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ODJIG, Daphne

Wikwemikong, Manitoulin Island, 1919
Biography synopsis
Daphne Odjig was born in the Wikwemikong Reservation on Manitoulin Island in 1919. A member of the Huron and the Odawa First Nations communities, Odjig began painting as a little girl with her father and grandfather. Describing herself as too 'impatient' for oils, Odjig works most often in acrylics where she can execute almost as quickly as she can envision. Odjig achieved recognition in the 1960s through her illustrations for "Tales from the Smokehouse" and a first solo exhibition in 1967. A member of the short-lived and so-called 'Indian' Group of Seven also in the 60s, it became apparent that identity was a key issue for the artists as well as for the viewing public. Odjig is quoted: "Why through your art are you trying to convince other people who you are? Express yourself as a person!" Odjig's largest work, "The Indian in Transition" was commissioned by the Museum of Man, today the Museum of Civilization, in Ottawa. The work ultimately measured twenty-seven feet long and was installed in the Museum in 1978 only after a wall was destroyed in Odjig's apartment in order to remove it. Odjig has been honoured internationally for her work. Notable achievements at home include the Canada Silver Jubilee Medal of 1977; an appointment to the Order of Canada in 1987; and election to the Royal Canadian Academy of Art in 1989. More recently, the first quarter of 2008 saw a major retrospective entitled "Daphne Odjig: Four Decades of Prints" which included 95 'lyrical', 'vibrant' and 'spectacular' works, at the Museum of Civilization.
Media used
Book illustration
Pen and Ink
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, 1989
Order of Canada, 1987
File & Archive locations
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
Thunder Bay Art Gallery, ON - Resource Centre
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, QC - Media Centre
University of Calgary Library, AB
Glenbow Archives, AB - Main Catalogue
Edmonton Art Gallery, AB - Library
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC - Library
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library
McMichael Canadian Art Collection, ON - Library and Archives
London Public Library, ON
Artexte Information Centre, QC - Documentation Centre
Vancouver Public Library, BC - Fine Arts and History Department
Alberta Culture and Community Spirit - Arts Branch
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
Algoma University, ON - Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre
Fort Lewis College, CO - Center of Southwest Studies
Canadian Museum of Civilization Archives, QC
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, ON

Writings about
Just Talking About Ourselves. Penticton, British Columbia: Theytus Books, 1994.
"B.C. Aboriginal Art Pioneer Honoured: Odjig one of Eight Artists to Receive $25,000 Prize." Province 21 Mar. 2007: B4.
"Canadian Native Artists Are Featured in Los Angeles Show." Windspeaker 4.40 (12 Dec. 1986): 22.
"Daphne Odjig's Hand an Extension of the Soul. Windspeaker 13.1 (May 1995): 8.
"Manitoulin '78: The Art Conference." Native Perspective 3.2 (1978): 47-48.
"New 'Group of Seven' Emerging in Art." Edmonton Journal (29 Dec. 1973): 24.
"New Book Features Native Paintings by Daphne Odjig." Toronto Star 19 Nov. 1992: MS16.
"Odjig, Daphne. Galeria Shayne." Gazette (Montreal) 19 Nov. 1983: A16.
"Odjig, Daphne. Gallery Phillip." Globe and Mail 21 Nov. 1985: E8.
"Retrospective Reveals Changing Expressions in Daphne Odjig's Art." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 13 Dec. 1985: D14.
"The Bad Medicine Woman and Other Images of Womanhood in the Work of Daphne Odjig." Anima: The Journal of Human Experience 20.1 (Fall 1993): 21-23.
"The Emergence of the Image Makers." Globe and Mail (18 Feb. 1984): E-13.
Acland, John Reid. "Daphne Odjig." First Nations Artists in Canada: A Biographical/Bibliographical Guide, 1960-1999. Montreal: The Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowksy Institute, (2001): 232-239.
Al-Solaylee, Kamal. "Cast Doesn't Do Artshow Justice." Globe and Mail 3 Mar. 2004: R4.
Allen, Glen. "Dark Reflections: Native Artists Map the Legacy of Columbus." Maclean's 105.18 (4 May 1992): 52-53.
Anderson, Janet & Podedworny, Carol. Manitoulin Island - The Third Layer. Thunder Bay, Ontario: The Gallery, 1987.
Beavon, Daniel J.K., Cora Jane Voyageur and David Newhouse. Hidden in Plain Sight: Contributions of Aboriginal Peoples to Canadian Identity and Culture. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005.
