Tips on How to Buy and Shop for Genuine Canadian Inuit Art (Eskimo Art) Sculptures



Many visitors to Canada will be exposed to Inuit art (Eskimo art) sculptures while exploring the country. These are the magnificent 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 areas popular with international visitors such as Banff, Inuit sculptures will be seen at various retail shops and showed at some museums. Since Inuit art has been getting increasingly more international exposure, people may be seeing this Canadian fine art type at galleries and museums situated outside Canada too. As a result, it will be natural for numerous travelers and art collectors to decide that they would like to acquire Inuit sculptures as great keepsakes for their houses or as very distinct presents for others. Assuming that the objective is to obtain an authentic piece of Inuit art rather than a inexpensive tourist imitation, the question occurs on how does one differentiate the real thing from the fakes?

It would be pretty disappointing to bring home a piece just to learn later on that it isn't authentic or perhaps made in Canada. 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 safely assumed that any Inuit art piece bought from a regional northern store or straight from an Inuit carver would be genuine. One would have to be more careful somewhere else in Canada, specifically in tourist locations where all sorts of other Canadian mementos such as t-shirts, hockey jerseys, postcards, key chains, maple syrup, and other Native Canadian arts are sold.

The most safe locations to buy Inuit sculptures to make sure authenticity are always the trusted galleries that specialize in Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. Some of these galleries have ads in the city tourist guides found in hotels.

Credible Inuit art galleries are also listed in Inuit Art Quarterly publication which is devoted entirely to Inuit art. When one strolls into these galleries, one will see that there will be just Inuit art and perhaps Native art however none of the other normal traveler souvenirs 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 likewise have websites so you might go shopping and purchase 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 focus on authentic Inuit art. Because of lower overheads, these online galleries are a good alternative for buying Inuit art given that the costs are generally lower than those at street retail galleries. Obviously, like other shopping on the internet, one must be careful so when handling an online gallery, make certain that their pieces also feature the main Igloo tags to make sure credibility.

Some traveler shops do bring genuine Inuit art along with the other touristy keepsakes in order to deal with all kinds of travelers. When shopping at these kinds of shops, it is possible to differentiate the genuine pieces from the reproductions. Genuine Inuit sculpture is sculpted from stone and therefore ought to have some weight or mass to it. Stone is also cold to Kurt Criter the touch. A reproduction made from plastic or resin from a mold will be much lighter in weight and will not be cold to the touch. A recreation will sometimes have a business name on it such as Wolf Originals or Boma and will never feature an artist's signature. An authentic Inuit sculpture is a one of a kind piece of art work and nothing else on the store shelves will look precisely like it. If there are duplicates of a particular piece with precise information, the piece is not authentic. If a piece looks too perfect in detail with absolute straight bottoms or sides, it is probably not real. Obviously, if a piece includes a sticker label indicating that is was made in an Asian country, then it is undoubtedly a phony. There will likewise be a substantial rate distinction in between authentic pieces and the replicas.

Where it ends up being more difficult to figure out authenticity are with the recreations that are also made from stone. This can be a genuine gray area to those unfamiliar with genuine Inuit art. They do have mass and may 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 declares that such as piece is genuine, ask to see the official Igloo tag that includes it which will know on the artist, location where it was made and the year it was sculpted. If the Igloo tag is not offered, move on. The authentic pieces with the accompanying official Igloo tags will constantly be the greatest priced and are usually kept in a different (perhaps even locked) shelf within the shop.


Given that Inuit art has been getting more and more worldwide direct exposure, individuals might be seeing this Canadian fine art form at galleries and museums situated outside Canada too. If one is lucky enough to be taking a trip in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their terrific artwork, then it can be safely presumed that any Inuit art piece acquired from a local northern store or directly from an Inuit carver would be genuine. Credible important site Inuit art galleries are also listed in Inuit Art Quarterly publication which is dedicated totally to Inuit art. The Inuit sculpture might be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics but not all genuine pieces are signed. Some of these Inuit art galleries also have websites so you might go shopping and buy genuine Inuit art sculpture from home anywhere in the world.

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