Doug Cranmer


1927 (d. 2006)

Alert Bay, BC

Doug Cranmer was a Hereditary Chief of the Namgis Nation. He received his formal training from Kwakwaka'wakw master carver Mungo Martin in the 1950s. Shortly after, Doug met celebrated Haida artist Bill Reid, and was invited to help him build the Haida Village at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, BC. He helped carve five totem poles and the two large houses there. In 1962, Doug founded The Talking Stick Gallery with A.J. Scow and Dick Bird. In 1967, he was commissioned to carve two large totem poles for an air force base in Saabrucken, Germany. This same year, Canadian Pacific Railway purchased a 20-foot pole from Doug, and this pole was sent to Spain as a gift. These are just two of the many monumental and international projects that Doug completed. In 1970, he taught design and wood carving at the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art at 'Ksan in Hazelton, BC. Although he was perhaps best known for his skills as a carver, Doug Cranmer was also a prolific painter. Between 1974 and 1975, he created an innovative series of 48 paintings that pushed the boundaries of Northwest Coast design. In 1994, the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, BC, produced an exhibition titled Doug Cranmer's Paintings. Doug passed away in November of 2006.