Many visitors to Canada will be exposed to Inuit art (Eskimo art) sculptures while visiting the country. These are the spectacular handmade sculptures carved from stone by the Inuit artists living in the northern Arctic areas of Canada. While in a few of the significant Canadian cities (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City) or other traveler areas popular with worldwide visitors such as Banff, Inuit sculptures will be seen at various retail stores and showed at some museums. Given that Inuit art has been getting more and more worldwide direct exposure, people might be seeing this Canadian fine art type at museums and galleries located outside Canada too. As a result, it will be natural for numerous travelers and art collectors to choose that they would like to buy Inuit sculptures as great souvenirs for their homes or as extremely special presents for others. Assuming that the intention is to acquire an authentic piece of Inuit art rather than a inexpensive traveler replica, the question emerges on how does one differentiate the genuine thing from the phonies?
It would be pretty frustrating to bring home a piece just to find out later on that it isn't really authentic or perhaps 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 genuine. One would have to be more mindful somewhere else in Canada, specifically in traveler areas where all sorts of other Canadian souvenirs such as t-shirts, hockey jerseys, postcards, crucial chains, maple syrup, and other Native Canadian arts are sold.
The safest locations to look for Inuit sculptures to make sure authenticity are always the trustworthy galleries that specialize in Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. Some of these galleries have ads in the city tour guide discovered in hotels.
Reputable Inuit art galleries are also noted in Inuit Art Quarterly publication which adheres completely to Inuit art. These galleries will typically be found in the downtown traveler areas of significant 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 typical traveler mementos such as postcards or tee shirts . These galleries will have only genuine Inuit art for sale as they do not deal with fakes or replicas . Simply to be even safer, make sure that the piece you are interested in comes with a Canadian federal government Igloo tag certifying that it was handmade by a Canadian Inuit artist. The Inuit sculpture might 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 undoubtedly genuine.
A few of these Inuit art galleries likewise have websites so you might shop and purchase genuine Inuit art sculpture from home anywhere in the world. In addition to these street retail specialized galleries, there are now reliable online galleries that likewise specialize in genuine Inuit art. These online galleries are a good option for purchasing Inuit art since the costs are typically lower than those at street retail galleries because of lower overheads. Of course, like other shopping on the internet, one need to take care so when handling an online gallery, make certain that their pieces likewise include the official Igloo tags to ensure credibility.
Some tourist stores do carry genuine 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 needs to have some weight or mass to it. An genuine Inuit sculpture is a one of a kind piece of art work and nothing else on the store racks will look exactly like it.
Where it becomes harder to figure out 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 may even have some type of tag indicating that it was handcrafted however if there are other pieces on the shelves that look too comparable in detail, they are probably not genuine. If a seller declares 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. Move on if the Igloo tag is not available. The authentic pieces with the accompanying official Igloo tags will always be the highest priced and are generally kept in a separate ( possibly even locked) shelf within the store.
Since Inuit art has actually been getting more and more international exposure, people might be seeing this Canadian fine 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 Inuit live and make their fantastic artwork, then pop over here it can be safely assumed that any Inuit art piece bought from a local northern store or directly from an Inuit carver would be genuine. Trustworthy Inuit art galleries are also noted in Inuit Art Quarterly magazine which is dedicated completely to Inuit art. The Inuit sculpture might be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics but not all genuine pieces are signed. Some of these Inuit art galleries likewise have websites so you might shop and buy authentic Inuit art sculpture from house anywhere in the world.