Bio

Ipeelee, Osuitok

Osuitok Ipeelee was born in 1922 at Neeouleeutalik Camp, Nunavut. He first learned to carve by watching his father, Ohotok make ivory cribbage boards, which he often sold to sailors. At thirteen, Ipeelee began carving toys out of leftover pieces of wood from packing crates. In his twenties he was carving ivory sculptures to sell to the Roman Catholic missionaries in Cape Dorset . The first carving he ever sold, in the 1940s, was a miniature ivory fox trap. 


His work is easily identifiable due to the delicacy, detail, balance, and unique creativity he brought to each work he produced. Ipeelee also worked as a printmaker, and his skills in both sculpture and printmaking led to his work being recognized as some of the best by fellow artists and collectors. Ipeelee became an instrumental part of both printmaking and sculpture becoming established art practices in Cape Dorset. When James and Alma Houston told him their plan to buy Inuit art that would then be shipped to southern galleries, he responded enthusiastically. He began selling sculptures to them and eventually went to work for James Houston as a guide and assistant This lead to his move to Cape Dorset with his wife, Nipisha, and their children. 


In 1952, The National Gallery of Canada presented the exhibition Eskimo Art, which included four of his works. The 1955 exhibition Eskimo Sculpture, also held at the National Gallery of Canada, featured six of Ipeelee’s sculptures. This began a long list of museum and gallery exhibitions around the world that have presented his sculptures and prints. In 1955, Ipeelee was asked to take part in carving an official mace for the Council of the Northwest Territories. Alongside Peter Pitseolak, he lead the team of craftsmen. He was also commissioned in 1959, to carve a sculpture of Queen Elizabeth II to be given to the Queen herself upon her arrival in Canada.


His major achievements include being elected as a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1973 and receiving the Lifetime Aboriginal Art Achievement Award, now known as the Indspire Award, in 2004.


Public Collections

 

Amon Carter Museum of American Art Fort Worth, TX, United States 

National Gallery of Canada Ottawa, ON, Canada 

TD Gallery of Inuit Art Toronto, ON, Canada 

Tom Thomson Art Gallery Owen Sound, ON, Canada 

Art Gallery of Guelph Guelph, ON, Canada 

Indigenous Art Collection at Indigenous Affairs and Northern 

Development Canada Gatineau, QC, Canada 

Glenbow Museum Calgary, AB, Canada 

Metropolitan Museum of Art New York City, NY, United States 

McMichael Canadian Art Collection Kleinburg, ON, Canada 

Nunatta Sunaqutangit Museum Iqaluit, NT, Canada 

Canada Council Art Bank Ottawa, ON, Canada 

Winnipeg Art Gallery Winnipeg, MB, Canada 

Canadian Museum of History Gatineau, QC, Canada 

Art Gallery of Ontario Toronto, ON, Canada 

La Guilde | The Guild Montreal, QC, Canada 

Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX, United States

Exhibitions:

 

Opening Exhibition

Nunavut Fine Arts Limited

 

 

On the Land

The Arctic Circle

 

The Cape Dorset Print

Presented at Rideau Hall by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

 

Four Cape Dorset Sculptors

Theo Waddington Galleries

 

Songs in Stone

The Arctic Circle

 

Ten Masterworks Exhibition Artists

Gallery of the Arctic

 

Contemporary Inuit Art

National Gallery of Canada

 

Cape Dorset Graphics *59

(annual collection)

 

Eskimo Art

National Gallery of Canada

 

Eskimo Carvings: Coronation Exhibition

Gimpel Fils

 

Eskimo Sculpture

arranged by the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources, and the National Gallery of Canada

 

Cape Dorset - A Decade of Eskimo Prints & Recent Sculpture

National Gallery of Canada, in cooperation with the Canadian Eskimo Art Committee

 

The Eskimo Art Collection of the Toronto-Dominion Bank

Toronto-Dominion Bank

 

Eskimo Sculpture '69

Robertson Galleries

 

 

Graphic Art by Eskimos of Canada: First Collection

Cultural Affairs Division, Department of External Affairs, Canada

 

Mythology in Stone

Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec

 

The Woodget Collection of Eskimo Art and Artifacts

Nova Scotia Museum of Fine Art

 