Bick, John & Podedworny, Carol. Thunder Bay Art Gallery: The Permanent Collection. Thunder Bay, Ontario: Thunder Bay Art Gallery, 1986.
Bouchard, Marie Ginette. "Les Prix du Gouverneur General 2007." Vie des Arts 51 (Spring 2007): 24.
Boyer, Bob and Carol Podedworny. Odjig: The Art of Daphne Odjig, 1960-2000. Toronto: Key Porter Books, 2001.
Calgary Herald. "Brush in Hand: Daphne Odjig is the Grand Lady of Native Art." Calgary Herald 21 Feb. 1993: C1.
Canadian Press NewsWire. "Canada Post to Issue Christmas Stamp of Daphne Odjib Painting Genesis." Canadian Press NewsWire 6 Jun. 2001.
Cardinal-Schubert, Joane. Time for Dialogue. Calgary: Aboriginal Awareness Society, 1992.
Christakos, Demtra. The Artist as Storyteller: Works in the Permanent Collection. Sudbury, Ontario: Laurentian University Museum and Arts Centre, 1986.
Cinader, Bernhard. Contemporary Native Art of Canada: The Woodland Indians. London, England: Royal Ontario Museum, 1976.
Cinader, Bernhard. Manitoulin Island - The Third Layer. Thunder Bay: Thunder Bay Art Gallery, 1987.
Clark, Janet, ed., Susan Harrison and Richard Hill. The Helen E. Band Collection of First Nations Art: From the Permanent Collection of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery. Thunder Bay, Ontario: Thunder Bay Art Gallery, 1998.
Dept. of Indian, Northern Affairs and Henning Jacobson Prod. Canadian Indian Canvas. National Film Board of Canada, 1973.
Devine, Bonnie et al. The Drawings and Paintings of Daphne Odjig: A Retrospective Exhibition. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2007.
Dewdney, Selwyn. "Birth of a Cree-Ojibway Style of Contemporary Art." One Century Later: Western Canadian Reserve Indians Since Treaty 7. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1978.
Dickason, Olive. Indian Arts in Canada. Ottawa: 1972.
Edinborough, Arnold. "Painter's Lifework a Profound Synthesis." Financial Post 27 Apr. 1985: 26.
Farr, Dorothy and Luckyj, Natalie. From Women's Eyes: Women Painters in Canada. Kingston: Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 1975.
Finn, Chris et al. The Grand Western Canadian Screen Shop, A Print Legend: A Fifteen Year Survey, 1968-1983. Winnipeg, Manitoba: The Grand Western Screen Shop., 1983.
Fry, Jacqueline. "Treaty Numbers 23, 287, 1171." Artscanada 29.3: (Autumn 1972): 72-77.
Fry, Philip. Manitoba Mainstream: People's Art/ Fine Art. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1972.
Gale, Thomson. "Daphne Odjig: Potawatomi Artist." Native North American Almanac. 1997.
General, Dave. "Indian Artists or Artists Who Are Indian?" Native Perspective 3.2 (1978): 32-37.
Gessell, Paul. "Odjig to Receive Governor General Award: Artist Mixes Aboriginal, Contemporary Style." Ottawa Citizen 17 Mar. 2007: F1.
Gessell, Paul. "The Mother of Aboriginal Art: Daphne Odjig's 'Powerful, Popular' Art, on Display at the Museum of Civilization, is Impossible to Ignore." Ottawa Citizen 19 Jan. 2008: H1.
Goddard, Peter. "Family Feeling." Toronto Star 15 Mar. 2008: E7.
Heller, Jules and Nancy. North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century. New York: Garland, 1995.
Henning Jacobson Productions Limited. The Colours of Pride. Ottawa: National Film Board and Henning Jacobson Productions Ltd, 1973.
Hill, Tom. Canadian Art '74. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 1974.
Hill, Tom. Indian Art '79. Brantford, Ontario: Woodland Cultural Centre, 1979.
Hill, Tom. "Canadian Indian Art: Its Death and Rebirth." Art Magazine 5.18 (Summer 1974):10-13.
Houle, Robert. "Odjig: An Artist's Transition." Native Perspective 3.2 (1978): 42-46.
Hume, Christopher. "The New Age of Indian Art." Maclean's 92.4 (22 Jan. 1979): 24-28.
Hume, Christopher. "The Thunderbird Inspired Artist." Toronto Star (19 Feb. 1964): H2.
