James Beaver: From Beavers Corner to Buffalo Bill

Posted 14/10/17 in NEWS

Chief James Beaver 1846-1921

From his early days as a juggling performer in a medicine show to his time spent traveling Ontario and New York as a labourer and artist, an up-coming exhibition, curated by the Woodland Cultural Centre, examines the life and work of Six Nations landscape artist, renowned carpenter, and woodcarver, James Beaver.  "Chief Beaver", as he signed some of his artwork, is the first Haudenosaunee artist to have worked in the European-style of art.  Today, there are only 45 pieces of his art known to still exist, many of which are unsigned.  His woodwork - canes, church pews, cabinets, the old Six Nations Council House chairs - can still be found throughout the Six Nations community and surrounding area.

The Woodland Cultural Centre is asking for the help of Six Nations residences, as well as that of surrounding communities, in tracking down further examples of Beaver's art, stories and photographs of James Beaver's life at home and on his travels, and any personal items he may have passed along to his descendants.  The James Beaver exhibit opens in January 2015 and runs for three months.  Those with information, photographs, paintings, and/or items, who are willing to loan said items to the Woodland Cultural Centre for this exhibit, are asked to contact the Museum Director, Paula Whitlow, at pwhitlow@woodland-centre.on.ca or at (519) 759-2650, extension 244.