Who was Bill Reid?

In his own words

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Bill Reid
"My grandfather was about the last of the Haida silversmiths"

I suppose I became familiar with the designs and the design principles through making jewelry in the Haida tradition. My grandfather was about the last of the Haida silversmiths who used traditional designs. And although I didn't learn anything directly from him I got sort of interested in it and studied up from books and so on and have for the past ten or twelve years been making jewelry in Haida design. Then when the university got this grant from Canada Council to build this group of Haida poles, Haida houses, I guess there wasn't anybody else around who knew this particular convention so they called on me and as I say, it was pretty much an act of faith. I have spent two weeks before with Mungo Martin in Victoria and during that time I managed to carve a little figure about three feet high, I guess. And that was all the previous totem pole carving experience I had and all the previous wood carving experience.

Bill Reid carving at the Museum of Anthropology, UBC, Vancouver, 1957. Courtesy Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC Archives.