Audla Pee, Container in the form of a human-animal transformation, c. 1950-55
Stone, 4 x 2 x 5 1/4 in.
Provenance: Albrecht Collection of Arctic Art. In the early 1950s, when the Canadian Government was anxious to help develop a market for Inuit Art, it sponsored a [somewhat ill-advised] pamphlet, "Eskimo Handicrafts" that depicted both some genuine Inuit art and artifacts, but that also included pictures of non-Inuit objects, such as ashtrays. The purpose was to encourage the Inuit to produce similar objects. There is no other reasonable explanation for the inspiration for this altogether charming work -- a handsome human head with distinctly animal ears mounted on the front of a box suitable for business cards. Audla Pee, the carver, went on to become a prominent Cape Dorset artist, carving more traditional subject matter.
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