You might ask: why is there a page for every artist but a single page for Inuit art? Because Inuit art offers a cooperative alternative to the individualistic system of our art world. Many Inuit artists of the Canadian Arctic continue to disseminate their work in unison through cooperatives. Artists are known both by place and person: a Cape Dorset artist or a Baker Lake artist. Our collection includes:

Agnes Nanogak, from Holman in the Northwest Territories. Particularly prolific before her death in 2001, Nanogak attempted to help her people remember their stories. Translated into ‘bold colors, fluid lines, and nervous energy’, we ‘hear’ the tales of shape-shifting animals and shamans.

Pitseolak Ashoona CM RCA (1904 or 1907 or 1908–1983, Cape Dorset). Ashoona belonged to one of the last generations to grow up hunting and gathering in the frozen tundra. With unpretentious authority she depicted the daily life of her people. She was awarded the Order of Canada and was a Canadian Royal Academician.

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