Henry Speck

Henry Speck, Chief U’dzistalis, came from a prominent family. His parents were ‘Wadzidi Harris from the Da’naxda’xw and Captain John Speck, a Hereditary Chief from the Lawit̕sis on Turnour Island. Henry was a Chief, artist, and a fisherman. He married Lily nee Williams, and together they had many children. A largely self-taught artist, Speck worked in both watercolour and woodcarving. Speck’s first solo exhibition was held in 1964 at the New Design Gallery, and was comprised of forty watercolours. The sixteen page catalogue Kwakiutl Art was one of the earliest attempts to thoroughly analyze and promote Kwakwaka'wakw art in print for commercial purposes. The following year, Speck became artistic director of Chief James Sewid’s Big House project in Alert Bay. Speck also exhibited at the Simon Fraser University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. His work is included in the collections of the British Columbia Provincial Museum, the National Museum of Man, the Glenbow Museum, the San Diego Museum of Man, and the Campbell River Museum. Henry Speck passed away on May 27, 1971.