Many visitors to Canada will be exposed to Inuit art (Eskimo art) sculptures while touring the country. Since Inuit art has actually been getting more and more international direct exposure, people might be seeing this Canadian great art kind at galleries and museums located outside Canada too. Assuming that the intent is to obtain an authentic piece of Inuit art rather than a inexpensive traveler imitation, the concern emerges on how does one inform apart the genuine thing from the fakes?
It would be pretty disappointing to bring home a piece just to find out later on that it isn't really genuine 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 wonderful art work, then it can be securely assumed that any Inuit art piece purchased from a regional northern store or directly from an Inuit carver would be authentic. One would have to be more careful elsewhere in Canada, particularly in tourist areas where all sorts of other Canadian mementos such as tee shirts, hockey jerseys, postcards, crucial chains, maple syrup, and other Native Canadian arts are sold.
The most safe places to look for Inuit sculptures to make sure credibility are constantly the trustworthy galleries that concentrate on Canadian Inuit art and Eskimo art. A few of these galleries have ads in the city tour guide discovered in hotels.
Credible Inuit art galleries are also listed in Inuit Art Quarterly magazine which is devoted completely to Inuit art. When one walks into these galleries, one will see that there will be only Inuit art and possibly Native art but none of the other usual tourist souvenirs such as t-shirts or postcards . 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 galleries also have websites so you might shop and buy genuine Inuit art sculpture from home anywhere in the world. In addition to these street retail specialty galleries, there are now credible online galleries that likewise specialize in authentic Inuit art.
Some tourist shops do bring genuine Inuit art in addition to the other touristy souvenirs in order to accommodate all kinds of travelers. When shopping at these types of stores, it is possible to differentiate the real pieces from the recreations. Genuine Inuit sculpture Kurt Criter is carved from stone and therefore should have some weight or mass to it. Stone is likewise cold to the touch. A recreation made from 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 business 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 art work and nothing else on the store racks will look exactly like it. If there are duplicates of a particular piece with exact information, the piece is not genuine. It is probably not genuine if a piece looks too perfect in information with outright straight bottoms or sides. Of course, if a piece features a sticker label showing that is was made in an Asian country, then it is certainly a fake. There will also be a huge price distinction between authentic pieces and the imitations.
Where it becomes more difficult to determine authenticity are with the reproductions that are also made of stone. This can be a real gray area to those unfamiliar with authentic Inuit art. They do have mass and may 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 most likely not authentic. If a seller declares that such as piece is genuine, ask to see the main Igloo tag that includes 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 available. The authentic pieces with the accompanying authorities Igloo tags will constantly be the highest priced and are typically kept in a separate (perhaps 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 type 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 fantastic art work, then it can be securely assumed that any Inuit art piece acquired from a local northern shop or directly from an Inuit carver would be genuine. Respectable Inuit art galleries are also listed in Inuit Art Quarterly publication which is dedicated completely to Inuit art. The Inuit sculpture might 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 sites so you could go shopping and buy genuine Inuit art sculpture from home anywhere in the world.