Bentwood - Richard Sumner
The Inuit Gallery is pleased to present the work of artist Richard Sumner. Best known for specializing in the making of steam bentwood boxes, his art work is created with exceptional attention to detail and elegant design. This traditional form of vessel making is unique to the First Nations on the Northwest Coast and today, Richard Sumner is considered one of the best.
This exhibition features many different styles of bentwood boxes, from those used to hold tackle in canoes, to those designed to hold ceremonial regalia. Richard has explored the form of large and impressive cargo boxes trussed with handmade cedar bark rope, to small and elegant water ladles. Perhaps most impressive about Richard’s work is his attention to detail, his technical expertise, his meticulous carving and his elegant designs.
Richard has carved large steam-bent boxes for both the Vancouver International Airport and the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. His work can also be found in numerous private collections around the world. In 1998, Richard was commissioned to replicate a bentwood box from the collection of the American Museum of Natural History in New York; the original box was a favourite of the famed Haida artist Bill Reid and this new piece was created to contain Reid’s ashes.
In 2010, Richard was awarded the British Columbia Creative Achievement Award in Aboriginal Art.
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