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 some of the significant Canadian cities (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City) or other traveler areas popular with international visitors such as Banff, Inuit sculptures will be seen at various retail shops and displayed at some museums. Because Inuit art has actually been getting more and more worldwide direct exposure, people may be seeing this Canadian art form at galleries and museums situated outside Canada too. As a result, it will be natural for many travelers and art collectors to choose that they would like to buy Inuit sculptures as great souvenirs for their houses or as really special presents for others. Assuming that the objective is to acquire an genuine piece of Inuit art rather than a low-cost traveler imitation, the question develops on how does one differentiate the genuine thing from the phonies?
It would be quite disappointing to bring home a piece just to discover later that it isn't really genuine and even made in Canada. If one is lucky enough to be taking a trip in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their fantastic art work, then it can be securely assumed that any Inuit art piece bought from a local northern store or straight from an Inuit carver would be genuine. One would need to be more cautious somewhere else in Canada, specifically in traveler locations where all sorts of other Canadian souvenirs such as t-shirts, hockey jerseys, postcards, essential chains, maple syrup, and other Native Canadian arts are sold.
The best locations to buy Inuit sculptures to make sure authenticity are always the reputable galleries that focus on Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. Some of these galleries have ads in the city tour guide found in hotels.
Respectable Inuit art galleries are also noted in Inuit Art Quarterly magazine which is devoted entirely to Inuit art. These galleries will normally be located in the downtown traveler locations of major cities. When one strolls into these galleries, one will see that there will be only Inuit art and possibly Native art however none of the other usual traveler souvenirs such as postcards or tee shirts . These galleries will have only genuine Inuit art for sale as they do not deal with phonies or imitations . Simply to be even much safer, make certain that the piece you have an interest in comes with a Canadian federal government Igloo tag accrediting that it was handmade by a Canadian Inuit artist. The Inuit sculpture might be signed http://journals.oregondigital.org/index.php/OURJ/user/viewPublicProfile/5504 by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics however not all authentic pieces are signed. So know that an unsigned piece might still be indeed authentic.
Some of these Inuit art galleries also have sites so you could shop and purchase genuine Inuit art sculpture from house anywhere in the world. In addition to these street retail specialized galleries, there are now respectable online galleries that likewise specialize in authentic Inuit art. These online galleries are a good alternative for buying Inuit art because the prices are normally lower than those at street retail galleries because of lower overheads. Of course, like any other shopping on the internet, one must beware so when handling an online gallery, make sure that their pieces likewise feature the official Igloo tags to ensure credibility.
Some tourist stores do bring authentic Inuit art as well as the other touristy keepsakes in order to accommodate all types of travelers. When shopping at these types of shops, it is possible to differentiate the real pieces from the reproductions. Genuine Inuit sculpture is sculpted from stone and for that reason must 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 reproduction will in some cases have a business name on it such as Wolf Originals or Boma and will never feature an artist's signature. An authentic Inuit sculpture is a one of a kind piece of art work and nothing else on the shop shelves will look precisely like it. The piece is not authentic if there are duplicates of a specific piece with precise details. If a piece looks too perfect in detail with outright straight bottoms or sides, it is probably not real. Of course, if a piece features a sticker label showing that is was made in an Asian nation, then it is obviously a phony. There will likewise be a huge price difference between authentic pieces and the imitations.
Where it ends up being harder to identify authenticity are with the reproductions that are likewise made of stone. This can be a genuine gray area to those not familiar with authentic Inuit art. They do have mass and may even have some kind of tag showing that it was handcrafted but if there are other pieces on the shelves that look too comparable in detail, they are probably not genuine. If a seller claims that such as piece is genuine, ask to see the official Igloo tag that comes with it which will have information on the artist, location where it was made and the year it was sculpted. Move on if the Igloo tag is not readily available. The authentic pieces with the accompanying official Igloo tags will constantly be the highest priced and are typically kept in a separate ( maybe even locked) rack within the shop.
Considering that Inuit art has been getting more and more international direct exposure, people might be seeing this Canadian great art form at museums and galleries located outside Canada too. If one is lucky enough to be taking a trip in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their wonderful artwork, then it can be safely assumed that any Inuit art piece purchased from a local northern store or straight from an Inuit carver would be authentic. Respectable Inuit art galleries are also noted in Inuit Art Quarterly publication which is devoted totally to Inuit art. The Inuit sculpture may be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics however not all authentic pieces are signed. Some of these Inuit art galleries likewise have websites so you might go shopping and purchase authentic Inuit art sculpture from home anywhere in the world.