THE ART OF THE NORTHWEST COAST INDIANS by Shirley Glubok

THE ART OF THE NORTHWEST COAST INDIANS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The indigenous art of a region lends itself better to Glubok's overviewing than does the more eclectic material surveyed in her recent Art of America series, though here we notice that even on the purely factual level to which she limits herself, she is less enlightening on totem poles and potlatches than Glenn Holder (KR, 1973) is in his far more prosaically got up introduction. And the more tours we take with Glubok, the more we pick up on the tired voice of the museum guide, informing children that the 19th century ""is considered the most important period in Northwest Coast Indian art"" (got that down, kids? Never mind why--we have to move on now) but never thinking to satisfy their curiosity as to why so many of the figure paintings and carvings have smaller faces emerging, as if in the process of birth, from ovals down near the bottom of the trunk. Nevertheless Glubok has amassed a representative sampling of totem poles and screens, some powerful carvings and helmets, articulated masks that appeal to children's sense of the ingenious, and useful objects that would make any meal a feast--so that even though Glubok leaves much to be desired as a teacher of art appreciation, she is again to be thanked for bringing such work to the attention of young readers.

Pub Date: April 28th, 1975
Page count: 50pp
Publisher: Macmillan