John Livingston interview with Dr. Carolyn Butler-Palmer and Gareth Clayton, Research Assistant with the Williams Oral Art History Project on Thursday, November 20, 2011 at Swan’s Pub, Victoria.
“Well then,” he said, “look John, you know all the contemporary North West Native artists.” He said, “I know all the non-natives, through people like Fran Willis and people like that, I got paintings from hundreds of different artists I have been pursuing, I don’t know the contemporary guys like you do. I would like you to represent me and work with me as an art consultant or an agent on my behalf to acquire pieces for my collection” said Michael.” -John Livingston
JL: “Anyway, Michael sort of…that’s how he sort of prayed, but he was always–his eyes and his ears were always open, what’s going on and what’s going on in art in Victoria and so when the family did this he was like all over this. And I think he was a fan of Trudeau’s anyway. I think he voted for him.”
CBP: “Trudeau was a big guy at that time…”
JL: “So anyways he scooped this up, not only that he bought the line drawing, the graphite art drawing, charcoal sketch. So and you know that’s small money, I bet you he paid less for the painting than the government did for the painting.”
“Tony and I had always said if we had run our Raven Gallery in Vancouver for 20 years, we’d be multimillionaires. Because we were first, there was nothing, there was junk shops, there was…you couldn’t sell a mask in Vancouver. In 1968 you rarely saw a mask for sale in Vancouver, it was all wall plaques and s*** like that. Tourist stuff. -John Livingston
“No tourists don’t walk up the hill and go to the potlache in Alert Bay, there’s no tourists in Alert Bay. But Michael was thrilled to go and it brought a lot of stuff alive to him, he went and sat up on the very top by himself. I said “Michael, we’re gonna be really busy.” I think this was Maxine’s father’s memorial potlache for her mother if I’m not mistaken. It was directly connected to us. So there was no issues with us inviting him, he was our guest at this potlache, because it was our thing.” -John Livingston