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The McCord Museum Receives 
the Gifts of the Forest

Montreal, 20 June 2002 — Technical expertise meets artistry in a new exhibition of historical and contemporary Aboriginal carving, basketry and bark work. The McCord Museum, in collaboration with Domtar, is proud to present Gifts of the Forest: Native Traditions in Wood and Bark, an exhibition of more than 100 wood and bark objects of artistic, practical and spiritual value. A selection of historical and contemporary pieces shows the continuity of artistic traditions from prehistoric wood working tools to modern woven baskets, and evokes the profound connection between eastern Native peoples and their environment. Carved and painted cradleboards, expertly crafted snowshoes, delicately formed baskets, bowls and spoons are some of the objects displayed for their timeless beauty and practicality.

Each of the wooden objects in Gifts of the Forest is the outcome of an artisan's traditional knowledge, skill and creativity.In the case of the historic objects, most of the makers' names have been lost.Nevertheless, the artifacts themselves speak to the viewer through the power and beauty of their design. Together they represent three centuries of Native artistic practice in the Eastern Woodlands, and contemporary pieces, like a charming strawberry- shaped basket by Passamaquoddy artist Clara Neptune Keezer, are proof that these traditions continue to thrive today.

The McCord Museum has planned a full slate of exciting cultural activities to coincide with Gifts of the Forest. Throughout July and August Native artisans will make regular appearances in the exhibition hall to share their expertise in traditional arts and crafts, using raw materials derived from the forest. A traveling exhibition organized by the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Centre in Mashantucket, Connecticut, Gifts of the Forest is on display at the McCord Museum from June 21, 2002 to March 2, 2003.

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Presented by     

Source and Information:  Nike Langevin
(514) 398-7100, ext. 251

The McCord wishes to acknowledge the support of the ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec and the Arts Council of the Montreal Urban Community.