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Tommy Joseph, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Three Piece Suit (detail), 2009. Tommy Joseph, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Three Piece Suit, 2009.
Tommy Joseph, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Three Piece Suit (detail), 2009.
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Tommy Joseph, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Three Piece Suit, 2009.
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Tommy Joseph

Informed by traditional art of the Tlingit tribe, Tommy Joseph utilizes antique hand tools and time-honored methods of wood working. However, Joseph works fully in the present, telling stories about those around him through the language of Tlingit iconography. For many years, carving had fallen out of favor, only being practiced as show for the benefit of tourists. Joseph is a leader, as well as a teacher, amongst a growing number of wood carvers who are reinvigorating the art and its centrality to their local identity.
 
Joseph collaborated with The Fabric Workshop and Museum to produce Three Piece Suit, a man’s suit made of fabric custom designed with repeating patterns of an eagle and a wolf, creating a modern, wearable representation of Tlingit totemic motifs. The exhibition will also feature an array of wooden helmets he carved and painted in the fashion of old Tlingit warrior armor.

Bio
Born 1964. Lives and works in Alaska.
Tommy Joseph is a carver who lives and works in the city of Sitka on the southeastern Alaska panhandle. Belonging to the Eagle Moiety, Kaagwaantaan Clan, Joseph works primarily with wood, producing objects such as totem poles, warrior helmets, and bentwood boxes.