In 1956, artist James Houston came with his wife, Alma, to Cape Dorset, southwest of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic territory of Nunavut, as the northern service officer with the Canadian government’s Department of Northern Affairs. One of his duties was to foster the production of carvings and other handcrafts by the Inuit residents. By 1959, the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative had been formed, laying the groundwork for a legendary printmaking tradition. Today, the Cooperative’s Kinngait Studios are the oldest continually operating print studios in Canada, and collectors from around the world eagerly anticipate each annual release of Cape Dorset prints.
The artists of Cape Dorset are active in the studios from fall through late spring. Diverse media are available to the printmakers—etching and aquatint, woodcut, copper engraving, and stencil—but their mainstays are stonecut and lithography. When the print editions are finished and the fine summer weather arrives, many of the artists leave the community to return to the land and their traditional camps. The Inuit are determined to retain important elements of their culture—their language and stories, their connection to the Arctic and its resources—while adapting to modern ways. This book of postcards reproduces thirty outstanding images from over fifty years of printmaking at the Kinngait Studios.
Pomegranate’s books of postcards contain up to thirty top-quality reproductions bound together in a handy, artful collection. Easy to remove and produced on heavy card stock, these stunning postcards are a delight to the sender and receiver. Postcards are oversized and may require additional postage.