaver
Bill Reid (Haida)

Edition 110/195Available framed for $3800 CAD. Please contact the gallery directly.Beaver is a si...

Edition 110/195Available framed for $3800 CAD. Please contact the gallery directly.Beaver is a significant crest figure on the Northwest Coast. Beaver is known as an elder who keeps to themselves and only gets involved in the affairs of others if they are important. Beavers are known as the builders of the lodges and homes that support the family unit. In one story the first ancestral Beaver was a woman while in other stories Beaver is one of Raven’s uncles. They are very industrious and terr...

$3,200.00

Haida Dog Salmon Skaagi
Bill Reid (Haida)

1974Edition /600This print is available framed and unframed. Please contact the gallery directly ...

1974Edition /600This print is available framed and unframed. Please contact the gallery directly for details. Salmon is fundamental to all coastal peoples, and is a symbol of regeneration, health and life. Many myths tell of people taken to the undersea world of the Salmon and return with secret knowledge and powers. Salmon have always been viewed as the life force for Indigenous communities. Salmon is often represented by scales, small fins and striated tail fin.

$2,400.00

Haida Frog - Hikkyaan Qqusttaan
Bill Reid (Haida)

1995Edition /100Available framed for $3600 CAD. Please contact the gallery directly.Throughout th...

1995Edition /100Available framed for $3600 CAD. Please contact the gallery directly.Throughout the Northwest Coast, frogs are closely associated with the power of transformation and are the primary spirit helpers of shamans. For this reason, frogs can often be seen emerging from the ears or mouths of creatures that have both human and animal elements. In Northwest Coast mythology the divisions between humans and animals are not clearly defined. Ancestral stories often speak of supernatural be...

$3,200.00

Haida Grizzly
Bill Reid (Haida)

1973Edition /600Available framed for $3200 CAD. Please contact the gallery directly.Bear is a dom...

1973Edition /600Available framed for $3200 CAD. Please contact the gallery directly.Bear is a dominant crest symbol. Bears are closely related to humans especially when standing on their hind legs, bridging the human and non-human realms. Their strength and intelligence are universally respected and they are considered to be helping spirits of warriors. Bear is often depicted with a short snout, round paws, stubby tail and bared teeth.

$2,600.00

Hawk Moon Pendant
Bill Reid (Haida)

c. 1971This pendant is stored off-site. To arrange a viewing, please contact the gallery directly...

c. 1971This pendant is stored off-site. To arrange a viewing, please contact the gallery directly.This is a 22kt gold repoussé work by Bill Reid that was made ca. 1971, called Hawk Moon. The pendant is representative of a stage in Reid’s career when he had switched almost exclusively to gold in his jewelry making. It was also around this time that Reid was making some of his most creative and detailed pieces by hand. In 1968 he received a Canada Council grant and moved to London to work on hi...

Hinged Gold Bracelet, 1957
Bill Reid (Haida)

This piece is stored off-site. To arrange a viewing, please contact the gallery directly.On the N...

This piece is stored off-site. To arrange a viewing, please contact the gallery directly.On the Northwest Coast, the Killer Whale also referred to as blackfish, is an important crest figure among local First Nations Groups and is one of the most commonly depicted forms. The very first Killer Whales came into being when carved in wood by a human, Raven, or a Master Carpenter and then magically infused with a life force. Killer Whales are known to capsize canoes and carry the occupants into the...

$130,000.00

Unfinished Drawing of Central Figure in Spirit ...
Bill Reid (Haida)

1997Edition AP 6/10This is a copper etching on paper and is dated to 1997, the year before Bill R...

1997Edition AP 6/10This is a copper etching on paper and is dated to 1997, the year before Bill Reid passed away. This is the last print Bill Reid created. The AP's were signed, the edition (of 73) were numbered but not signed and are available at $2,500 CAD.

$12,000.00

Unfinished Drawing of Central Figure in Spirit ...
Bill Reid (Haida)

1997Edition 20/73This is a copper etching on paper and is dated to 1997, the year before Bill Rei...

1997Edition 20/73This is a copper etching on paper and is dated to 1997, the year before Bill Reid passed away. This is the last print Bill Reid created, and the numbered edition of 73 were left unsigned. The 10 APs were signed and numbered and are available for purchase at $12,000 CAD.

$2,500.00

Wolf Earrings
Bill Reid (Haida)

1970The Wolf is respected for its strength, agility, intelligence, and capacity for devotion. Wol...

1970The Wolf is respected for its strength, agility, intelligence, and capacity for devotion. Wolf is sometimes an agent of transformation and is a popular figure in crest, story, and shamanic art. Wolf is usually portrayed with a long snout, bushy tail, and prominent paws.

$12,000.00