Glory and Exile: Haida History Robes of Jut-ke-Nay Hazel Wilson marks the first time this monumental cycle of ceremonial robes by the Haida artist Jut-Ke-Nay (The One People Speak Of)—also known as Hazel Anna Wilson—is viewable in its entirety. On 51 large blankets, Wilson uses painted and appliquéd imagery to combine traditional stories, autobiography, and commentary on events such as smallpox epidemics and environmental destruction into a grand narrative that celebrates the resistance and survival of the Haida people, while challenging the colonial histories of the Northwest Coast.
Of the countless robes Wilson created over fifty-plus years, she is perhaps best known for The Story of K’iid K’iyaas, a series about the revered tree made famous by John Vaillant’s 2005 book The Golden Spruce. But her largest and most important work is the untitled series of blankets featured here. Wilson always saw these works as public art, to be widely seen and, importantly, understood. In addition to essays by Robert Kardosh and Robin Laurence, the volume features texts about each robe by Wilson herself; her words amplify the power of her striking imagery by offering historical and personal context for the people, characters, and places that live within her colossal work. Glory and Exile, which also features personal recollections by Wilson’s daughter Kūn Jaad Dana Simeon, her brother Allan Wilson, and Haida curator and artist Nika Collison, is a fitting tribute to the breathtaking achievements of an artist whose vision will help Haida knowledge persist for many generations to come.