Sculpture/Inuit: Masterworks of the Canadian Arctic

Canadian Eskimo Arts Council

 

Eskimo Fantastic Art

Gallery 111, School of Art, University of Manitoba

 

Eskimo Sculpture: Selections from the Twomey Collection

Winnipeg Art Galleryju  

 

Cape Dorset Sculpture

Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec

 

Major Works by Major Artists

Gallery of the Arctic

 

Eskimo Art

Queens Museum

 

We Lived by Animals/Nous Vivions des Animaux

Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development in cooperation with the Department of External Affairs

 

Wildlife of the Arctic: Eskimo Sculpture

Pucker/Safrai Gallery

 

Canadian Eskimo Art - Prints, Sculpture

Carlin Galleries

 

Inuit Sculpture from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene B. Power

University of Michigan Museum of Art

 

Sculpture of the Inuit: Masterwork Exhibitors of the Canadian Arctic

Inuit Gallery of Vancouver

 

Inuit Art in the 1970s

Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre

 

Inuit Master Artists of the 1970s

Inuit Gallery of Vancouver

 

Cape Dorset

Winnipeg Art Gallery

 

The Klamer Family Collection of Inuit Art from the Art Gallery of Ontario

University of Guelph

 

The Year of the Walrus

The Arctic Circle

 

Inuit Art: A Selection of Inuit Art from the Collection of the National Museum of Man, Ottawa, and the Rothmans Permanent Collection of Inuit Sculpture, Canada

National Museum of Man, Ottawa and Rothmans of Pall Mall Canada Ltd.

 

The Year of the Bear

The Arctic Circle

 

The Jacqui and Morris Shumiatcher Collection of Inuit Art

Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, University of Regina

 

Cape Dorset Exhibition

Franz Bader Gallery

 

The Murray and Marguerite Vaughan Inuit Print Collection

Beaverbrook Art Gallery

 

Inuit Art from the Art Centre Collection

Macdonald Stewart Art Centre

 

Noel au Chateau - Art inuit de la collection Macdonald Stewart Art Centre

Macdonald Stewart Art Centre Guelph, Ontario presented at Chateau Dufresne

 

Grasp Tight the Old Ways: Selections from the Klamer Family Collection of Inuit Art

Art Gallery of Ontario

 

Inuit Masterworks: Selections from the Collection of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

McMichael Canadian Collection

 

Fantasy and Stylization - Cape Dorset Sculpture

Inuit Gallery of Vancouver

 

The Arctic/L'Artique

UNESCO

 

Contemporary Indian and Inuit Art of Canada

Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Ottawa, presented at the General Assembly Building, United Nations

 

Arctic Vision: Art of the Canadian Inuit

Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Canadian Arctic Producers

 

The Oral Tradition

National Museum of Man

 

Contemporary Art: Cape Dorset

Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec

 

Stones, Bones, Cloth, and Paper: Inuit Art in Edmonton Collections

Edmonton Art Gallery

 

Uumajut: Animal Imagery in Inuit Art

Winnipeg Art Gallery

 

Sanaugasi Takujaksat: A Travelling Celebration of Inuit Sculpture

Presented by Canadian Arctic Producers Ltd., with the assistance of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Ottawa

 

The Spirit of the Land

The Koffler Gallery

 

Baffin Island Sculpture

Inuit Gallery of Vancouver

 

Sculptures by Oshoweetook "B" of Cape Dorset

Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec

 

Oshewetok, Cape Dorset: Recent Sculpture

Waddington Galleries

 

Oshoweetok

Pucker/Safrai Gallery

 

Exhibition of Eskimo Carvings by Cape Dorset Artist Oshewetok

Waddington Galleries

 

Oshewetok

Waddington Galleries

 

Aipellie Osuitok (Oshaweetok): Sculpture

Theo Waddington & Company

 

Ipillie Oshoweetok

Inuit Galerie

 

Cape Dorset Sculptors and Their Sculpture

The Inuit Art Collection Mr. and Mrs. James F. Bacon

 

Cape Dorset Sculpture by Ipellee Osuitok, Tutuiya Ikkidluak, Quavaroak Tunnillie, Ashevak Tunnillie, Peter Tunnillie

Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec

 

Osuitok Ipeelee: One Man's Sculpture

Feheley Fine Arts

 

