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



Numerous visitors to Canada will be exposed to Inuit art (Eskimo art) sculptures while touring the country. These are the splendid handmade sculptures sculpted from stone by the Inuit artists residing in the northern Arctic regions of Canada. While in some of the major Canadian cities (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City) or other traveler areas popular with global visitors such as Banff, Inuit sculptures will be seen at various retail shops and displayed at some museums. Since Inuit art has been getting a growing number of worldwide direct exposure, people might be seeing this Canadian art kind at museums and galleries situated outside Canada too. As a result, it will be natural for numerous travelers and art collectors to choose that they wish to buy Inuit sculptures as good mementos for their homes or as extremely special gifts for others. Presuming that the intention is to acquire an authentic piece of Inuit art instead of a low-cost tourist imitation, the question arises on how does one differentiate the genuine thing from the fakes?

It would be pretty disappointing to bring home a piece just to find out later that it isn't genuine or perhaps 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 presumed that any Inuit art piece purchased from a local northern store or directly from an Inuit carver would be authentic. One would need to be more careful in other places in Canada, particularly in tourist areas where all sorts of other Canadian keepsakes such as t-shirts, hockey jerseys, postcards, key chains, maple syrup, and other Native Canadian arts are sold.

The best locations to purchase Inuit sculptures to make sure credibility are always the reputable galleries that concentrate on Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. Some of these galleries have ads in the city tour guide found in hotels.

Reliable Inuit art galleries are also listed in Inuit Art Quarterly publication which is devoted completely to Inuit art. These galleries will normally be located in the downtown tourist locations of major cities. When one strolls into these galleries, one will see that there will be just Inuit art and maybe Native art however none of the other typical tourist keepsakes such as t-shirts or postcards . These galleries will have just authentic Inuit art for sale as they do not deal with fakes or imitations . Simply to be even safer, make sure that the piece you have an interest in features a Canadian government Igloo tag licensing that it was handmade by a Canadian Inuit artist. The Inuit sculpture may be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics however not all genuine pieces are signed. So know that an anonymous piece may still be indeed authentic.

Some of these Inuit art galleries likewise have sites so you might go shopping and buy genuine Inuit art sculpture from home anywhere in the world. In addition to these street retail specialized galleries, there are now credible online galleries that also specialize in genuine Inuit art.

Some tourist shops do carry genuine 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 for that reason needs to have some weight or mass to it. An genuine Inuit sculpture is a one of a kind piece of artwork and nothing else on the shop racks will look exactly like it.

Where it ends up being more difficult to identify authenticity are with the recreations that are also made from stone. This can be a genuine gray area to those unfamiliar with authentic Inuit art. They do have mass and might even have some kind of tag indicating that it was handcrafted but if there are other pieces on the shelves that look too comparable in detail, they are more than likely not genuine. If a seller claims that such as piece is genuine, ask to see the official Igloo tag that includes it which will know on the artist, place where it was made and the year it was sculpted. Move on if the Igloo tag is not offered. The genuine pieces with the accompanying authorities Igloo tags will always be the greatest priced and are generally kept in a different (perhaps even locked) rack within the shop.


Since Inuit art has been getting more and more worldwide exposure, people may be seeing this Canadian great art type at museums and galleries situated outside Canada too. If one is fortunate enough to be traveling in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their terrific artwork, then it can be securely presumed that any Inuit art piece bought from a local northern store or directly from an Inuit carver would be authentic. Trustworthy Inuit art galleries are likewise noted in Inuit Art Quarterly magazine which is devoted entirely 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 sites so you could shop and purchase genuine Inuit art sculpture from house Kurt Criter anywhere in the world.

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