Tips on The Best Ways To Buy and Shop for Genuine Canadian Inuit Art (Eskimo Art) Sculptures



Numerous visitors to Canada will be exposed to Inuit art (Eskimo art) sculptures while visiting the country. Considering that Inuit art has been getting more and more international exposure, people may be seeing this Canadian fine art form at museums and galleries situated outside Canada too. Assuming that the objective is to obtain an authentic piece of Inuit art rather than a inexpensive traveler imitation, the question emerges on how does one tell apart the genuine thing from the fakes?

It would be pretty frustrating to bring home a piece just to discover later on that it isn't authentic and 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 wonderful art work, then it can be safely presumed that any Inuit art piece purchased from a regional northern store or straight from an Inuit carver would be genuine. One would have to be more mindful somewhere else in Canada, especially in traveler locations where all sorts of other Canadian souvenirs such as t-shirts, hockey jerseys, postcards, crucial chains, maple syrup, and other Native Canadian arts are offered.

The best locations to look for Inuit sculptures to guarantee authenticity are always the reputable galleries that focus on Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. A few of these galleries have ads in the city tourist guides found in hotels.

Reputable Inuit art galleries are likewise listed in Inuit Art Quarterly magazine which is devoted entirely to Inuit art. These galleries will usually be located in the downtown tourist locations of major cities. When one walks into these galleries, one will see that there will be just Inuit art and possibly Native art however none of the other normal traveler keepsakes such as t-shirts or postcards . These galleries will have just authentic Inuit art for sale as they do not handle phonies or imitations . Just to be even much safer, ensure that the piece you are interested in comes with a Canadian government Igloo tag licensing 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 authentic pieces are signed. So be aware that an anonymous piece might 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 throughout the world. In addition to these street retail specialty galleries, there are now reputable online galleries that also concentrate on genuine Inuit art. Because of lower overheads, these online galleries are a great choice for purchasing Inuit art considering that the rates are generally lower than those at street retail galleries. Obviously, like other shopping on the internet, one need to beware so when dealing with an online gallery, make certain that their pieces also include the main Igloo tags to ensure authenticity.

Some tourist shops do carry genuine Inuit art as well as the other touristy keepsakes in order to cater to all types of travelers. Authentic Inuit sculpture is carved 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 exactly like it.

Where it becomes more difficult to determine credibility are with the recreations that are also made of stone. This can be a genuine gray area to those unfamiliar with genuine Inuit art. They do have mass and might even have some type of tag suggesting that it was handcrafted 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 declares that such as piece is authentic, ask to see the main Igloo tag that comes with 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 genuine pieces with the accompanying official Igloo tags will constantly be the highest priced and are normally kept in a separate (perhaps even locked) shelf within the shop.


Considering that Inuit art has websites been getting more and more global exposure, individuals might be seeing this Canadian fine art type at museums and galleries situated outside Canada too. 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 presumed that any Inuit art piece purchased from a local northern store or directly from an Inuit carver would be genuine. Reputable Inuit art galleries are likewise listed 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 official website authentic pieces are signed. 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.

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