Numerous visitors to Canada will be exposed to Inuit art (Eskimo art) sculptures while touring the country. These are the magnificent handmade sculptures carved from stone by the Inuit artists living in the northern Arctic areas of Canada. While in some of the significant Canadian cities (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City) or other traveler locations popular with global visitors such as Banff, Inuit sculptures will be seen at various retail shops and displayed at some museums. Given that Inuit art has been getting more and more international exposure, individuals might be seeing this Canadian art kind at galleries and museums situated outside Canada too. As a result, it will be natural for many tourists and art collectors to choose that they want to purchase Inuit sculptures as good keepsakes for their homes or as extremely unique gifts for others. Assuming that the objective is to acquire an authentic piece of Inuit art instead of a cheap tourist replica, the concern develops on how does one tell apart the genuine thing from the phonies?
It would be pretty disappointing to bring home a piece just to learn later that it isn't genuine and even made in Canada. 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 assumed that any Inuit art piece purchased from a regional northern store or straight from an Inuit carver would be authentic. One would need to be more careful in other places in Canada, specifically in traveler locations where all sorts of other Canadian keepsakes such as t-shirts, hockey jerseys, postcards, essential chains, maple syrup, and other Native Canadian arts are sold.
The most safe locations to shop for Inuit sculptures to ensure authenticity are always the reliable galleries that specialize in Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. Some of these galleries have advertisements in the city tour guide discovered in hotels.
Reliable Inuit art galleries are also listed in Inuit Art Quarterly magazine which is devoted entirely to Inuit art. These galleries will usually be located in the downtown traveler areas of major cities. When one strolls 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 postcards or t-shirts . These galleries will have only genuine Inuit art for sale as they do not handle phonies or replicas . Just to be even more secure, ensure that the piece you have an interest in includes a Canadian government Igloo tag accrediting that it was handmade by a Canadian Inuit artist. The Inuit sculpture might be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics but not all genuine pieces are signed. Be mindful that an unsigned piece may still be undoubtedly genuine.
A few of these Inuit art galleries also have sites so you could go shopping and purchase authentic Inuit art sculpture from home throughout the world. In addition to these street retail specialty galleries, there are now trustworthy online galleries that also concentrate on authentic Inuit art. Because of lower overheads, these online galleries are a great alternative for purchasing Inuit art considering that the costs are normally lower than those at street retail galleries. Naturally, like any other shopping on the internet, one must beware so when handling an online gallery, make sure that their pieces also include the main Igloo tags to guarantee authenticity.
Some tourist shops do bring genuine Inuit art as well as the other touristy mementos in order to accommodate all kinds of tourists. When shopping at these kinds of shops, it is possible to differentiate the real pieces from the recreations. Genuine reference Inuit sculpture is carved from stone and therefore ought to have some weight or mass to it. Stone is also cold to the touch. A recreation 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 sometimes 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 shop shelves will look precisely like it. If there are duplicates of a particular piece with exact information, the piece is not genuine. If a piece looks too ideal in detail with outright straight bottoms or sides, it is most likely not real. Naturally, if a piece includes a sticker suggesting that is was made in an Asian nation, then it is clearly a fake. There will also be a substantial cost difference between genuine pieces and the imitations.
This can be a real gray area to those unfamiliar with genuine Inuit art. If a seller declares that such as piece is genuine, 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. The genuine pieces with the accompanying official Igloo tags will constantly be the highest priced and are usually kept in a different (perhaps even locked) rack within the store.
Given that Inuit art has been getting more and more international exposure, people might be seeing this Canadian fine art form at museums and galleries located outside Canada too. If one is lucky enough to be traveling in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their terrific artwork, then it can be safely assumed that any Inuit art piece acquired from a regional northern store or straight from an Inuit carver would be authentic. Reputable like this Inuit art galleries are also noted in Inuit Art Quarterly publication which is dedicated completely 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 likewise have websites so you could go shopping and buy authentic Inuit art sculpture from home anywhere in the world.