Part of the University of British Columbia, the MOA has one of the world's leading collections of Northwest Coast First Nations art. The Great Hall displays dramatic cedar poles, bentwood boxes, and canoes adorned with traditional Northwest Coast–painted designs. On clear days, the gallery's 50-foot-tall windows reveal a striking backdrop of mountains and sea. Another highlight is the work of the late Bill Reid, one of Canada's most respected Haida artists. In The
Raven and the First Men (1980), carved in yellow cedar, he tells a Haida story of creation. Reid's gold-and-silver jewelry work is also on display, as are exquisite carvings of gold, silver, and argillite (a black shale found on Haida Gwaii, also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands) by other First Nations artists. The museum's visible storage section displays, in drawers and cases, contain thousands of examples of tools, textiles, masks, and other artifacts from around the world. The Koerner Ceramics Gallery contains 600 pieces from 15th- to 19th-century Europe. Behind the museum are two Haida houses, set on the cliff over the water. Free guided tours—given several times daily (call for confirm times)—are immensely informative. For an extra C$5 you can rent a VUEguide, an electronic device which senses where you are in the museum and shows relevant artist interviews, archival footage, and photographs of the artifacts in their original contexts, on a hand-held screen. Arthur Erickson designed the cliff-top museum which also has an excellent book and fine-art shop and a café. To reach the museum by transit, take any UBC-bound bus from Granville Street downtown to the university bus loop, a 10-minute walk from the museum. Pay parking is available in the Rose Garden parking lot, across Marine Drive from the museum.
University of British Columbia, 6393 N.W. Marine Dr., Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z2, Canada