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



Many visitors to Canada will be exposed to Inuit art (Eskimo art) sculptures while touring the nation. These are the stunning handmade sculptures carved from stone by the Inuit artists living in the northern Arctic areas of Canada. While in a few of the major Canadian cities (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City) or other traveler areas popular with international visitors such as Banff, Inuit sculptures will be seen at numerous retail stores and displayed at some museums. Because Inuit art has actually been getting a growing number of international exposure, people may be seeing this Canadian fine art kind at galleries and museums located outside Canada too. As a result, it will be natural for many travelers and art collectors to choose that they would like to purchase Inuit sculptures as good keepsakes for their houses or as extremely unique gifts for others. Assuming that the objective is to acquire an genuine piece of Inuit art instead of a low-cost traveler replica, the question occurs on how does one differentiate the real thing from the fakes?

It would be quite disappointing to bring home a piece only to discover later on that it isn't really genuine or 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 terrific art work, then it can be safely assumed that any Inuit art piece purchased from a local northern store or directly from an Inuit carver would be genuine. One would have to be more mindful elsewhere in Canada, specifically in traveler locations where all sorts of other Canadian keepsakes such as t-shirts, hockey jerseys, postcards, key chains, maple syrup, and other Native Canadian arts are offered.

The best places to shop for Inuit sculptures to guarantee authenticity are always the trusted galleries that focus on Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. Some of these galleries have ads in the city tour guide found in hotels.

Trusted Inuit art galleries are also listed in Inuit Art Quarterly magazine which adheres entirely to Inuit art. These galleries will usually be located in the downtown traveler locations of significant cities. When one strolls into these galleries, one will see that there will be only Inuit art and perhaps Native art but none of the other normal traveler mementos such as postcards or tee shirts . These galleries will have just authentic Inuit art for sale as they do not handle phonies or replicas . Just to be even much safer, make sure that the piece you are interested in features a Canadian federal government Igloo tag certifying that it was handcrafted by a Canadian Inuit artist. The Inuit sculpture might be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics but not all genuine pieces are signed. Be aware that an anonymous piece may still be indeed genuine.

A few of these Inuit art galleries also have sites so you could go shopping and purchase authentic Inuit art sculpture from house anywhere in the world. In addition to these street retail specialized galleries, there are now reliable online galleries that likewise focus on authentic Inuit art. These online galleries are a good alternative for purchasing Inuit art since the costs are typically lower than those at street retail galleries because of lower overheads. Obviously, like any other shopping on the internet, one must take care so when handling an online gallery, make sure that their pieces also include the main Igloo tags to ensure authenticity.

Some traveler stores do bring authentic Inuit art as well as the other touristy souvenirs in order to cater to all types of travelers. Authentic Inuit sculpture check my site is sculpted from stone and therefore should have some weight or mass to it. An authentic Inuit sculpture is a one of a kind piece of artwork and nothing else on the shop racks will look precisely like it.

Where it becomes more difficult to identify credibility are with the reproductions that are also made of stone. This can be a genuine gray area to those not familiar with genuine Inuit art. They do have mass and might even have some kind of tag showing that it was handmade but if there are other pieces on the shelves that look too similar in detail, they are more than likely not genuine. If a seller claims that such as piece is genuine, ask to see the main Igloo tag that includes it which will have information on the artist, area where it was made and the year it was carved. Move on if the Igloo tag is not readily available. The authentic pieces with the accompanying official Igloo tags will always be the highest priced and are generally kept in a different (perhaps even locked) rack within the shop.


Considering that Inuit art has been getting more and more worldwide exposure, individuals may 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 wonderful art work, then it can be safely assumed that any Inuit art piece purchased from a local northern store or straight from an Inuit carver would be genuine. Reputable Inuit art galleries are likewise noted 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 authentic pieces are signed. Some of these Inuit art galleries also have sites so you could go shopping and purchase authentic Inuit art sculpture from home anywhere in the world.

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