Judith Morgan
I-51691

 

Judith Morgan was born in 1930 in the small Gitksan village of Kitwanga on the Skeena River. Her father was a Tsimshian Chief and her mother was also descended from chiefs.

To give Judith the opportunity for a better education, her parents sent her to the Alberni Indian Residential School on Vancouver Island. Here she was taught by the art teacher and artist, George Sinclair, who encouraged her in her work.

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While still a teenager, Judith won an award from the B.C. Indian Art and Welfare Society. This allowed her to study the designs and carvings of west coast Native art held at the Provincial Museum and the Provincial Archives in Victoria. In 1949 the Provincial Archives of British Columbia purchased five of her paintings.

She also had twenty of her paintings exhibited at the National Museum of Canada in 1949. Most of these paintings were done in pastels and were described by The Gazette as portraying "the traditional customs and haunting legends of the British Columbia Indians".(MacDonald, Colin S., A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Vol. 4, 1974, p. 1279).

Judith studied art at the Kansas City Art Institute. She married the Reverend Willis Fitzpatrick and had five children and then went on to complete a degree at the University of Kansas. She continued to visit Kitwanga and paint "Tsimshian subjects - mostly of the Gitksan heritage." (Judith Morgan, July 10, 1982, BC Archives, Morgan Artist File). In 1983 she moved back to Kitwanga where she remained active in the artistic community. She continues to exhibit her work and teach Gitksan language and cultural art in the district.

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