Artworks by Canadian Inuit up for auction

The Norman Hallendy Collection of Inuit Miniatures. The collection was assembled during Hallendy's travels in the central Canadian Arctic between 1968 and 1971. Photo courtesy of Walker's Fine Art & Estate Auctioneers.Works from some of Canada’s most important Inuit art collections will be presented at auction this weekend in Ottawa. 

In all, Walker’s Fine Art & Estate Auctioneers, an Ottawa-based auction house, will be offering almost 300 Inuit prints and carvings for sale

Some of the most anticipated items include works from the John and Mary Robertson collection that date back to the 1950s, and miniature carvings from the Norman Hallendy collection.

It’s the first time Walker’s will be hosting an Inuit art auction. Until now, Waddington’s, a Toronto-based auction house, has dominated Inuit art auctions in Canada.

Ingo Hessel, the Inuit art expert who researched and catalogued the Inuit works, says it’s an exciting time for the Inuit art world and that it’s worth tuning into the auction whether you’re a buyer or not.

“The Robertson’s were among the first people to promote Inuit art as a serious art form,” he says. “Some of their pieces are from the 50s,Dog Sees the Spirits, 1960. Artist: Kenojuak Ashevak. Printmaker: Kananginak Pootoogook. Est. $5,000-$7,000. Photo courtesy of Walker's Fine Art & Estate Auctioneers. 60s and 70s and it’s a chance for (much of the public) to encounter some of these works.”

The auction takes place in Ottawa, Canada on Sunday, November 13.

To view the catalogue, click here.

To watch the auction online on Sunday, click here.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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