Published: 1987, English translation of 1938 German original
Hans Himmelheber describes the cultural and artistic heritage of the Yup'ik in southwestern Alaska during the late 1930s. His work is remarkable because he emphasized drawing, carving, and painting as part of a narrative process instead of focusing on Yup'ik art as artifacts. Eskimo Artists is rich in examples attributed to named orators, and interpretation is kept to a minimum. Himmelheber includes family histories, daily and ceremonial activities of the men and women he met, and their opinions about artistic expression.
"Hans Himmelheber was the first person to study Alaskan Eskimo art from the view of
the artists as well as their art. . . . This study stands as a historical document
of a time irretrievable."
"The illustrations are clear and compelling, and the characters of the artists as
they emerge in the text and photos are fascinating. The historical value of this book