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



Numerous visitors to Canada will be exposed to Inuit art (Eskimo art) sculptures while exploring the country. These are the magnificent handmade sculptures sculpted 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 traveler areas popular with worldwide visitors such as Banff, Inuit sculptures will be seen at different retail stores and showed at some museums. Considering that Inuit art has actually been getting increasingly more global exposure, people might be seeing this Canadian fine art kind at museums and galleries located outside Canada too. As a result, it will be natural for many tourists and art collectors to choose that they wish to buy Inuit sculptures as nice keepsakes for their houses or as really special presents for others. Presuming that the intention is to get an genuine piece of Inuit art rather than a low-cost tourist imitation, the question arises on how does one differentiate the genuine thing from the fakes?

It would be pretty frustrating to bring home a piece only to learn later on that it isn't authentic and even 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 assumed that any Inuit art piece bought from a local northern shop or directly from an Inuit carver would be authentic. One would have to be more cautious somewhere else in Canada, particularly in traveler areas where all sorts of other Canadian souvenirs such as t-shirts, hockey jerseys, postcards, key chains, maple syrup, and other Native Canadian arts are sold.

The safest places to shop for Inuit sculptures to ensure credibility are always the credible galleries that specialize in Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. A few of these galleries have ads in the city tourist guides discovered in hotels.

Credible Inuit art galleries are likewise listed in Inuit Art Quarterly publication which is devoted entirely to Inuit art. These galleries will usually be found in the downtown traveler areas of significant cities. When one walks into these galleries, one will see that there will be just Inuit art and possibly Native art but none of the other normal tourist souvenirs such as postcards or t-shirts . These galleries will have only genuine Inuit art for sale as they do not deal with phonies or replicas . Just to be even safer, ensure that the piece you have an interest in comes with a Canadian government Igloo tag licensing that it was handcrafted by a Canadian Inuit artist. The Inuit sculpture may be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics however not all authentic pieces are signed. Be aware that an unsigned piece may still be indeed Kurt Criter genuine.

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

Some tourist stores do bring genuine Inuit art as well as the other touristy souvenirs in order to accommodate all kinds of travelers. When shopping at these kinds of stores, it is possible to differentiate the real pieces from the reproductions. Genuine Inuit sculpture is carved from stone and therefore needs to have some weight or mass to it. Stone is also cold to the touch. A reproduction made of plastic or site resin from a mold will be much lighter in weight and will not be cold to the touch. A recreation will in some cases have a company name on it such as Wolf Originals or Boma and will never include an artist's signature. An authentic Inuit sculpture is a one of a kind piece of artwork and absolutely nothing else on the store shelves will look exactly like it. If there are duplicates of a particular piece with precise information, the piece is not genuine. If a piece looks too ideal in detail with outright straight bottoms or sides, it is most likely not real. Of course, if a piece includes a sticker label showing that is was made in an Asian country, then it is obviously a phony. There will likewise be a big cost distinction between genuine pieces and the imitations.

Where it becomes harder to determine credibility are with the recreations that are also made from 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 showing that it was handmade however if there are other pieces on the shelves that look too similar in detail, they are probably not authentic. If a seller claims that such as piece is authentic, ask to see the main Igloo tag that features it which will know on the artist, location where it was made and the year it was sculpted. Move on if the Igloo tag is not offered. The authentic pieces with the accompanying official Igloo tags will always be the highest priced and are generally kept in a separate (perhaps even locked) shelf within the shop.


Considering that Inuit art has been getting more and more global direct exposure, individuals may be seeing this Canadian fine art type at museums and galleries situated outside Canada too. If one is lucky enough to be taking a trip Kurt Criter in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their wonderful artwork, 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. Respectable Inuit art galleries are likewise noted in Inuit Art Quarterly publication which is devoted totally 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 purchase authentic Inuit art sculpture from house anywhere in the world.

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