Tony Hunt (artist)

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Tony Hunt
Born 1942 (age 74–75)
Alert Bay, B.C., Canada
Nationality Canadian
Known for Sculpture, Painting

Tony Hunt (born 1942, Kwakwaka'wakw) is a Canadian First Nations artist noted for his paintings and carved totem poles. Each of the latter is carved in traditional fashion from a single cedar log.

Red cedar totem (1979) by chief Tony Hunt in Bonn, Germany

Early life[edit]

Tony Hunt was born in 1942 at the Kwakwaka'wakw community of Alert Bay, British Columbia as the oldest of three sons of Henry Hunt and his wife. The youth received early training from his maternal grandfather Mungo Martin. Through his maternal line, Hunt is a hereditary chief of the Kwakwaka'wakw.

His father was a professional carver. Hunt and his brothers are also descendants of the renowned ethnologist George Hunt (Tlingit), who collected hundreds of Kwakiutl artifacts for an exhibit at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.


After his grandfather Martin's death in 1962, Hunt became assistant carver to his father Henry Hunt at Thunderbird Park in Victoria, B.C. His younger brothers, Richard Hunt and Stanley C. Hunt, also became professional carvers. In 1970 Hunt opened the Arts of the Raven Gallery in Victoria.

In 1984 Tony Hunt was commissioned by Kraft, Inc. to carve a replacement totem pole, called Kwanusila (Thunderbird), for a Kwakiutl pole donated by James L. Kraft, industrialist, to the city of Chicago in 1929.[1] It was installed at the waterfront of Lake Michigan. After decades in the public park, the pole had suffered weather deterioration and vandalism. With new appreciation for its historic and cultural value, the original pole was sent to the museum in British Columbia for preservation and study. Kwanusila is installed at the lakeside park.[1]


  • 2010, he was awarded the Order of British Columbia.


  • Hunt, Ross (2007) "The Hunt Family's Trip to West Germany to Attend the Bundesgarten Show." Anthropology News, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 20–21.
  • Macnair, Peter L., Alan L. Hoover, and Kevin Neary (1984) The Legacy: Tradition and Innovation in Northwest Coast Indian Art. Vancouver, B.C.: Douglas & McIntyre.


  1. ^ a b Alice Maggio, "Lakefront Totem Pole Contains Many Tales", Gapers Block, 29 July 2006, accessed 19 May 2015

External links[edit]