Visible Vault

This is where the story of Inuit art and culture begins—where students and other visitors will launch their cultural expedition through the Arctic. Upon stepping into the Inuit Art Centre, visitors will be greeted by a 5,000-square-foot glass atrium on the street level. Inside this welcoming plaza, a three-story transparent vault will showcase 7,500 Inuit carvings, a stunning display that’s visible even from the street.

The vault will be the first of its kind in North America.

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Inuit Art Centre visible vault rendering. Michael Maltzen Architecture Inc.
Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Photo: Iwan Baan

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Government of Nunavut Fine Art Collection.

Building the Collection

For centuries, the Inuit have been carving stone lamps, tools, toys and other necessities of life. As people moved into settlements from a nomadic hunting life on the land, the traditional means of subsistence changed. In the 1950s, the Canadian government encouraged carving and the formation of artist co-ops to spur economic development. The WAG first began collecting Inuit art at this time, when the art form was largely unknown and little understood.

 

Miriam Qiyuk. Women and Children, 1990. Stone. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from The Winnipeg Art Gallery Foundation Inc. in honour of the appointment of Mrs. Marjorie Drache as a Fellow of The WAG Foundation Inc., G-92-227
Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Photo: Iwan Baan
Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Photo: Iwan Baan
Nelson Takkiruq. Double Shaman Drum Dancer (detail), 1989. Whale bone, stone. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of Dr. Harry Winrob, 2006-616.1 to 3