Hunter, Andrew. Home Base: Notes to an Installation. Kamloops, British Columbia: Kamloops Art Gallery, 1998.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Ascending Culture: An Exhibition of Recent Acquisitions. Hull, Quebec: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1986.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Contemporary Indian Art at Rideau Hall. Hull, Quebec: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 1983.
Kamloops Art Gallery. Daphne Odjig: Four Decades of Prints. Kamloops: Kamloops Art Gallery, 2005.
Keeptwo, Suzanne. "Odjig Exhibit a Statement of Identity." Wind Speaker 26.1 (Apr. 2008): 21.
Kirby, William & Parent, Alain. Exchange/Échange: Grand Western Canadian Screen Shop, Winnipeg; Graff Centre de Conception Graphique, Montréal. Montreal: Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, 1975.
Kritzwiser, Kay. "The Pendulum and the Paintbrush." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 13 Dec. 1985: D14.
Krueger, Pamela. Artists of Northeastern Ontario. Sudbury, Ontario: Laurentian University Museum and Arts Centre, 1986.
Krueger, Pamela. The Christmas Stocking. Sudbury, Ontario: Laurentian University Museum and Arts Centre, 1988.
Lazore, M. "Odjig's Paintings Unveiled at the National Arts Centre." Native Perspective 3.1 (1978): 42.
Lederman, Marsha. "I Never Dreamed I Would Be in the National Gallery." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 17 Jul. 2008: R4.
Logie, Pat Richardson. Chronicles of Pride. Calgary: Detselig Enterprises, 1990.
MacDonald, Colin S. The Dictionary of Canadian Artists. (Volumes 1-8 by Colin S. MacDonald, and volume 9 by Anne Newlands and Judith Parker) Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2009.
Marsh, James, ed. Canadian Encyclopedia Online. Historical Foundation, 2009
Martin, Lee-Ann. "Canadian Indian Art." The McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Kleinburg, Ontario: McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 1989.
Mattes, Catherine. Gatherings: Aboriginal Art from the Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2002.
McIntosh Art Gallery. Links to a Tradition: Symbolism in Contemporary Canadian Indian Art. Indian and Northern Affairs; McIntosh Gallery, 1975.
McKay, Raoul, APTN, NFB, et al. The Life and Work of the Woodland Artists. Vancouver and Winnipeg: Moving Images Distribution and First Voice Multimedia, 2003.
McLaughlin, Gord. "Playwright Creates a New Visual Feast: Native Artist's Works Inspire a Stage Tribute." National Post 21 Feb. 2004: TO 12.
McLuhan, Elizabeth and R. M. Vanderburgh. Daphne Odjig: A Retrospective, 1946-1985. Thunder Bay, Ontario: Thunder Bay National Exhibition Centre, 1985.
McLuhan, Elizabeth and Vanderburgh, R.M. Daphne Odjig: A Retrospective, 1946-1985. Thunder Bay, Ontario: 1985.
McMaster, Gerald et al. In the Shadow of the Sun: Perspectives on Contemporary Native Art. Hull, Quebec: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1993.
Menitove, Marcy and Danford, Joanne, eds. Woodlands: Contemporary Art of the Anishnabe. Thunder Bay, Ontario: 1989.
Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery & Carmen Robertson. From Wigwas to Canvas: Generations of Woodland Art: A Mackenzie Art Gallery Provincial Outreach Exhibition. Regina: Mackenzie Art Gallery, 2002.
Ojibwe Cultural Foundation. Anishnabe Mee-Kun: A Circulating Exhibition of Art by Anishnabe Artists of the Manitoulin Island Area. Manitoulin Island, Ontario: Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, 1980.
Patterson, Nancy-Lou. "Shaking Tents and Medicine Snakes: Traditional Elements in Contemporary Woodland Indian Art." Artmagazine (Summer 1976): 52-57.
Perry, Richard. " 'A Painbrush in my Hand' by Daphne Odjig." Books in Canada 22.3 (Apr. 1993): 30-32.
Phillips, Ruth B. Trading Identities: The Souvenir in Native North American Art from the Northeast, 1700-1900. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1998.
Phillips, Ruth B. "Art History and the Native-made Object: New Discourses, Old Differences?" Native American Art in the Twentieth Century. New York: Routledge, 1999.
Podedworny, Carol. Woodlands: Contemporary Art of the Anishnabe. Thunder Bay: Thunder Bay Art Gallery, 1989.
Posner, Michael. "Eight Artists Prized for Their Work." Globe and Mail (Toronto) 21 Mar. 2007: R1.
