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 residing in the northern Arctic areas of Canada. While in some of the major Canadian cities (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City) or other tourist locations popular with international visitors such as Banff, Inuit sculptures will be seen at different retail shops and displayed at some museums. Given that Inuit art has been getting more and more worldwide exposure, individuals might be seeing this Canadian 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 wish to buy Inuit sculptures as great mementos for their houses or as extremely unique gifts for others. Presuming that the intent is to acquire an authentic piece of Inuit art rather than a low-cost tourist replica, the question emerges 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 even made in Canada. If one is fortunate enough to be taking a trip 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 purchased from a regional northern store or directly from an Inuit carver would be genuine. One would need to be more careful in other places in Canada, particularly in traveler areas 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 safest locations to look for Inuit sculptures to make sure credibility are always the credible galleries that specialize in Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. Some of these galleries have advertisements in the city tourist guides found in hotels.
Reliable Inuit art galleries are also noted in Inuit Art Quarterly publication which adheres totally to Inuit art. These galleries will typically be located in the downtown traveler locations of major cities. When one walks into these galleries, one will see that there will be only Inuit art and perhaps Native art but none of the other usual traveler souvenirs such as postcards or t-shirts . These galleries will have only authentic Inuit art for sale as they do not handle replicas or fakes . Simply to be even safer, make certain that the piece you are interested in comes with a Canadian 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 unsigned piece might still be indeed authentic.
Some of these Inuit art galleries also have sites so you could shop and purchase authentic Inuit art sculpture from house throughout the world. In addition to these street retail specialized galleries, there are now reputable online galleries that likewise concentrate on genuine Inuit art. These online galleries are a good alternative for purchasing Inuit art because the rates are generally lower than those at street retail galleries because of lower overheads. Obviously, like other shopping on the internet, one must beware so when handling an online gallery, ensure that their pieces also feature the main Igloo tags to guarantee credibility.
Some tourist stores do carry genuine Inuit art as well as the other touristy keepsakes in order to cater to all types of tourists. Authentic Inuit sculpture is sculpted from stone and for that reason must have some weight or mass to it. An authentic Inuit sculpture is a one of a kind piece of artwork and nothing else on the store racks will look exactly like it.
Where it ends up being more difficult to figure out credibility are with the reproductions 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 might even have some type of tag indicating that it was handmade but if there are other pieces on the shelves that look too similar in detail, they are more than likely not genuine. If a seller declares that such as piece is authentic, 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 carved. If the Igloo tag is not readily available, proceed. The genuine pieces with the accompanying authorities Igloo tags will constantly be the greatest priced and are typically kept in a separate (perhaps even locked) rack within the shop.
Considering that Inuit art has actually been getting more and more worldwide exposure, individuals may be seeing this Canadian fine art type at museums and galleries located outside Canada too. If one is fortunate enough to be traveling in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their terrific artwork, then it can be securely presumed that any Inuit art piece bought from a regional northern store or straight from an Inuit carver would be authentic. Trustworthy Inuit art galleries are also noted in Inuit Art Quarterly publication Kurt Criter Denver 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 genuine pieces are signed. Some of these Inuit art galleries also have websites so you could go shopping and buy genuine Inuit art sculpture from house anywhere in the world.