Museum of Anthropology
Part of the University of British Columbia, this museum houses one of the finest collections of Northwest Coast Aboriginal art, including bentwood boxes, feast dishes, totem poles, and canoes from the Haida and Coast Salish people. Some of these artifacts are displayed in a soaring grand hall with views of the Point Grey cliffs. Visitors can also look forward to a respectable European ceramics collection, with earthenware and stoneware from the 16th to 19th centuries, and a rotunda with works from Haida artist Bill Reid, including the massive Raven and the First Men, made out of laminated yellow cedar.
By Lisa Cheng
An Introduction to the First Nations
The Anthropology Museum at the University of British Columbia is a bit of a journey from downtown, but the collection is worth the effort. While there are many items from Asia, the museum's strength is, not surprisingly, works from the First Nations of Canada's West Coast. Enormous totem poles can be found both in the museum and throughout the grounds. The building itself is by one of Canada's most important contemporary architects, Arthur Erickson, whose design was inspired by the post-and-beam construction of coastal First Nations peoples.
By John Clifford, AFAR Travel Advisor
Artifacts At The MOA
The UBC Museum of Anthropology has an incredible collection of artifacts from all over the world. It's the most extensive collection I have ever seen, not to mention an excellent resource for the history and contemporary perspectives of the First Nations in Canada. Don't miss it!
By Ian Heimlich
Vancouver's Museum of Anthropology
It's a little bit out of the way but worth the effort. The Museum of Anthropology is located in University of British Columbia's grounds and so you should make you have some time to walk around the lovely grounds. There are great views to be had of the mountains and in the spring there's lovely gardens and some pretty cool architecture.
Bill Reid Rotunda & Sculpture
Bill Reid is one Canada's greatest artists. "The Raven and the First Men" depicts the Haida creation story (Haida being indigenous people in British Columbia, more broadly included in the "First Nations"). The rotunda itself also displays some of his other work in gold, silver, and wood.
Great Collection of First Nations art and artifacts
If you have an interest in anthropology, the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver is a must-see. Highlights are the beautiful The Raven and the First Men sculpture by Bill Reid, various large Musqueam artifacts, and a varied and wonderful textile collection.
Museum of Anthropology
One of world's greatest artifact collections occupies this museum at the University of British Columbia, seven miles west of downtown. Architect Arthur Erickson designed the building to echo the area's post-and-beam traditions. The interior teems with First Nations art from canoes to totem poles and bentwood boxes. Of especial note: the groundbreaking Gallery of Northwest Coast Masterworks, opened in 2017, and Bill Reid's "The Raven and the First Men." The yellow-cedar sculpture illustrates a Haida creation myth, where the trickster god coaxes humans out of their clamshell and into the world. Some emerge eagerly, but one has turned tail to dive back in. Savvy travelers often combine a visit here with Wreck Beach or the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.
By Amanda Castleman, AFAR Local Expert
6393 NW Marine Dr, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2, Canada
Fri - Wed 10am - 5pm
Thur 10am - 9pm