Tips on How to Buy and Buy 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 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 tourist areas popular with worldwide visitors such as Banff, Inuit sculptures will be seen at numerous retail stores and displayed at some museums. Because Inuit art has been getting a growing number of international exposure, people may be seeing this Canadian art type at museums and galleries situated outside Canada too. As a result, it will be natural for numerous tourists and art collectors to choose that they would like to buy Inuit sculptures as great mementos for their homes or as extremely distinct gifts for others. Assuming that the intent is to get an genuine piece of Inuit art rather than a cheap traveler replica, the question develops on how does one tell apart the genuine thing from the phonies?
It would be pretty disappointing to bring home a piece just to find out later that it isn't really authentic or even made in Canada. If one is fortunate enough to be traveling in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their terrific art work, then it can be safely assumed that any Inuit art piece purchased from a regional northern store or straight from an Inuit carver would be authentic. One would have to be more cautious somewhere else in Canada, specifically in traveler 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 most safe places to purchase Inuit sculptures to make sure credibility are constantly the respectable galleries that focus on Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. A few of these galleries have advertisements in the city tourist guides found in hotels.
Respectable Inuit art galleries are likewise noted in Inuit Art Quarterly magazine which adheres entirely to Inuit art. These galleries will generally be located in the downtown tourist locations of significant cities. When one walks into these galleries, one will see that there will be just Inuit art and maybe Native art but none of the other normal tourist souvenirs such as t-shirts or postcards . These galleries will have just authentic Inuit art for sale as they do not handle fakes or imitations . Just to be even safer, make sure that the piece you are interested in features a Canadian government Igloo tag accrediting that it was handmade by a Canadian Inuit artist. The Inuit sculpture might be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics but not all authentic pieces are signed. Be mindful that an anonymous piece might still be certainly genuine.
Some of these Inuit art galleries also have websites so you could 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 reliable online galleries that likewise 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. Authentic Inuit sculpture is carved from stone and therefore 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 store shelves will look exactly like it.
Where it ends up being harder to identify credibility are with the recreations that are likewise made from stone. This can be a genuine gray area to those not familiar with genuine Inuit art. They do have mass and may even have some type of tag indicating that it was handmade however if there are other pieces on the shelves that look too similar in detail, they are probably not Kurt Criter genuine. If a seller declares that such as piece is genuine, ask to see the official Igloo tag that features it which will know on the artist, place where it was made and the year it was carved. If the Igloo tag is not offered, proceed. The authentic pieces with the accompanying authorities Igloo tags will constantly be the highest priced and are typically kept in a separate (perhaps even locked) rack within the store.
Given that Inuit art has been getting more and more global exposure, people may be seeing this Canadian fine art form at galleries and museums located outside Canada too. If one is fortunate enough to be traveling in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their fantastic art work, then it can be safely assumed that any Inuit art piece acquired from a regional northern shop or directly from an Inuit carver would be genuine. Reliable Inuit art galleries are also noted in Inuit Art Quarterly magazine which is dedicated entirely to Inuit art. The Inuit sculpture may be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics however not all authentic pieces are signed. Some of these Inuit art galleries also have sites so you could shop and purchase genuine Inuit art sculpture from home anywhere in the world.