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Native American Art

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Circle of Birds

19 3/4 x 25 in. (50.2 x 63.5 cm)

Iyola Kingwatsiak (aka Iyola, Iola)
Canada (Cape Dorset, Nunavut, Canada, 1933 - 2000)


Object Type: Print
Medium and Support: Stencil print
Credit Line: Bequest of Isabel C. Herdle
Accession Number: 2005.72
Link to this object
Location: Not currently on view

Edition: 42/50

Along with stonecut prints, James Houston also recognized the possibilities for stencil prints. While visiting a snow house at a far camp Houston admired the wife’s work of skin appliqué, a process where silhouette forms were cut out of a contrasting hide and sewn onto clothing for decoration. This particular woman had also cut out figures from hide scraps to illustrate a story for her children. Houston noticed that the remnants left after cutting were very stiff and would be good for stenciling. So in this way the art form grew out of a practice already very familiar to the Inuit – they just took it a step further. Stenciling also allowed for color gradations not possible in the stonecut printing process. In order to save precious seal skins for other uses, they developed a wax-impregnated paper for stencil cutting.

[Label text from "Art from the Arctic: Inuit Prints and Sculpture" (11/20/09-2/14/10) by Cynthia Culbert]

Eskimo Art, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI; purchased by Isabel Herdle, Rochester, NY in 1967; bequeathed to the MAG in 2005

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Inuit Artists' Print Database Description of print

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