Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Yelthadaas from the series Coppers from the Hood

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas (Canadian, born Masset, Haida Gwaii, 1954)
White gold leaf, oil paint and lacquer on steel
48 7/16 × 63 3/4 in. (123 × 161.9 cm) Weight: 25 lb. (11.3 kg)
Credit Line:
Gift of Stanley L. Rieb, 2015
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 399
Yahgulanaas named his ongoing series Coppers from the Hood for the shield-like totems, or coppers, that Haida chiefs traditionally exchanged during potlaches, communal feasts that formed the basis of the pre-colonial economy on the Northwest Pacific Coast and that are still held today. Many of the artist’s versions are painted on the hoods of Toyota Tercels, which he appreciates both for their aerodynamic shape and for their brand name: a tercel is a male hawk—a raptor related to the artist’s kinship group (the Raven moiety) and this work’s title (Yelthadaas means "white raven"). Just as traditional coppers conveyed the wealth and importance of their bearers, automobiles are often the markers of economic status in the contemporary world.
Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed (verso): 2010-10-27/ mny/ YELTHADAAS
the artist, Vancouver, British Columbia (from 2010; his gift to Rieb); his father-in-law, Stanley L. Rieb, Coupeville, Wash. (until 2015; his gift to MMA)

Related Objects

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold

Artist: Charles Demuth (American, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 1883–1935 Lancaster, Pennsylvania) Date: 1928 Medium: Oil, graphite, ink, and gold leaf on paperboard (Upson board) Accession: 49.59.1 On view in:Gallery 902


Artist: Alexander Calder (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1898–1976 New York) Date: 1941 Medium: Painted aluminum, steel, steel rod, and wire Accession: 42.176a-d On view in:Gallery 920


Artist: Jean Tinguely (Swiss, 1925–1991) Date: 1961 Medium: Steel bars, metal wheel, tubes, cast iron, wire, aluminum, string, electric motor 220 v Accession: 2006.277a-fff On view in:Gallery 925


Artist: Anthony Caro (British, New Malden, Surrey 1924–2013 London) Date: 1984 Medium: Steel Accession: 1984.328a-d On view in:Not on view


Artist: Anish Kapoor (British (born India) 1954) Date: 2007 Medium: Stainless steel Accession: 2008.29 On view in:Not on view