The Northwest Coast of North America has long been recognized as one of the world's canonical art zones. This volume records and scrutinizes the history of how and why this has come about. A work of critical historiography, it makes accessible for the first time in one place a broad selection of the 250 years of writing on Northwest Coast art. The contributors -- leading scholars, writers, and artists -- provide perspectives on the diverse intellectual traditions that have influenced, stimulated, and clashed with each other. In unsettling the conventions that have shaped the idea of Northwest Coast Native art, this book joins the lively, often heated, and now global, debates about what constitutes Native art and who should decide.