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Marega's basketseller lamp

Significance 

This decorative lamp, consisting of a molded plaster base and hand-painted shade was made by well-known Vancouver sculptor Charles Marega. The original owner of this lamp was Myrtle Shindler, a good friend of Marega’s and collector of First Nations baskets. Marega is best known for his monumental public works, which differ greatly in style and function from the modest coastal subject of this household lamp. The image of the humble basket seller on the lamp’s base paired with the informal treatment of the lampshade’s teepee scene makes this work of particular interest. It seems that when referencing the tradition of door-to-door basket selling, which was a common practice among First Nations women in the early 20th century, the artist could not resist inserting a stereotypical image of a First Nations dwelling. Teepees were not used by Northwest Coast First Nations, and instead are instead more accurately associated with American Great Plains First Nations cultures.

Marega’s well known works include the art-deco style Lions at the Lions’ Gate Bridge, and the classically-inspired Harding Memorial and sculpture of Captain George Vancouver which are located in Stanley Park and outside City Hall, respectively.

Date Range 
c. 1931 - 1933
Artist 
Charles Marega
Place of Manufacture 
Vancouver
Place of Use 
Vancouver
Dimensions 
34cm x 18cm x 24cm
Museum Location 
Storage
Catalog Number 
H992.135.1a-b
Donor 
Thorne Shindler, 1992