Poulos, Ted. New Prints from the Screen Shop. Winnipeg, Manitoba: The Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1973.
Pringle, Heather. "Spirits Journey: The Life and Art of Daphne Odjig." Equinox 5 (Jul./Aug. 1986): 50-59.
Royal Ontario Museum. Contemporary Native Art of Canada - Manitoulin Island. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 1978.
Rushing, W. Jackson. Native American Art in the Twentieth Century. London and New York: Routledge, 1999.
Schwarz, Herbert. "Daphne Odjig." Arts West 2.2 (1977): 12-15.
Schwarz, Herbert T. Contes Erotiques Indiens. Montreal: Editions du Jours, 1974.
Southcott, Mary E. The Sound of the Drum: The Sacred Art of the Anishnabec. Erin, Ontario: Boston Mills Press, 1984.
Stevens, Valerie. Treasures of Canada. Toronto: Samuel-Stevens, 1981.
Sydie, R.A. " 'A Paintbrush in my Hand', by Daphne Odjig." Canadian Ethnic Studies 27.1 (1995): 176-177.
Syncrude Canada Ltd. Canada's First People: A Celebration of Contemporary Native Visual Arts. Fort McMurray, Alberta: Syncrude Canada, 1992.
Taylor-Garcia, Daphne. Cultural Grammars, Revitalist Identities, Indigenous Narratives. Peterborough: The Author, 2000.
Tippett, Maria. By a Lady. Toronto: Viking, 1992.
Vedan, Barbara. "Daphne Odjig: The Indian in Transition." Arts West 3.6 (Nov./Dec. 1978): 31-33.
Warman, Christopher. "Art Broke a Taboo." Times 28 May 1982: 15.
Warner, John Anson. "Contemporary Algonkian Legend Painting." American Indian Art Magazine 3.3 (Summer 1978).
Warner, John Anson. "New Visions in Canadian Plains Painting." American Indian Art Magazine 10 (Spring 1985): 46-53, 77.
Wigmore, Donnalu and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. "Spirit Speaking Through." Spectrum Toronto: National Film Board and CBC Toronto, 1982.
Winnipeg Art Gallery. Treaty Numbers 23, 287, 1171: Three Indian Painters of the Prairies. Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1972.
Woodley, Barbara. Portraits of Canadian Women in Focus. Toronto: Doubleday Canada Limited, 1993.
Zepp, Norman. Two Worlds: Contemporary Canadian Indian Art From the Collection of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Regina, Saskatchewan: The Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, 1985.
Zuk, W. M. Art First Nations: Tradition and Innovation, Eastern and Northern Woodlands. Montreal and Champlain, NY: Art Image Productions, 1992.

Writings by
Odjig, Daphne. Daphne Odjig Slide Collection. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba, ?.
Odjig, Daphne. Daphne Odjig. Ottawa: Canadian Indian Marketing Services, 1977.
Odjig, Daphne. Legends of Nanabush. Boston: Ginn, 1971.
Odjig, Daphne. Nanabush and the Chipmunk. Toronto: Ginn, 1971.
Odjig, Daphne. Nanabush and the Dancing Ducks. Toronto: Ginn, 1971.
Odjig, Daphne. Nanabush and the Rabbit. Toronto: Ginn, 1971.
Odjig, Daphne. Nanabush and the Spirit of Thunder. Toronto: Ginn, 1971.
Odjig, Daphne. Nanabush and the Spirit of Winter. Toronto: Ginn, 1971.
Odjig, Daphne. Nanabush and the Wild Geese. Toronto: Ginn, 1971.
Odjig, Daphne. Nanabush and the Wild Rosebushes. Toronto: Ginn, 1971.
Odjig, Daphne. Nanabush Loses His Eyeballs. Toronto: Ginn, 1971.
Odjig, Daphne. Nanabush Punishes the Racoon. Toronto: Ginn, 1971.
Odjig, Daphne. Nanbush and Mandomin. Toronto: Ginn, 1971.
Odjig, Daphne. Odjig: The Art of Daphne Odjig, 1966 - 2000. Toronto: Key Porter Books, 2001.
Odjig, Daphne and Indian Prints of Canada. Catalogue. Winnipeg: Odjig Indian Prints of Canada, 197?.
Odjig, Daphne, Rosamond M. Vanderburgh and Beth Southcott. A Paintbrush in My Hand. Toronto: Natural Heritage/Natural History, 1992.
Schwarz, Herbert T., Illustrated by Daphne Odjig. Tales from the Smokehouse. Edmonton: Hurtig, 1974.

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