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



Many visitors to Canada will be exposed to Inuit art (Eskimo art) sculptures while visiting the country. These are the magnificent handmade sculptures sculpted from stone by the Inuit artists living in the northern Arctic regions of Canada. While in some of the major Canadian cities (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City) or other traveler locations popular with worldwide visitors such as Banff, Inuit sculptures will be seen at various retail stores and showed at some museums. Because Inuit art has been getting more and more international exposure, people may be seeing this Canadian art form at museums and galleries located outside Canada too. As a result, it will be natural for many travelers and art collectors to choose that they want to purchase Inuit sculptures as good keepsakes for their homes or as very special presents for others. Assuming that the objective is to acquire an authentic piece of Inuit art instead of a cheap tourist imitation, the question emerges on how does one tell apart the real thing from the phonies?

It would be quite disappointing to bring home a piece just to discover later on that it isn't 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 fantastic artwork, then it can be securely 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 in other places in Canada, particularly in tourist areas where all sorts of other Canadian mementos such as tee shirts, hockey jerseys, postcards, key chains, maple syrup, and other Native Canadian arts are offered.

The most safe places to purchase Inuit sculptures to guarantee credibility are constantly the reliable galleries that concentrate on Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. Some of these galleries have advertisements in the city tour guide found in hotels.

Reliable 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 areas of significant cities. When one strolls into these galleries, one will see that there will be only Inuit art and perhaps Native art however none of the other normal traveler souvenirs such as t-shirts or postcards . These galleries will have just genuine Inuit art for sale as they do not deal with fakes or imitations . Simply to be even much safer, make sure that the piece you are interested in features a Canadian federal government Igloo tag licensing that it was handmade by a Canadian Inuit artist. The Inuit sculpture may be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics but not all genuine pieces are signed. Be conscious that an anonymous piece may still be undoubtedly genuine.

Some of these Inuit art galleries also have websites so you might shop and buy genuine Inuit art sculpture from home throughout the world. In you could try this out addition to these street retail specialized galleries, there are now trusted online galleries that also specialize in authentic Inuit art. These online galleries are a good alternative for buying Inuit art since the prices are normally lower than those at street retail galleries because of lower overheads. Obviously, like other shopping on the internet, one need to be careful so when handling an online gallery, make sure that their pieces likewise come with the official Igloo tags to ensure authenticity.

Some tourist shops do bring authentic Inuit art as well as the other touristy keepsakes in order to deal with all types of travelers. When shopping at these types of stores, it is possible to differentiate the genuine pieces from the reproductions. Authentic Inuit sculpture is carved from stone and therefore must have some weight or mass to it. Stone is likewise cold to the touch. A recreation made from plastic or resin from a mold will be much lighter in weight and will not be cold to the touch. A reproduction will sometimes have a business name on it such as Wolf Originals or Boma and will never include an artist's signature. An genuine Inuit sculpture is a one of a kind piece of art work and absolutely nothing else on the store shelves will look precisely like it. The piece is not authentic if there are duplicates of a particular piece with specific information. If a piece looks too perfect in detail with absolute straight bottoms or sides, it is probably not real. Naturally, if a piece includes a sticker showing that is was made in an Asian nation, then it is clearly a phony. There will also be a substantial cost difference in between authentic pieces and the imitations.

Where it ends up being harder to determine authenticity are with the recreations that are likewise made of stone. This can be a real gray area to those unfamiliar with authentic 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 more than likely not authentic. 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, area where it was made and the year it was sculpted. If the Igloo tag is not available, carry on. The authentic pieces with the accompanying authorities Igloo tags will constantly be the highest priced and are normally kept in a different (perhaps even locked) shelf within the store.


Since Inuit art has been getting more and more international exposure, individuals 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 safely assumed that any Inuit art piece acquired from a regional northern store or straight from an Inuit carver would be genuine. Trusted Inuit art galleries are also noted in Inuit Art Quarterly publication which is dedicated entirely to Inuit art. The Inuit sculpture may 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 home anywhere in the world.

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