Hunt, Henry


Maker Name

Hunt, Henry


Henry Hunt was born in Tsaxis, the Kwakwaka'wakw community of Fort Rupert, B.C in 1923. He was an important artist who helped preserve and promote Indigenous culture and art.
Before Henry took up carving he was a logger. In 1954 Henry Hunt went to work for his father-in-law, Mungo Martin, in Victoria. Hunt studied traditional wood carving under Martin and Arthur Shaughnessy and he became Martin's chief assistant in the Thunderbird Park at the British Columbia Provincial Museum. He also worked in the museum's collections, helping to restore, preserve and promote Kwakwaka'wakw culture.
Mungo Martin died in 1962 and Henry Hunt succeeded him as the park’s Master Carver.
Chief Henry Hunt trained his sons, Tony, Stanley and Richard and all of them went on to establish careers as carvers. Tony became chief assistant carver to his father and together they created a series of important totem poles and other carvings. Henry Hunt remained at the museum for over 20 years until he retired in 1974, and his son Richard took over as Master Carver in the Thunderbird Park carving program.

Notes on Indigeneity, ceramics, appropriation and emulation.

Chief Henry Hunt designed and made Indigenous-themed ceramics during the 1950s/60s - probably using commercial glazes - for the tourist trade. Indigenous artist Laura Wee Láy Láq has also produced a line of Northwest Coast dinnerware called Kwelas, in the 2020s.

Chief Tony Hunt (1942-2017) was one of the artists who, in the 1960s, taught Northwest formline design to the non-Indigenous ceramicist Judy Cranmer, and, in the late 1970s, taught Northwest Coast design and carving to Indigenous ceramicist Laura Wee Láy Láq.

First name


Last name


Date of Birth


Date of Death


Place of Birth

Tsaxis (Fort Rupert, British Columbia)

Place of Death


Mungo Martin

Major Exhibitions

2020/21 Modern in the Making, VAG


Museum of Anthropology
Royal BC Museum

Links to Further Resources
Modern in the Making Post-War Craft and Design in BC (exhibition catalogue), VAG 2020


Allan Collier
Debra E. Sloan

Linked resources

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