First Name: Henry
Last Name: Hunt
Full Name: Henry Hunt
Date of birth: October 16, 1923
Place of birth: For Rupert, British Columbia, Canada
Date of death: March 13, 1985
Place of death: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Community/Heritage: Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl)
Art Media: carving, masks, totem poles
Henry Hunt was born in 1923 in Fort Rupert, Vancouver Island into the Kwagiulth cultural group. Hunt’s father was Jonathan Hunt and his grandfather was the great ethnologist George Hunt.
Hunt was originally a logger and fisherman but went to Victoria to help his father-in-law, renowned artist Mungo Martin, at the British Columbia Provincial Museum in Victoria in 1954. Hunt eventually succeeded Martin as chief carver in 1962. During his time at the museum, he reproduced many of the old and historic totem poles of the Northwest coast.
Hunt is known for carved masks and totem poles. He was influenced by Kwakwaka’wakw artists like Arthur Shaughnessy, and followed their carving tradition by using minimal paint and deep cuts with traditional tools. His work was inspired by his participation and interest in Kwagiulth dances and ceremonies.
Hunt passed on his skills and techniques to his sons, Richard, Tony and Stanley, who have all become master carvers and acclaimed artists in their own right.
- 2017: The Art of Still Life - Nunnington Hall, Chris Beetles Gallery, St. James’s, London, United Kingdom
- 2018: Pacific Northwest Coast - Select works from Private Collections, Mayberry Fine Art, Toronto, Ontario Canada
1983: Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria