Collection 36 - Gordon Miller collection

010 Ninstints Village painting 1

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Gordon Miller collection

General material designation

  • Graphic material

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  • Source of title proper: Title of collection based on the creator of the records.

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Physical description area

Physical description

9 watercolours : watercolour and pencil on art board ; 91 x 66 cm
1 painting : acrylic on paper mounted to wood ; 145 x 76 cm
1 drawing : blueprint reproduction ; 106 x 50 cm

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1932 -)

Biographical history

Gordon Miller is a freelance artist who currently lives and works in Vancouver, BC. Miller was born in Winnipeg in 1932 and attended the Vancouver School of Art from 1950 to 1955. In 1977 he began working as a freelance artist, illustrator, and graphic designer, completing major contracts for the UBC Museum of Anthropology, Royal British Columbia Museum, and National Film Board. He also produced illustrations for the UBC Press, Canadian Geographic, Readers Digest, Historical Atlas of Canada, Parks Canada, and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. An avid sailor since his youth, historical sailing ships and maritime scenes are the subject of much of Miller’s artwork.

Gordon Miller has completed a number of commissions for the UBC Museum of Anthropology including contracts for creating large watercolour illustrative panels, many of which were meant to recontextualize material objects from the museum’s collection by showing them in their historical context being used for their original functions.

Custodial history

The watercolours were originally incorporated into the Herb Watson fonds, due to the fact that eight of them were commissioned for use in the exhibit "The Four Seasons: Food Getting in British Columbia Prehistory," which Watson curated.

The Ninstints painting (item #010), dated 1983, was brought to the archives by William McLennan. It was being stored in his office.

The Ninstints drawing (item #011) was found in the archives' backlog.

Scope and content

The collection consists of nine large watercolour illustrative panels commissioned by the UBC Museum of Anthropology, eight of which were commissioned for the exhibit "The Four Seasons: Food Getting in British Columbia Prehistory," which ran from April to November 1979. The other watercolour is from an unidentified exhibit or sourcebook.

The collection also contains one painting that was commissioned by the museum for a publication (Museum Note, no.12, "Ninstints: World Heritage Site"), as well as a blueprint reproduction of a related drawing. These are renderings of how the houses and poles on a beach at the Ninstints village site might have looked when they were in use. The rendering is based on George MacDonald's map.

Collection consists of the following items:

001: The Four Seasons – Spring – Interior [1979?]
002: The Four Seasons – Spring – Coast [1979?]
003: The Four Seasons – Summer – Interior [1979?]
004: The Four Seasons – Summer – Coast [1979?]
005: The Four Seasons – Autumn – Interior [1979?]
006: The Four Seasons – Autumn – Coast [1979?]
007: The Four Seasons – Winter – Interior [1979?]
008: The Four Seasons – Winter – Coast [1979?]
009: Haida six beam house 1993
010: [Ninstints village painting] 1983
011: [Ninstints village, drawing for Museum Note] 1983

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Watercolours transferred to the archives by curator Herb Watson in 1990.
Painting transferred to the archives by curator Willaim McLennan in 2006.


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

MOA owns rights but artist’s permission is required for reproduction.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Item list available.

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Related materials


Physical location note

Items 001-009 and 011 located in map cabinet drawer #4
Item 010 located on top of map cabinet

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised December 8, 2015 (item list and physical location added)
Updated May 2016 (item 010 added)
Updated June 2016 (item 011 added)

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Script of description


Accession area