Tips on How to Buy and Look For Authentic Canadian Inuit Art (Eskimo Art) Sculptures



Many visitors to Canada will be exposed to Inuit art (Eskimo art) sculptures while touring the country. These are the spectacular handmade sculptures carved from stone by the Inuit artists living in the northern Arctic areas of Canada. While in a few of the significant Canadian cities (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City) or other tourist locations popular with international visitors such as Banff, Inuit sculptures will be seen at different retail stores and showed at some museums. Since Inuit art has been getting a growing number of global exposure, individuals may be seeing this Canadian fine art kind at galleries and museums located outside Canada too. As a result, it will be natural for lots of travelers and art collectors to choose that they would like to acquire Inuit sculptures as great keepsakes for their houses or as really special gifts for others. Assuming that the objective is to get an genuine piece of Inuit art rather than a low-cost traveler replica, the concern develops on how does one differentiate the real thing from the fakes?

It would be pretty disappointing to bring home a piece just to find out later that it isn't really authentic and even made in Canada. If one is lucky enough to be traveling in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their terrific artwork, then it can be safely assumed that any Inuit art piece bought from a local northern store or directly from an Inuit carver would be genuine. One would have to be more mindful elsewhere in Canada, especially in traveler locations where all sorts of other Canadian keepsakes such as t-shirts, hockey jerseys, postcards, crucial chains, maple syrup, and other Native Canadian arts are sold.

The most safe locations to look for Inuit sculptures to make sure authenticity are constantly the reliable galleries that concentrate on Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. A few of these galleries have advertisements in the city tour guide discovered in hotels.

Reputable Inuit art galleries are also listed in Inuit Art Quarterly magazine which adheres completely to Inuit art. These galleries will usually be found in the downtown traveler areas of major cities. When one strolls into these galleries, one will see that there will be only Inuit art and maybe Native art but none of the other normal traveler mementos such as postcards or tee shirts . These galleries will have only genuine Inuit art for sale as they do not deal with fakes or imitations . Simply to be even more secure, make sure that the piece you have an interest in includes a Canadian federal government Igloo tag certifying that it was handcrafted by a Canadian Inuit artist. The Inuit sculpture may be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics but not all genuine pieces are signed. So be aware that an unsigned piece might still be indeed authentic.

Some of these Inuit art galleries likewise have websites so you might go shopping and purchase why not try this out authentic Inuit art sculpture from home anywhere in the world. In addition to these street retail specialty galleries, there are now reliable online galleries that also specialize in authentic Inuit art.

Some tourist shops do carry authentic Inuit art as well as the other touristy souvenirs in order to cater to all types of tourists. Genuine Inuit sculpture is sculpted from stone and therefore needs to have some weight or mass to it. An authentic Inuit sculpture is a one of a kind piece of artwork and nothing else on the store racks will look precisely like it.

Where it ends up being more difficult to determine authenticity are with the recreations that are likewise made from stone. This can be a real gray area to those unfamiliar with authentic Inuit art. They do have mass and may even have some type of tag indicating that it was handmade but if there are other pieces on the shelves that look too comparable in detail, they are most likely not genuine. If a seller claims that such as piece is authentic, ask to see the main Igloo tag that includes it which will have information on the artist, location where it was made and the year it was sculpted. Move on if the Igloo tag is not available. The genuine pieces with the accompanying official Igloo tags will constantly be the highest priced and are typically kept in a different (perhaps even locked) shelf within the shop.


Because Inuit art has actually been getting more and more global direct exposure, individuals might be seeing this Canadian fine art type at galleries and museums situated outside Canada too. If one is fortunate enough to be traveling in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their wonderful art work, then it can be securely assumed that any Inuit art piece purchased from a regional northern store or directly from an Inuit carver would be genuine. Reputable Inuit art galleries are also noted in Inuit Art Quarterly magazine my sources which is dedicated completely to Inuit art. The Inuit sculpture might be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics however not all genuine pieces are signed. Some of these Inuit art galleries likewise have websites so you might go shopping and buy authentic Inuit art sculpture from home anywhere in the world.

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