Amaulik Common Eider
13 x 20 in. (33 x 50.8 cm)
First Nations (Canada)
Inuit; made in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, Canada
Medium and Support:
Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Location: Not currently on view
Kananginak is known as “the Audubon of the North” for his precisely rendered images of birds. One of the first Inuit trained as a printmaker (he settled in Cape Dorset in the 1950s for health reasons), Kananginak had studied and hunted birds since he was a boy. He knows birds so well that he does not need photography or even an actual model to draw from, just his imagination. His work differs greatly from most of his contemporaries in its realism.
The Common Eider, a sea-duck that breeds in the Arctic, is the largest duck in the Northern Hemisphere. Its arrival announces the coming of summer.
Along with Iyola Kingwatsiak, whose work is also in the MAG collection, Kananginak was one of the founding members of the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative. Kananginak became the Cooperative’s first elected president.
[Label text from "Art from the Arctic: Inuit Prints and Sculpture" (11/20/09-2/14/10) by Cynthia Culbert]