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Doug Cranmer was born in Alert Bay, B.C. in 1927. In
the 1950s, he received his first formal instruction from Kwakwaka'wakw
master carver Mungo Martin. At about the same time, Cranmer met Bill Reid,
and began working with him at the Museum of Anthropology, carving five totem
poles and supervising the construction of the two Haida houses that are now
located on the Museum's grounds.
After completing the UBC project in 1962, Cranmer (with A.J. Scow and Dick
Bird) founded a retail gallery, The Talking Stick. This was one of the few
initiatives at the time through which First Nations art was marketed by
First Nations people. (In the 1940s, Kwakwaka'wakw carver Ellen Neel
started the first such outlet in Stanley Park, Vancouver). Cranmer also
worked for many years as a carving teacher at 'Ksan (in Hazelton, B.C.), at
the Vancouver Centennial Museum (now the Vancouver Museum), and in Alert
Bay. He has been an inspiration to his home community, contributing
extensively to the construction of the U'mista Cultural Centre and the
newly-built Bighouse at Alert Bay. His artworks are displayed in many
public and private collections. Doug passed away in 2006 after a long and inspired career.
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