Dennos Museum Center
Traverse City, Michigan
Curator(s): Eugene A. Jenneman, Executive Director; Jason Dake, Curator of Education; Kim Hanninen, Registrar Number of works: 1,523 Inuit
First work(s): The print Eskimo Legend: Owl, Fox, and Hare (1959) by Osuitok Ipeelee, RCA, a gift from Wilbur C. Munnecke.
Recent acquisition(s): The two most recent purchases are prints from the 2016 Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection: Neutralizer (2016) and My New Boots (2016), both by Ningiukulu Teevee.
Significant exhibitions: Expressions of Arctic Tradition: Contemporary Inuit Art (ongoing) is drawn from our extensive collection and has travelled widely in the USA and internationally to the Bermuda National Gallery in 2008.
Interesting/unique/surprising works in the collection: A box labelled “first works imported into the USA” with items dated from around 1940 to 1960, gifted by Wilbur C. Munnecke. We also have a collection of early experimental prints from Kinngait
(Cape Dorset) and two print stone and print sets both done in 1961: Man Killing Seal by Akesuk Tudlik (1890–1966) and Man in a Kayak by Napachie Pootoogook (1938-2002).
Since opening, the museum has had a designated gallery to showcase the permanent
Inuit art collection, the Power Family Inuit Art Gallery, which includes the gift of Eugene and Sayde Power’s Inuit art collection. Currently, construction is underway to expand the museum by 15,000 sq. ft. including an expansion of the Inuit Art Gallery and Inuit art collection storage by 2,400 sq. ft., which will more than double the gallery and storage space. The expansion of the gallery and collection storage area is made possible by a gift of $1 million from Barbara and Dudley Smith III. The Smiths hold a significant collection of Inuit art that will be gifted to the museum as well. — EJ