We are pleased to announce an anonymous gift of significant Inuit art from a collector. The gift includes three prints and sixty-five carvings by modern Inuit artists. The majority are signed and certified by the Government of Canada. The artworks include animals, drummers, hunters, Sednas and transformations. Malaya Akulukjuk, Ohito Ashoona, Robert Davidson, Davidee Itulu, Arnold Kayutak, Tukiki Manomie, Norval Morrisseau, Mary Okheena, Levi Oumaluk, Nuna Parr, and Mosesie Pootoogook are among the artists.
The early works of Inuit art were small and essentially narrative: illustrations of family life, often based upon the intimacy of living in the close quarters of igloos and tents; depictions of hunting on the land that reflected their deep respect and understanding for the animal world, recognizing them a s companions, foes and equals; representations that offered insights into their spiritual beliefs, a complex and often dark world with fantastic beings. Above all, the fact that Inuit live in a harsh environment they make easier with a well-developed sense of humor is immediately apparent in their work.
The variety and quality of Inuit art showcases to the world that Inuit are passionate about sharing their love of their culture and the land that has given them so much. Inuit art comes in so many forms and styles vary from community to community and artist to artist. Getting deep into Inuit art is beyond the scope of this site but we’ll take a look at the various forms and offer you further resources to further your interest.
The most well-known form of Inuit art is likely Inuit sculptures, but Inuit art offers, lithographs and printmaking, soft sculptures and dolls, tapestries, embroidery and beading, drawings and painting and so on. Sculptures are carved from bone, antlers, tusks or ivory, and different types of stone. Over fifty years ago Inuit printmaking was introduced and spread to different communities but some of the most noted came from the Cape Dorset co-operative. Intricate beadwork is another beautiful form of art that takes a great deal of time and skill along with the talent to create beautiful wearable art. Dolls started from scraps of fur designed to pass the time and entertain children has grown into an art form of its own.
Pictured are a few selections from the collection.
Aboriginal voices: Amerindian, Inuit, and Sami theater. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, c1992.
Inuit women artists: voices from Cape Dorset. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre ; Hull, Quebec : Canadian Museum of Civilization ; Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Things made by Inuit. Québec: Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec, c1980.
Arctic vision: art of the Canadian Inuit. / Dayton Museum of Natural History, Ohio; traveling exhibit By: Lipton, Barbara. Archaeology, January/February 1985, Vol. 38, p54-57, 4p
Beauty from a cold world. By: Companiotte, John. Art & Antiques, November 2000, Vol. 23 Issue 11, p104-109, 6p
Inuit Art and the Limits of Authenticity. By: Root, Deborah. Inuit Art Quarterly, Summer2008, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p18-26, 9p
Inuit Art: Markers of Cultural Resilience. By: Igloliorte, Heather. Inuit Art Quarterly, Spring/Summer2010, Vol. 25 Issue 1/2, p4-11, 8p
New Artists, New Media, New Techniques. By: Mitchell, Marybelle. Inuit Art Quarterly, Spring2011, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p19-23, 5p
Our Land: Contemporary Art from the Arctic. By: Kramer, Karen. American Indian Art Magazine, Autumn2006, Vol. 31 Issue 4, p84-93, 10p
Sharing Power. By: Mitchell, Marybelle. Inuit Art Quarterly, Spring2011, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p27-31, 5p
State Support of the Art. By: Mitchell, Marybelle. Inuit Art Quarterly, Spring2011, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p33-36, 4p
Tools, Training, Quarrying. By: Mitchell, Marybelle. Inuit Art Quarterly, Spring2011, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p38-43, 6p