Numerous visitors to Canada will be exposed to Inuit art (Eskimo art) sculptures while exploring the country. Given that Inuit art has been getting more and more international exposure, people might be seeing this Canadian fine art kind at museums and galleries located outside Canada too. Assuming that the objective is to acquire an authentic piece of Inuit art rather than a cheap tourist replica, the question arises on how does one inform apart the real thing from the phonies?
It would be quite disappointing to bring home a piece only to find out later on that it isn't authentic and 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 purchased from a local northern store or directly from an Inuit carver would be authentic. One would have to be more cautious somewhere else in Canada, particularly in tourist locations where all sorts of other Canadian mementos such as t-shirts, hockey jerseys, postcards, key chains, maple syrup, and other Native Canadian arts are offered.
The best places to buy Inuit sculptures to make sure authenticity are always the reputable galleries that specialize in Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. Some of these galleries have advertisements in the city tour guide found in hotels.
Respectable Inuit art galleries are likewise noted in Inuit Art Quarterly publication which adheres totally to Inuit art. These galleries will usually be found in the downtown traveler locations of significant cities. When one walks into these galleries, one will see that there will be just Inuit art and perhaps Native art but none of the other usual traveler keepsakes such as tee shirts or postcards . These galleries will have just genuine Inuit art for sale as they do not handle replicas or fakes . Simply to be even much safer, make sure that the piece you are interested in includes a Canadian federal government Igloo tag certifying that it was handcrafted by a Canadian Inuit artist. The Inuit sculpture may be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics however not all authentic pieces are signed. Be aware that an anonymous piece may still be certainly authentic.
A few of these Inuit art galleries likewise have websites so you might go shopping and purchase authentic Inuit art sculpture from home throughout the world. In addition to these street retail specialty galleries, there are now respectable online galleries that also specialize in genuine Inuit art. These online galleries are a good choice for purchasing Inuit art because the costs are generally lower than those at street retail galleries because of lower overheads. Naturally, like any other shopping on the internet, one should beware so when dealing with an online gallery, make sure that their pieces also come with the official Igloo tags to ensure authenticity.
Some tourist 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 is carved from stone and for that reason should have some weight or mass to it. 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.
Where it becomes more difficult to identify authenticity are with the reproductions that are also made from stone. This can be a real 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 handmade but 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 authentic, ask to see the main Igloo tag that includes it which will know on the artist, area where it was made and the year it was carved. If the Igloo tag is not readily available, carry on. The authentic pieces with the accompanying authorities Igloo tags will always be the greatest priced and are normally kept in a different ( possibly even locked) shelf within the store.
Because Inuit art has been getting more and more global exposure, people might 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 Kurt Criter Inuit live and make their fantastic Kurt Criter Denver art work, then it can be safely assumed that any Inuit art piece acquired from a regional northern store or directly from an Inuit carver would be genuine. Credible Inuit art galleries are likewise listed in Inuit Art Quarterly magazine which is devoted completely to Inuit art. The Inuit sculpture might 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 websites so you might shop and purchase authentic Inuit art sculpture from home anywhere in the world.