Museum acquires Inuit prints from acclaimed Cape Dorset catalogue

Montreal Gazette – It’s a classic image of the Canadian Arctic: two caribou grazing in a stark northern land, an “iconic” scene composed in the unique, stripped-down style that would propel the Inuit printmakers of Cape Dorset to international acclaim in the 1960s. The 1957 “experimental” creation by Joseph Pootoogook — then a 70-year-old Inuit elder at the leading edge of a new Canadian art tradition — is perhaps the most important of more than 550 limited-edition Inuit prints that have recently been acquired by the Canadian Museum of Civilization to complete a new national collection of works from the renowned Baffin Island studio. Pootoogook’s Caribou, fashioned just as the Cape Dorset printmaking tradition was taking shape in the late 1950s, represents a landmark moment in the life of a federal economic development program that — beyond the wildest dreams of those involved — helped put contemporary Canadian art on the world map.

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