While we have the occasional photograph of a cow in our collection, they hardly qualify as Arctic. Instead, I offer you this adorable baby, Ole, with his mother Ane Petersen in the spring of 1923. Ane has with her a tin of Sheffield powdered milk, courtesy of Donald MacMillan, but I don’t believe that it was the source of Ole’s robust good health.
For today, a great soapstone carving of a bear. The artist, Eegewudloo Putapoo, has managed to carve so much expression into this piece!
Another staff favorite for today. This early Greenlandic carving of a woman carrying a baby in her amautik is a recommendation from our assistant curator, Anne. This statue “has an archaic design quality,” Anne says, “that looks almost modern to my eye.”
I, for one, love the angles and details on this figure - really lovely.
Quick little art post for today: a whale carved from soapstone, by artist Napatchie Noah. The lines on this are so beautiful.
Walrus carved from serpentine and walrus ivory. Artist listed only as “Noah.”
This guy’s expression just kills me.
Pretty interesting image for today…This bookplate, published in 1810, shows a very early European rendering of an Inuit sledge and various tools, marked “A Bone Sled, Dog Whip, Spear, & Knife of the Arctic Highlanders.”
The artist is marked as Daniel Havell, who is probably the Daniel Havell of the famous Havell family of engravers.
An awesome sculpture for today. This is “Man Watching TV,” by Cape Dorset artist Isaci Etidloie. There’s a general expectation from Westerners that Inuit art (and perhaps most native art) should involve traditional themes, styles, and depictions, but, as this sculpture shows, modern Inuit art is definitely grounded in, and often depicts, the present day.
The Inuit Gallery of Vancouver has a great online gallery of some of Etidloie’s work - he does a lot of great sculptures of golf, hockey, and weightlifting!
Oh my goodness, what a gorgeous part of our collection do I get to share today!
These are knee-high sealskin boots from Greenland, created sometime before 1950. They’re dyed a wonderful coral red, and decorated with a leather mosaic of miniature pieces of dyed leather. (We also have one solo boot of an identical style, dyed chocolate brown.) They’re meant to be worn with elaborate embroidered and lace-trimmed leggings and traditional short pants made of sealskin. Women used to wear boots like this all the time, but now they wear them only for festive/ceremonial occasions.
These were very fragile, so I didn’t take them out of the box when photographing them…but I would have loved to try these on!