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 residing in the northern Arctic areas of Canada. While in some of the significant Canadian cities (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City) or other tourist areas popular with global visitors such as Banff, Inuit sculptures will be seen at various retail shops and displayed at some museums. Since Inuit art has actually been getting a growing number of global exposure, people may be seeing this Canadian art kind at museums and galleries located 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 very unique gifts for others. Assuming that the intent is to acquire an authentic piece of Inuit art instead of a inexpensive tourist imitation, the concern develops on how does one tell apart the real thing from the fakes?
It would be pretty disappointing to bring home a piece only to find out later on that it isn't authentic or perhaps made in Canada. If one is lucky enough to be taking a trip in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their terrific artwork, 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. One would need to be more cautious elsewhere in Canada, specifically in tourist areas where all sorts of other Canadian mementos such as t-shirts, hockey jerseys, postcards, crucial chains, maple syrup, and other Native Canadian arts are sold.
The best locations to buy Inuit sculptures to ensure authenticity are always the trustworthy galleries that focus on Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. Some of these galleries have ads in the city tourist guides found in hotels.
Respectable Inuit art galleries are also listed in Inuit Art Quarterly magazine which is devoted completely to Inuit art. These galleries will generally 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 maybe Native art but none of the other usual traveler souvenirs such as tee shirts or postcards . These galleries will have just authentic Inuit art for sale as they do not handle fakes or replicas . Just to be even more secure, make sure that the piece you have an interest in includes a Canadian federal government Igloo tag accrediting 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. So understand that an anonymous piece may still be undoubtedly authentic.
Some of these Inuit art galleries likewise have sites so you might go shopping and purchase authentic Inuit art sculpture from home anywhere in the world. In addition to these street retail specialty galleries, there are now trusted online galleries that also specialize in authentic Inuit art.
Some traveler stores do bring genuine Inuit art along with the other touristy keepsakes in order to deal with all kinds of tourists. When shopping at these types of shops, it is possible to differentiate the genuine pieces from the recreations. Authentic Inuit sculpture is carved from stone and for that reason needs to have some weight or mass to it. Stone is likewise cold to the touch. A reproduction made of plastic or resin from a mold will be much lighter in weight and will not be cold to the touch. A recreation will often have a company name on it such as Wolf Originals or Boma and will never include an artist's signature. An authentic Inuit sculpture is a one of a kind piece of artwork and absolutely nothing else on the store shelves will look precisely like it. If there are duplicates of a specific piece with specific details, the piece is not authentic. If a piece looks too ideal in detail with absolute straight bottoms or sides, it is most likely not real. Of course, if a piece includes a sticker showing that is was made in an Asian country, then it is obviously a phony. There will also be a substantial price difference between genuine pieces and the imitations.
Where it becomes harder to determine credibility are with the recreations that are also made from stone. This can be a genuine gray area to those unfamiliar with genuine Inuit art. They do have mass and might even have some kind of tag showing that it was handcrafted but if there are other pieces on the shelves that look too similar in detail, they are probably not authentic. If a seller claims that such as piece is genuine, ask to see the main Igloo tag that comes with it which will have information on the artist, place where it was made and the year it was sculpted. Move on if the Igloo tag is not readily available. The genuine pieces with the accompanying official Igloo tags will always be the highest priced and are generally kept in a different (perhaps even locked) shelf within the store.
Since Inuit art has been getting more and more international exposure, people may be seeing this Canadian fine art form at galleries and museums located outside Canada too. If one is lucky enough to be traveling 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 acquired from a regional northern shop or straight from an Inuit carver would be authentic. Reputable Inuit art galleries are likewise noted in Inuit Art Quarterly magazine which is dedicated totally to Inuit art. 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 https://medium.com/@kurtcriter galleries likewise have websites so you might go shopping and purchase genuine Inuit art sculpture from home anywhere in the world.