Friday, June 15, 2012

Inuit Art - Toronto, An Architectural Destination

Modern architecture grew out of the Thule people's tradition of decorating utilitarian objects. Although the earlier Pre-Dorset, Dorset and Ipiutak cultures also produced artistic objects, these items are much more rare. Contact between the Inuit people and Western whalers and missionaries in the 1500s led to the expansion of Inuit architecture. Over time, sculptures carved in whale ivory, stone and other available materials were created for use in trade rather than for personal or ritual use.

Once previously nomadic groups settled into villages after World War II, the Inuit art movement flourished. Sculptors and other artists were encouraged by the Canadian government to produce small sculptures and other items to sell as a means to self-sufficiency. Although these items originally reflected traditional themes, processes and materials, a separate modern style of architecture gradually developed.

Along with a continuation of the traditional art of carving animals and people in stone, a vibrant printmaking craft began in the post-war period. Unlike in most other regions globally, stone was the preferred medium for use in creating print blocks. Typical stones used include slate, talc and soapstone.

Along with numerous galleries, several of which are clustered along the shore of Lake Ontario, there is a museum devoted exclusively to Inuit art and sculpture. Located on Queen's Quay Terminal, the Museum of Inuit Art opened in 2007. In addition to its regular collection, the Museum also hosts temporary exhibits focused on aspects of traditional and modern Inuit art and crafts.

To know more about the background history of the areas around, then one must pay a visit to the birthplace of Toronto, Canada. Hiking holiday adventurers are among those who will appreciate being able to trample over the grounds where the Battle of York reached a climax in 1813, during the war of 1812, when the 'urban centre' of the city was born. Today, you can wander around Canada's largest collection of War of 1812 buildings and watch musket drills and musical demonstrations from the War.

Located in Thomson Memorial Park, Scarborough Museum is a shrine to the olden years of Canada. Hiking holiday visitors may like to see how the people who came before them lived and worked, and Scarborough Museum is a perfect example of that. This museum reflects the area's heritage dating from 1796 when it was a simple rural community, and it depicts the lives of those early settlers. The site is home to four buildings and they are the McCowan Log House, the original Cornell House (built in 1858), the Hough Carriage Works, and the Kennedy Display Annex.

The Museum of Inuit Art is Southern Canada's only museum dedicated to the display of art made by the native Inuit people, who are often referred to as 'Eskimos'. The museum opened in 2007 and curates exhibits that vary in content, but each elucidate an important facet of Inuit life, history, and culture. The building itself has been awarded two prestigious design awards, for its use of a white background and interesting architecture to relate the space in the building to the frozen vistas of the arctic from the time the Inuits hail.

Toronto is also blessed with public installations of many sculptures, including some by Inuit artists. Hunter with Seal, the first example of an Inuit sculpture displayed in a public location, was installed in 1968 in the courtyard of MacDonald Block. With numerous galleries devoted to Inuit art, and a world-class museum with hundreds of examples, Toronto is, indeed, the epicenter of admiration for this grand architectural tradition.


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