The George & Tannis Richardson Collection of Inuit Sculpture

The George & Tannis Richardson Collection of Inuit Sculpture contains 39 significant works. Assembled during the 1970s and early 1980s, the collection features sculpture by well-known artists such as Lukie Airut, from Igloolik, and Jimmy Arnamissak, from Inukjuak. Dramatic large-scale pieces include Airut’s depiction of a mother who drops her child from her amautik (parka) after clashing with a muskox, and Arnamissak’s scene of two men loading a kayak onto a kamotik (sled) for overland travel.

George T. Richardson (1924–2014) became the first Canadian-born Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1970 and served until 1982. During his tenure, the Hudson’s Bay Company moved its headquarters and archives from London, England, to Winnipeg, and transferred ownership from Britain to Canada. He developed an interest in Inuit art while travelling throughout the Canadian Arctic as Governor.

Tannis Richardson is a dedicated supporter of the WAG and she was instrumental is initiating the Volunteer Committee’s Study Group program and Art to the Schools. Additionally, Tannis chaired the Gallery’s organization of the landmark David Milne exhibition held in the late 1960s, and fundraising for the spectacular rotating front door of the new gallery building that opened in 1971.

In 1969, George Richardson built the first modern skyscraper in Winnipeg, the Richardson Building. He was a founding member of several community organizations, including Junior Achievement of Manitoba, United Way of Winnipeg, and the Manitoba Museum; served on many corporate boards; and supported numerous philanthropic endeavours.

The WAG is delighted to showcase these important carvings, housed in trust as part of the Gallery’s world-renowned collection of contemporary Inuit art. The George & Tannis Richardson Collection of Inuit Sculpture catalogue is made possible through a generous gift by Douglas and Louise Leatherdale. The WAG is also grateful to Robert and Deirdre Kozminski for supporting the Richardson exhibition.

Lukie Airut, (Igloolik, b. 1942) Drum Dancer and Man with Boot Caught on Muskox Horn, 1982. Stone, antler. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Gift from the Collection of George and Tannis Richardson, 2011-55

Related Programs & Events

Past Programs & Events

  • Culture Days at the WAG

    Celebrate Culture Days with a visit to the WAG!

    Saturday, September 26, 2015 from 11am to 5pm

  • Nuit Blanche Winnipeg: Carpe Noctem

    Stay up into the wee hours at this free, all night celebration of the arts with music, dance, film, and more!

    Saturday, September 26, 2015 from 6pm to 3am

  • Arctic Dreams

    Experience vivid and varied impressions of Canada’s north with Arctic Dreams, a concert featuring music by composers from Manitoba and across Canada, as well as Inuit throat singers.

    Wednesday December 16, 2015 at 8pm

  • Family Sunday - Arctic Chill Out

    Keep your snowsuit on when you visit the Far North at the WAG!

    Sunday, January 24, 2016 from 1:30pm to 4pm

  • Tour - The George & Tannis Richardson Collection of Inuit Sculpture

    WAG Curator of Inuit Art Darlene Coward Wight offers an intriguing tour of The George & Tannis Richardson Collection of Inuit Art.

    Wednesday February 3, 2016 at 12pm


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