Tips on How to Purchase and Shop for Authentic Canadian Inuit Art (Eskimo Art) Sculptures



Many visitors to Canada will be exposed to Inuit art (Eskimo art) sculptures while touring the nation. These are the spectacular handmade sculptures sculpted from stone by the Inuit artists living in the northern Arctic areas of Canada. While in some of the significant Canadian cities (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City) or other traveler locations popular with international visitors such as Banff, Inuit sculptures will be seen at different retail stores and showed at some museums. Given that Inuit art has been getting more and more global exposure, individuals may be seeing this Canadian fine art form at museums and galleries situated outside Canada too. As a result, it will be natural for lots of tourists and art collectors to choose that they want to purchase Inuit sculptures as good keepsakes for their houses or as very distinct presents for others. Presuming that the objective is to acquire an genuine piece of Inuit art instead of a inexpensive traveler replica, the question occurs on how does one tell apart the genuine thing from the phonies?

It would be quite frustrating to bring home a piece just to learn later on that it isn't really genuine or perhaps made in Canada. If one is fortunate enough to be taking a trip in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their fantastic artwork, then it can be safely presumed that any Inuit art piece purchased from a regional northern shop or straight from an Inuit carver would be genuine. One would have to be more careful elsewhere in Canada, especially in traveler locations where all sorts of other Canadian souvenirs such as tee shirts, hockey jerseys, postcards, key chains, maple syrup, and other Native Canadian arts are sold.

The safest locations to buy Inuit sculptures to ensure credibility are constantly the reputable galleries that focus on Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. Some of these galleries have advertisements in the city tour guide found in hotels.

Reputable Inuit art galleries are also noted in Inuit Art Quarterly publication which is devoted totally to Inuit art. When one walks into these galleries, one will see that there will be only Inuit art and perhaps Native art however none of the other normal tourist mementos such as tee shirts or postcards . The Inuit sculpture may be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics but not all authentic pieces are signed.

Some of these Inuit art galleries also have websites so you might go shopping and buy authentic Inuit art sculpture from home anywhere in the world. In addition to these street retail specialty galleries, there are now trusted online galleries that also specialize in authentic Inuit art.

Some traveler stores do bring authentic Inuit art as well as the other touristy keepsakes in order to cater to all types of tourists. Genuine Inuit sculpture is sculpted from stone and for that reason must have some weight or mass to it. An authentic Inuit sculpture is a one of a kind piece of art work and nothing else on the shop shelves will look precisely like it.

Where it ends up being more difficult to figure out authenticity are with the recreations that are likewise made of stone. This can be a genuine gray area to those not familiar with authentic Inuit art. They do have mass and might even have some type of tag suggesting that it was handcrafted however if there are other pieces on the shelves that look too similar 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 features it which will have information on the artist, place where it was made and the year it was sculpted. Move on if the Igloo tag is not readily available. The authentic pieces with the accompanying official Igloo tags will always be the greatest priced and are usually kept in a separate ( possibly even locked) rack within the shop.


Given that Inuit art has actually been getting more and more international 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 taking a trip in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their terrific art work, then it can be securely presumed that any Inuit art piece bought from a regional northern store or directly from an Inuit carver would be authentic. Trusted Inuit art galleries are also listed in Inuit Art Quarterly magazine which is devoted entirely Kurt Criter Denver 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 could shop and purchase genuine Inuit art sculpture from house anywhere in the world.

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