Our Current Inventory

Carl Beam (1943-2005) was born in M’Chigeeng, West Bay, Manitoulin Island, of Ojibway heritage.  His work strongly expresses Aboriginal cultural and political history in Canada and globally through the use of diverse media such as drawing, watercolour, etching, non-silver photography, photo transfer, photo emulsion, installation and ceramics.

His work is found in major Canadian and international collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y.; and has been exhibited throughout North America as well as in Italy, Denmark, Germany and China.

As an artist, he has been instrumental in the development of art for Canada’s First Nations. His style has exerted a strong influence on a generation of Aboriginal artists.

He obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria and did post-graduate work at the University of Alberta.

Carl Beam was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts in 2000. He resided in M’Chigeeng, Manitoulin Island, prior to his death in July 2005.


Jennifer Watson, Alexandra Luke: A Tribute (1977); Joan Murray, Alexandra Luke: Continued Searching (1987); Margaret Rodgers, Locating Alexandra (1995).


  • 1975-76 – Graduate Studies, University of Alberta​
  • 1974 – B.F.A., University of Victoria, B.C.
  • 1971 – Kootenay School of Art, B.C.

Retrospective Exhibitions:

  • 2011 – Carl Beam, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (Oct. 2010 – Jan. 2011)
  • 2011 – Exhibition of Works by Carl Beam, La Parete Gallery, Toronto (April – May, 2011)
  • 2006 – Carl Beam: Breaking the Rules, Galerie d’art Vincent, Ottawa, Ontario

Selected Collections

  • National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Museum of Civilization, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Canada Art Bank – Canada Council
  • Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario
  • Vancouver Art Gallery, British Columbia
  • Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY
  • McMichael Collection of Canadian Art, Kleinberg, Ontario
  • Calgary Nickel Arts Museum, Alberta

Select Solo Exhibitions

  • 2005 – Art Gallery of Algoma, Sault Ste-Marie, Ontario
  • Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • Art Gallery of Minden, Minden, Ontario
  • Art Gallery of Peterborough, Peterborough, Ontario
  • 2004 – It’s all Relative: Carl, Ann & Anong Beam, Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery, Waterloo, Ontario
  • 2003 – It’s all Connected: Carl & Ann Beam, Gardiner Ceramic Museum, Toronto, Ontario
  • Gatherings, National Museum Of History, Taiwan
  • Feigned Memories, The University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Alberta
  • 2002 – The Whale of Our Being, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa
  • Selected Works, Steel City Gallery, Hamilton, Ontario​
  • Shamans and Ravens: Carl Beam, Deleon White Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
  • 2001 – The Whale of Our Being, De Leon White Gallery, Toronto
  • 2000 – Group Show: Works from Novak Graphics, Shanghai, China
  • 2000 – Reconstructing Reason: the Koan of Carl Beam, Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa
  • 1999 Epistemological Reconstruction Work, De Leon White Gallery, Toronto
  • New Works, De Leon White Gallery, Toronto
  • 1997 – Notification, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston
  • Transitions, Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris, France
  • Environmental Canada Project, McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa
  • Margins: Food/Shelter, De Leon White Gallery, Toronto
  • 1996 – Oh! Canada. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
  • 1995 – Circolo Arcinboldo, La Spezia, Italy
  • Four Italian Exhibitions of Columbus Boat, De Leon White Gallery, Toronto
  • Neon Arts Contemporanea, Bologna, Italy
  • Via Farini, Milan, Italy
  • Leon V-Idea, Genoa, Italy
  • Indian Time, Brandts Klaederfabrik, Odense, Denmark
  • 1994 – McMichael Canadian Collection, Kleinberg
  • Land, Spirit and Power, Nickel Arts Museum, Calgary, Alberta
  • Reading the Language of Culture, Hamilton Art Gallery, Hamilton
  • Land Spirit and Power, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas
  • 1993 Indigena, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Earth, Spirit and Power – Within the Shadow of the Sun, The York Quay Gallery, Toronto
  • Burying the Ruler, International Symposium – Native American Art Association Panel Member, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Fragile Power: Explorations of Men, Newton Art Centre, Newtonville, Massachusetts
  • The Columbus Suite, Gettysburg College Art Gallery, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
  • Arnold Gotlieb Gallery, Toronto
  • The Columbus Suite, The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon, Manitoba
  • Land, Spirit and Power, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan
  • Adobe Project: Living in Mother Earth, London Regional Art Gallery and Historical Museum, London, Ontario
  • Indian Territories, Renee Fotouhi Fine Art East, Long Island, NY
  • 1992 – La Parete Gallery, Toronto
  • Indigena, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec
  • Land, Spirit and Power – First Nations, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
  • Ufundi Gallery, Ottawa
  • Look Ma, No Mortgage, Arnold Gotlieb Gallery, Toronto
  • Colours of Humanity, The Sky Dome, Toronto
  • The Columbus Suite, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
  • The Columbus Suite, Two Rivers Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • The Columbus Boat, The Weil Gallery, Corpus Christie State University, Texas
  • The Columbus Boat, The Power Plant, Toronto
  • 1989 – Beyond History, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Indian Art’89, Woodland Cultural Centre, Brantford, Ontario
  • In the Shadow of the Sun, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec​
  • In the Shadow of the Sun, Dortmund, Germany