Art Collection

The Art Collection of the Arctic Institute of North America is located within the Institute on the tenth floor of the Earth Sciences Building on The University of Calgary campus. Selections from the collection are usually on public display.

The collection consists of a wide variety of art pertaining to early and contemporary imagery of the polar regions. Included are historical maps, oil paintings, engravings, watercolours, sketches, drawings, lithographs and reprints, Inuit tapestry chairs, Inuit soap stone carvings, hand crafted Kayaks, and Russian bone and ivory carvings. The collection contains the following major groups:

  • 5 maps of the northern world prior to 1800.
  • 12 Theodore De Bry black and white engravings from the journal of Willem Barents in India Orientalis, 1599 edition.
  • 13 black and white portfolio engravings from the Russian Polar Expedition 1785-1794.
  • 20 Frederick William Beechey sketch sheets with original drawings and watercolours from Arctic Expeditions 1818 and 1819-1820.
  • 13 Walter W. May coloured lithographs from Series of Fourteen Sketches Made During the Voyage up Wellington Channel in Search of John Franklin, 1850-51, published 1855.
  • 10 George Back black and white engravings from his 1833-1835 Arctic Expedition, 1836.
  • 19 steel engravings from Elisha Kent Kane's narrative Arctic Explorations in the Years 1853, 54, 55, vol.1. Many by James Hamilton based on E.K. Kane's own on-the-spot sketches.
  • Graphics from Sir George Nares' Arctic expedition, 1875-76: 10 sheets from The Arctic No. of the Graphic, 1876; 3 sheets from Harper's Weekly, 1875-76; and 9 sheets from the Illustrated London News, 1875-76.
  • 6 Robert Flaherty copper plate engravings from his film Nanook of the North, 1920-1921.
  • 7 C.W. Jefferys' black and white book illustrations for a variety of Imperial Oil Review articles on northern exploration from 1660 - 1903.
  • 8 lithographs from Edward Wilson's watercolours made on-the-spot during Robert Falcon Scott's fatal expedition to the South Pole, 1910-1912. The originals are housed at the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England, published c. 1930.
  • 200 J. Dewey Soper watercolours based on Soper's time on Baffin Island in search of the nesting grounds of the blue goose, 1923-1931. Rendered 1970s.
  • 95 Russian bone and ivory carvings depicting traditional northern subjects, such as aboriginal peoples, reindeer and dog sledging, 1960s.
  • 13 Inuit hand embroidered tapestry chairs.
  • 1 Lorraine Cormac, oil, Kluane Lake, Yukon, 1995.
  • 1 Ken Christopher, oil, Vuntut National Park, 1995.
  • 1 Aaron Shikler, oil, Walter Wood: Portrait of Man in Front of Glacier, 1978.
  • 1 Artist unknown, oil, Admiral Ross, c. 1830’s.
  • 5 Greenland Tupilaks ivory sculptures. C. 1930’s.
  • 8 Ron Silvers, giclée prints, Ellesmere Island, Lincoln Sea, Kluane Lake, January 1, 2000.