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 visiting the country. These are the stunning handmade sculptures sculpted from stone by the Inuit artists living in the northern Arctic regions of Canada. While in a few 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 different retail shops and showed at some museums. Given that Inuit art has actually been getting increasingly more international direct exposure, individuals may be seeing this Canadian fine art kind at galleries and museums situated outside Canada too. As a result, it will be natural for numerous tourists and art collectors to choose that they want to purchase Inuit sculptures as great mementos for their homes or as extremely unique presents for others. Presuming that the objective is to acquire an genuine piece of Inuit art rather than a cheap traveler replica, the question emerges on how does one differentiate the genuine thing from the fakes?

It would be pretty frustrating to bring home a piece only to discover later on that it isn't 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 fantastic artwork, then it can be securely assumed 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 careful in other places in Canada, particularly in tourist locations where all sorts of other Canadian souvenirs such as tee shirts, hockey jerseys, postcards, key chains, maple syrup, and other Native Canadian arts are sold.

The best locations to look for Inuit sculptures to ensure credibility are always the trusted galleries that concentrate on Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. A few of these galleries have ads in the city tour guide found in hotels.

Reputable Inuit art galleries are also noted in Inuit Art Quarterly publication which is dedicated totally to Inuit art. When one walks into these galleries, one will see that there will be only Inuit art and possibly Native art however none of the other normal tourist souvenirs such as tee shirts or postcards . The Inuit sculpture might be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics but not all authentic pieces are signed.

Some of these Inuit art galleries also have websites so you might shop and buy genuine Inuit art sculpture from home anywhere in the world. In addition to these street retail specialized galleries, there are now reputable online galleries that likewise specialize in genuine Inuit art.

Some traveler stores do carry authentic Inuit art as well as the other touristy keepsakes in order to cater to all types of tourists. Genuine Inuit sculpture is carved from stone and for that reason must have some weight or mass to it. An genuine Inuit check sculpture is a one of a kind piece of artwork and absolutely nothing else on the store shelves will look precisely like it.

Where it becomes harder to identify credibility are with the recreations that are also 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 but if there are other pieces on the shelves that look too comparable in detail, they are more than likely not authentic. If a seller declares that such as piece is genuine, ask to see the official 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 available. The authentic pieces with the accompanying official Igloo tags will constantly be the greatest priced and are normally kept in a separate (perhaps even locked) shelf within the shop.


Because Inuit art has been getting more and more worldwide direct exposure, people might be seeing this Canadian great art form at museums and galleries situated outside Canada too. If one is lucky enough to be traveling in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their wonderful artwork, then it can be securely assumed that any Inuit art piece acquired from a regional northern store or directly from Kurt Criter an Inuit carver would be genuine. Trusted Inuit art galleries are also listed in Inuit Art Quarterly publication which is devoted entirely to Inuit art. 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 also have websites so you might shop and buy authentic Inuit art sculpture from house anywhere in the world.

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