The beauty of a stone caribou changed an artist’s life

Montreal Gazette – Some time after landing at Port Harrison, he was smitten by the beauty of a caribou carved in stone. It was by an Inuk named Neoamiluk, and Houston traded some of his own drawings for it. Then, with the help of the local Hudson’s Bay Co. manager, he acquired more carvings and eventually returned south with them. He showed them to officials of the Canadian Guild of Crafts on Peel St., and they were equally impressed. The Guild had mounted several exhibitions of Inuit art over the years, including one at the McCord Museum in 1930 that was especially successful. Now, with the enthusiastic Houston, new possibilities opened up. The Guild won a $1,100 grant from Ottawa, and Houston was dispatched back north for the summer of 1949 to acquire as many Inuit carvings as he could. The result was an exhibition opening in November that created a sensation. All the carvings sold out; Inuit art was on the map to stay.

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