May 5, 2013

Inuit Art – Auction Monday May 6th

My love for Canadian First Nations and Inuit art goes on … and on Monday night an auction of the most significant Inuit graphics prints ever, The Cape Dorset Collection, goes on the block. The whole set is close to 80 prints and it is estimated at around 400 000k or more. Let me tell you why…

waddingtonInuit history and culture has always been preserved and transmitted through an oral tradition and songs.  In the summer of 1956, the Department Indian Affairs sent art supplies and building materials for a craft centre to Cape Dorset. Before long, a small group of Inuit artists began to experiment with print techniques, learning from one another by trial and error. Three years of experimentation in linocut, stonecut and stencil culminated in the inaugural 1959 collection. Remarkable in their elegance and outstanding quality, the prints are a testimony to the artists’ individual styles and technical skill already apparent at this early stage. Their immediate success led to the formation of the community-owned West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative, incorporated in 1959. source


They are stunning in their simplicity and are famous the world over. In the 1950’s when the first prints were made, they sold for around $30 each and today…well we will see. Did you know that in Canada artists do not receive re-sale royalties for their art which is re-sold? Private sellers and galleries profit in sales such as this.

You can learn more about the Cape Dorset art co-operative  here.  Do you collect any First Nations art?

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May 5, 2013


Nicole Scott