Lots of 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 regions of Canada. While in a few of the significant Canadian cities (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City) or other traveler locations 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 global direct exposure, people may be seeing this Canadian fine art form at museums and galleries situated outside Canada too. As a result, it will be natural for many tourists and art collectors to choose that they want to buy Inuit sculptures as nice souvenirs for their houses or as extremely special presents for others. Presuming that the intention is to acquire an authentic piece of Inuit art rather than a inexpensive traveler replica, the concern arises on how does one tell apart the real thing from the fakes?
It would be quite frustrating to bring home a piece only to learn later that it isn't authentic or perhaps made in Canada. If one is fortunate enough to be taking a trip in the Canadian Arctic where the Inuit live and make their fantastic artwork, then it can be safely presumed that any Inuit art piece bought from a regional northern store or directly from an Inuit carver would be genuine. One would need to be more cautious somewhere else in Canada, particularly in traveler locations where all sorts of other Canadian souvenirs such as t-shirts, hockey jerseys, postcards, key chains, maple syrup, and other Native Canadian arts are offered.
The safest places to buy Inuit sculptures to make sure credibility are constantly the credible galleries that focus on Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. Some of these galleries have ads in the city tour guide found in hotels.
Trusted Inuit art galleries are also noted in Inuit Art Quarterly publication which is dedicated completely to Inuit art. When one strolls into these galleries, one will see that there will be only Inuit art and possibly Native art but none of the other normal tourist mementos such as postcards or t-shirts . The Inuit sculpture may be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics but not all genuine pieces are signed.
Some of these Inuit art galleries also have websites so you could shop and purchase authentic Inuit art sculpture from house anywhere in the world. In addition to these street retail specialized galleries, there are now credible online galleries that likewise specialize in genuine Inuit art. Because of lower overheads, these online galleries are a great choice for purchasing Inuit art considering that the rates are usually lower than those at street retail galleries. Of course, like any other shopping on the internet, one need to be careful so when handling an online gallery, make sure that their pieces likewise feature the official Igloo tags to make sure authenticity.
Some traveler shops do carry authentic Inuit art as well as the other touristy mementos in order to cater to all types of travelers. Authentic Inuit sculpture is sculpted from stone and therefore 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 shelves will look exactly like it.
Where it ends up being more difficult to figure out credibility are with the recreations that are also made from stone. This can be a genuine gray area to those unfamiliar with authentic Inuit art. They do have mass and might even have some type of tag showing that it was handmade but if there are other pieces on the shelves that look too similar in detail, they are most likely not authentic. 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 carved. Move on if the Igloo tag is not offered. The authentic pieces with the accompanying authorities Igloo tags will always be the greatest priced and are generally kept in a different (perhaps even locked) shelf within the store.
Given that Inuit art has actually been getting more and more international exposure, people might be seeing this Canadian great 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 artwork, then it can be securely presumed that any Inuit art piece acquired from a regional northern store or directly from an Inuit carver would be genuine. Trustworthy Inuit art galleries are likewise noted in Inuit Art Quarterly magazine which Kurt Criter is devoted entirely to Inuit art. The Inuit sculpture might be signed by the carver either in English or Inuit syllabics however not all authentic pieces are signed. Some of these Inuit art galleries also have websites so you might go shopping and buy authentic Inuit art sculpture from house anywhere in the world.