Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Groundbreaking New Center Unveils World's Largest Collection of Inuit Art

More than 20,000 works from artists across the Canadian Arctic are on display at Qaumajuq, a new museum-within-a-museum at the Winnipeg Art Gallery


April 14, 2021

Los Angeles-based architect Michael Maltzan's design is reminiscent of a sun-sculpted ice formation. (Courtesy of Michael Maltzan Architecture)

With curving contours of white Vermont granite, Qaumajuq, the new Inuit art center at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG), is a stunning architectural presence in Manitoba's capital city. Pronounced 'KOW-ma-yourk' (or HOW-ma-yourk, depending on the regional dialect of Inuktitut, the Inuit language), Qaumajuq houses 14,000 sculptures, prints, drawings and textile art created by Inuit artists from across the Canadian Arctic. In addition, nearly 7,400 artworks are on loan from the Government of Nunavut, awaiting the development of future museum facilities in the North. After more than a decade of planning, Qaumajuq, which opened in late March, brings the world's largest public collection of Inuit art to view.

Following his selection as the building's designer, Los Angeles-based architect Michael Maltzan and WAG Director and CEO Stephen Borys visited major museums in North America and Europe. In July 2013, accompanied by Inuit art curator Darlene Wight, associate architect George Cibinel and Dutch architectural photographer Iwan Baan, they traveled to the Nunavut communities of Iqaluit, Kinngait (formerly Cape Dorset) and Pangnirtung on the south coast of Baffin Island, where they toured art studios and ventured out into Cumberland Sound with Inuk outfitter Joavie Alivaktuk.


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