Dorothy Grant’s Hummingbird Copper Dress

Meet the Artists of Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists

A blue dress handing on a stand with sleeves made of white and blue material depicting wings.

Dorothy Grant (Haida) with Robert Davidson (Haida/Tlinglit), Hummingbird Copper Dress, 1989, wool, Denver Art Museum Collection: Native Arts acquisition fund, 2010.490 A-C. Photograph © Denver Art Museum. © 1989 Dorothy Grant and Robert Davidson

Artist’s Language

Aajii “Feastwear” gyaangswee Dorothy Grant isgyaan Robert Davidson gud ahl tlaawhlawaagan, ‘gyaan Dorothy gyaangswee tlaawhlagan isgyaan Robert gin k’i k’aalaangan. Aajii Gagaslaawee ‘Form line” hanuu Xaadgee tl’ kya’aang. Gin gya’at’adgee, gin k’idangs, isgyaan gyaangswee k’ehsgad ‘laa Gusdlaang. Gyaangswee Grant isgyaan Davidson ahl Xaadgee Gagaslaawee gyaandagangs. ‘Laagaanang sluu ahl “Feastwear” tl’ Xaadee gyaandaagiiwaang.


Working together, Dorothy Grant and Robert Davidson created these early Feastwear pieces—combining Grant’s design for the garment and Davidson’s form-line drawing. “Form line” is the name given to the shapes and patterns that are foundational to Northwest Coast art. It is found in carvings, blankets, and regalia. Grant and Davidson draw upon these forms to create contemporary couture. The brand name Feastwear references the potlaches, ceremonial community feasts, that are central to Haida culture and community.