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



Many visitors to Canada will be exposed to Inuit art (Eskimo art) sculptures while exploring the nation. Since Inuit art has been getting more and more worldwide direct exposure, people may be seeing this Canadian fine art type at museums and galleries situated outside Canada too. Assuming that the objective is to obtain an genuine piece of Inuit art rather than a inexpensive tourist imitation, the question develops on how does one tell apart the real thing from the fakes?

It would be quite frustrating to bring home a piece just to discover later on that it isn't really authentic or even made in Canada. If one is lucky enough to be traveling in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their wonderful art work, then it can be securely presumed that any Inuit art piece bought from a local northern shop or directly from an Inuit carver would be authentic. One would need to be more cautious somewhere else in Canada, especially 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 offered.

The safest places to look for Inuit sculptures to make sure authenticity are constantly the respectable galleries that specialize in Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. Some of these galleries have ads in the city tourist guides found in hotels.

Reputable Inuit art galleries are likewise 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 possibly Native art however none of the other usual traveler souvenirs such as postcards or t-shirts . 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 sites so you might shop and purchase authentic Inuit art sculpture from house throughout the world. In addition to these street retail specialty galleries, there are now reliable online galleries that likewise concentrate on authentic Inuit art. These online galleries are a great alternative for purchasing Inuit art considering that the prices are normally lower than those at street retail galleries because of lower overheads. Naturally, like other shopping on the internet, one need to be careful so when dealing with an online gallery, ensure that their pieces also come with the official Igloo tags to ensure authenticity.

Some traveler 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 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 artwork and absolutely nothing else on the store racks will look precisely like it.

Where helpful resources it ends up being more difficult to determine authenticity are with the recreations that are likewise made from stone. This can be a real gray area to those not familiar with genuine Inuit art. They do have mass and may even have some kind of tag suggesting that it was handmade however if there are other pieces on the shelves that look too similar in detail, they are most likely not genuine. If a seller claims that such as piece is genuine, ask to see the official Igloo tag that comes with 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 authorities Igloo tags will constantly be the highest priced and are usually kept in a different (perhaps even locked) shelf 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 galleries and museums located outside Canada too. If one is fortunate enough to be taking a trip in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their wonderful art work, then it can be securely presumed that any Inuit art piece bought from a local northern store or straight from an Inuit carver would be genuine. Trusted Inuit art galleries are also listed in Inuit Art Quarterly publication which is dedicated completely to Inuit art. The Inuit sculpture may be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics however not all genuine pieces are signed. Some of these Inuit art galleries also have sites so you could shop and purchase genuine Inuit art sculpture from house anywhere in the world.

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