The Creative Miracle of Eskimo and Inuit Art…from 2,500 Years Ago to the Present

The Creative Miracle of Eskimo and Inuit Art…from 2,500 Years Ago to the Present
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Sunday, Feb. 22 (10 – 11 AM) – Marin Art of the America’s Show, Marin Civic Center, San Rafael

RozImage   . . . G Inuit4 Ethnoaesthetics 003
         300 BC to AD 200, Alaska                         to         20th Century, Canada

A “double” lecture on Inuit/Eskimo art by: Roslyn Tunis, long-time FEA member and Consulting Curator, Thomas G. Fowler Collection of Eskimo and Inuit Art, Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the de Young, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; and Nelson H. Graburn, long-time FEA member and Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Curator Emeritus, Hearst Museum of Anthropology, Co-Chair, Canadian Studies Program, U C Berkeley.

Ms. Tunis will use examples from the de Young Museum’s Thomas Fowler collection to illustrate the history of Alaskan Eskimo art beginning ca. 2,500 year ago with small ivory and wood carvings through large scale anthropomorphic sculptures created in the 20th century.  She will discuss how the donor, Mr. Fowler, as an artist, adventurer, and traveler collected such extraordinary pieces, and ones that truly represent the Spirit and Yua/Inua or inner soul of pre-historic and contemporary Alaskan Art.

Dr. Graburn will continue by discussing the explosion of Inuit Arts that emerged from the Canadian Artic in the late 1940s and soon flourished in galleries, museums and markets of Canada, the United States, and Europe in the 1950s. These arts revealed the endless creativity of the Canadian Inuit in collaboration with the enthusiasm and energy of many qallunaat (non-Inuit) Canadians. We will explore the origins and spread of this miracle with some attention as to how it differed from the artistic developments in Alaska and Greenland.