Raven and the Moon, 1978

Marvin Oliver
(American | Quinault | Isleta-Pueblo, born 1946, died 2019)

Location: Peninsula College, Port Angeles


Late Native American artist Marvin Oliver's (Quinault/Isleta) hand-carved and painted cedar panel Raven and the Moon is part of his body of sculptures that celebrate Northwest Coastal tradition and culture. Oliver created the panel using traditional Northwest Coast designs, colors, and motifs. Raven is a common character in Pacific Northwest creation stories and is often a trickster and shape-shifter.

This artwork was acquired for the State Art Collection in partnership with Peninsula College.


Seattle-based Quinault and Isleta-Pueblo artist Marvin Oliver (1946-2019) was a master carver, sculptor, and printmaker producing works in cedar wood, bronze, glass, steel, and paper.

Oliver was born in Shelton on southern Puget Sound and worked within the traditions of Native American Northwest Coast designs and themes. He was also an important influence on contemporary Native American art and artists. He described his art as "formulated by merging the spirit of past traditions with those of the present... to create new horizons for the future." Many of his artworks express his ideas and Native American stories about life, time, traditions, ancestors, the universe, and his hope for future generations.

Oliver earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Francisco State University in 1970 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Washington in 1973. He was Professor Emeritus of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington and Adjunct Curator of Contemporary Native American Art at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (both in Seattle). In the 1970s, he began a tradition of an annual “Raven’s Feast” dinner at the University of Washington to celebrate the accomplishments of Native American and Alaska Native graduates. He also gifted one of his prints to each graduate. Raven’s Feast has grown into a cornerstone of the UW Native community.

Material CategorySculpture - wood
MediumCarved and painted cedar wood
Dimensions4 ft x 8 ft
ID NumberWSAC1978.035.000
Acquisition MethodSite responsive commission
Artist LocationWashington, United States
Location Information
AgencyPeninsula College
Artwork LocationPeninsula College
Library, Building B
WA CountyClallam
Site TypeCollege
Address1502 East Lauridsen Blvd.
Port Angeles, WA 98362
Geo. Coordinates48.100849, -123.414124
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