Inuit Art Museum Debuts in Central Canada Photo: Tyler Walsh/Tourism Winnipeg
Inuit Art Museum Debuts in Central Canada Photo: Tyler Walsh/Tourism Winnipeg

Inuit Art Museum Debuts in Central Canada

It houses the world's largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art.

Qaumajuq, an innovative 40,000-square-foot museum dedicated to Inuit art and culture, opened on March 27 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, as part of the 185,000-square-foot Winnipeg Art Gallery. The three-story tower of glass houses the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art, including 7,400 pieces on loan from the Nunavut archives.  

The first exhibition features 100 items by artists from across the circumpolar region, including Inuit art from the 60s and 70s. Also featured are recent creations such as Jesse Tungilik’s Sealskin Spacesuit and two works by Eldred Allen, a Labrador photographer who stitches drone photos together to create digitally altered landscapes. 

Qaumujuq means “it is bright,” or “it is lit” in Inuktitut. Spaces throughout the building were given Inuit, First Nations, and M├ętis names by a group of 14 elders and language keepers. The front lobby and vault, for example, are called “Ilavut,” which means “our relatives.” 

“My favorite thing is to bring Inuit people into the building and see their faces light up,” says Julia Lafreniere, the Winnipeg Art Gallery's head of indigenous initiatives. 

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