Object photography

View of the artwork on display in 'Shorelines'; Peabody Essex Museum; 2001 through 2004.
View of the artwork on display in 'Shorelines'; Peabody Essex Museum; 2001 through 2004.
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Object description

  • Penobscot Artist
  • Model canoe, 1878
  • Wood, birchbark, plant fiber
  • Maine, Northeastern United States
  • L: 38 1/2 in, W: 7 5/8 in, D: 6 1/2 in (L: 97.8 cm, W: 19.4 cm, D: 16.5 cm)
  • Gift of Mr. Edward S. Moseley, 1979
  • E28528
  • Work attributed to Joe Polis (also known as Jo Polis)
  • Narrative scene etched by scraping the outer layer of birchbark to reveal the lighter, inner layer

This birchbark canoe was made for sale in Old Town, Maine in August, 1878, during the height of the summer season, when tourists bought souvenirs such as this en masse. The exterior of the canoe is decorated with lovely scrolling curve and floral motifs, while the bottom depicts a winter scene with a hunter, a moose, and a clumsy snowshoer.