Dudley C. Carter

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Signature of Dudley C. Carter on his carving of Chief Spokan Garry.

Dudley C. Carter (1891–1992) was a woodcarver from the Pacific Northwest. His works are on display in the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon and California. There are also works of his on display in Japan and Germany.

Carter was a participant in the "Art in Action" program during the 1940 season of the 1939-40 Golden Gate International Exposition. He was also the first King County, Washington Parks and Recreation artist in residence when he was 96 years old.

Early life[edit]

Carter was born to a pioneer family on May 6, 1891 in New Westminster, Canada. He was a timber cruiser and forest engineer most of his life, exploring and mapping Pacific Northwest wilderness. The chief inspiration for Carter's art was his childhood among the Kwakiutl and Tlingit Indians. He worked using primitive tools, such as the wood ax.

Diego Rivera Project and City College of San Francisco[edit]

Carter was a participant in the "Art in Action" program during the 1940 season of the 1939-40 Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. During that time he became a friend of Diego Rivera, who included Carter three separate times in his mural Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on this Continent.[1] Rivera said the following about Carter:

Here in the Fine Arts Building there is a man carving wood. This man was an engineer, an educated and sophisticated man. He lived with the Indians and then he became an artist, and his art for awhile [sic] was like Indian art—only not the same, but a great deal of Indian feeling had passed into him and it came out in his art. Now, what he carves is not Indian any more, but his own expression—and his own expression now has in it what he has felt, what he has learned from the Indians. That is right, that is the way art should be. First the assimilation and then the expression. Only why do the artists of this continent think that they should always assimilate the art of Europe? They should go to the other Americans for their enrichment, because if they copy Europe it will always be something they cannot feel because after all they are not Europeans.[1]

There are three works by Carter on the City College Campus, The Ram (sometimes Mountain Ram),Goddess of the Forest, and The Beast.[2]

Influence in the Seattle, Washington, area[edit]

When 96 years old, Carter became the first artist-in-residence of the King County Parks and Recreation Department.[3]

He had a home at 7447 159th Place Northeast in Redmond, Washington. Located in Slough House Park, the house was named "Haida House Studio." It is now owned by the city of Redmond.

Upon his death, Congressman Rod Chandler honored Carter with remarks in the Congressional Record.[2]

Selected works[edit]

Various works by Carter:

  • Forest Deity at Bellevue Square Shopping Center, Bellevue
  • Visions of the Deep at the Northwest Arts Center, 9825 Northeast 24th Street, Bellevue
  • Chief Spokan Garry at St. Dunstan's Church of the Highlands Parish, Shoreline, Washington, carved in 1961
  • Adventures in Western Waters at the entrance to Northwest Hospital, 1550 North 115th Street, Seattle, carved in 1987
  • A totem pole at the entrance to Northgate Shopping Center, Seattle, in 1952. Removed from the mall in 2007; extensively restored by the Washington Suquamish tribe and placed on the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort grounds in February 2008.[3]
  • The Legend of the Moon at King County's Marymoor Park in Redmond, carved in 1977
  • Three works titled Faith, Hope, and Love on entrance wall of Bayview Retirement Community, 11 W. Aloha, Queen Anne. carved approx. 1960
  • High Mountain Companions at Dudley Carter Park, Redmond, Washington.
Gallery of Works
1961 carving of Chief Spokan Garry by Carter
1961 carving of Chief Spokan Garry by Carter 
Mountain animals carved from wood
High Mountain Champions 


  1. ^ Theme, Diego Rivera Mural Project. Retrieved March 25, 2006.
  3. ^ http://blog.kitsapimages.com/2008/02/i-spent-most-of-today-watching.html