Cape Dorset: Recent Sculpture

Gallery of the Arctic

 

Die Kunst aus der Arktis

Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Ottawa, presented by Commerzbank

 

The World Around Me

University of Lethbridge Art Gallery

 

Oshaweetok Ipeelee

Eskimo Art Gallery

 

Inuitkonst fran Kanada - skulptor och grafik

Millesgarden

 

Our Hoods are Full

Arctic Artistry

 

Cape Dorset - Selected Sculpture from the Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery

Winnipeg Art Gallery

 

Eskimo Sculptures and Prints including a collection of Carvings by Osowetokla

Hartford National Bank

 

Im Schatten der Sonne: Zeitgenossische Kunst der Indianer und Eskimos in Kanada/In the Shadow of the Sun: Contemporary Indian and Inuit Art in Canada

Canadian Museum of Civilization

 

[Inuit Art Exhibition]

Canadian Trade Centre

 

Spoken in Stone: an exhibition of Inuit Art

Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

 

From the Arctic Waters: A Selection of Inuit Sculpture & Graphics

Feheley Fine Arts

 

Collectors' Choice - An Exhibition of Important Inuit Sculpture

Waddington Galleries

 

A New Day Dawning: Early Cape Dorset Prints

University of Michigan

 

Arctic Mirror

Canadian Museum of Civilization

 

Small Sculptures from across the Canadian Arctic

Feheley Fine Arts

 

Animals of the Arctic

Arctic Inuit Art

 

A Family Tradition: Inuit Art from Canada's Arctic

Presented by Arctic Inuit Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

 

Granville Island Canadian Inuit Sculpture Exhibition (first exhibition)

Vancouver Inuit Art Society

 

The Eskimo

Museum of Fine Arts

 

Inuit Masterworks

Inuit Gallery of Vancouver

 

Granville Island Canadian Inuit Sculpture Exhibition (second exhibition)

Vancouver Inuit Art Society

 

Cape Dorset Stone Sculpture: Masters & the Next Generation

Inuit Gallery of Vancouver

 

Inuit Images in Transition

Augusta Savage Gallery, University of Massachusetts

 

In Cape Dorset We Do It This Way: Three Decades of Inuit Printmaking

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

 

Hudson's Bay Company Collection of Inuit Art

Winnipeg Art Gallery

 

Cape Dorset Sculpture

McMaster Art Gallery

 

 

Inuit Sculpture: Displayed in Conjunction with the 1991 Cape Dorset Annual Graphics Collection

Muscarelle Museum of Art

 

Inuit Sculpture--New Acquisitions

Pucker Gallery

 

Small Sculptures by Great Artists I

Feheley Fine Arts

 

Arctic Ice: Sculptures in Marble by the Artists of Cape Dorset, Northwest Territories

Marion Scott Gallery

 

The Theme of Transformation in Inuit Sculpture

The Isaacs/Innuit Gallery

 

Small Sculptures by Great Artists II

Feheley Fine Arts

 

The Treasured Monument

Marion Scott Gallery

 

Indigenous People-A New Partnership

presented by the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts at the John B. Aird Gallery, Queen's Park

 

Osuitok Ipeelee R.C.A.

Inuit Gallery of Vancouver

 

Inuit Art from the Canadian Arctic

Bayly Art Museum University of Virginia

 

Small Sculptures by Great Artists III

Feheley Fine Arts

 

Arctic Spirit 35 Years of Canadian Inuit Art

Frye Art Museum

 

The Inuit Imagination

Winnipeg Art Gallery

 

Collectable Sculpture 1987

Webster Galleries

 

Immaginario Inuit Arte e cultura degli esquimesi canadesi

Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea

 

Cape Dorset Print Collection (printmaker) *60

(annual collection)

 

Cape Dorset Print Collection (printmaker) *59

(annual collection)

 

Inspiration Four Decades of Sculpture

Marion Scott Gallery

 

Sedna: Spirit of the Sea

Feheley Fine Arts

 

Eskimo Art of the Canadian Eastern Arctic

circulated by the Smithsonian Travelling Exhibition Service, organized by Eskimo Art,Inc.

 

Images of our past

Art of Man Gallery

 

Contemporary Canadian Eskimo Art

Gimpel Fils