Scott Po­lar Re­search In­sti­tute

Cam­bridge, Eng­land

Inuit Art Quarterly - - PORTFOLIO -

Cu­ra­tor(s): Char­lotte Con­nelly, Cu­ra­tor, The Po­lar Mu­seum

Num­ber of works: 350+ Inuit

First work(s): Dif­fi­cult to de­ter­mine as the col­lec­tion also in­cludes many ex­am­ples of early non-util­i­tar­ian ob­jects, so the as­sess­ment of “art” is quite open

Re­cent ac­qui­si­tion(s): A large carv­ing of a po­lar bear ren­dered in blue and green ser­pen­ti­nite by Lu­cassie Echalook, ac­quired in 2013.

Sig­nif­i­cant exhibition­s: In 2010, the mu­seum mounted Inuit Art: Mas­ter­works from the Arc­tic and the si­mul­ta­ne­ous dis­play Sanan­guaq: Inuit Art in Bri­tain at Canada House in Lon­don, which brought to­gether for the first time the col­lec­tions of The Po­lar Mu­seum and many works in pri­vate hands from through­out the United King­dom.

In­ter­est­ing/unique/sur­pris­ing works in the col­lec­tion: Nine graphite draw­ings from the early 1820s were col­lected dur­ing an ex­pe­di­tion of the Foxe Basin. Th­ese works de­pict wildlife, tools and cloth­ing, as well as a por­trait of a Bri­tish Naval Of­fi­cer. Some have been at­trib­uted to a young Inuk, Toolooak.

Over the next five years, a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus for the mu­seum is to iden­tify new de­vel­op­ments in Inuit art and to ac­quire rep­re­sen­ta­tive ex­am­ples for the col­lec­tion. This will build on the 2008 ac­qui­si­tion of over 70 carv­ings and pieces of graphic art from 1950 to 2000, in­clud­ing works by Lucy Quin­nu­ayuak (1915-1982), Pit­se­o­lak Ashoona, RCA, (1904-1983) and An­nie Pootoo­gook (1969-2016), made pos­si­ble by the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund’s Col­lect­ing Cul­tures award pro­gram. — CC

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