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“less museum, more expensive gallery”
Review of Museum of Inuit Art - CLOSED

Museum of Inuit Art
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Attraction details
Owner description: Canada’s only public museum south of the Arctic devoted exclusively to Inuit art and culture. Explore over 600 works of art, including sculpture in stone, antler, ivory and bone, innovative prints, drawings, ceramics and textile art from our permanent collection and on loan from first-class collections across Canada. The Museum of Inuit Art is located inside the Queen’s Quay Terminal Building at Toronto’s Harbourfront. Open Monday-Sunday 10 AM to 6 PM.
Reviewed June 12, 2012

This place didn't feel welcoming, and had the feel of being a shop front rather than an actual museum

Date of experience: June 2012
5  Thank Debby W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (59)
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33 - 37 of 59 reviews

Reviewed May 3, 2012

This was very interesting. As a Californian, I'm familiar with our own southwest Native American culture, but knew nothing about Canada's First Nations. I still can't claim any real expertise, but visiting this museum was an interesting look at the earliest residents of this part of the world. The museum itself is not very big, but it packs in a lot of artifacts from many eras (including contemporary) and good information about them.

Date of experience: April 2012
Thank chellebelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 27, 2012

Actually, I think it was the owner we were dealing with -- David. We were asking an honest question -- how much are the artists paid for their work because you hear stories of the native artists being ripped off by the white man. He became very rude and defensive. We came to buy a corporate gift and had some ideas of what we were looking for, but did need some guidance. Well, forget about getting help from him, he turned his back and walked away from us. I guess you're just supposed to fork over your money and not ask questions. But some of the things there were so very overpriced compared to other galleries. We usually shop at the Guild on Cumberland, but this time we thought we'd try somewhere new. Well, we won't be back there. We took a taxi up to Yorkville and were very happy with our purchase. The museum is just a gimmick to get people warmed up to buying their overpriced artwork.

Date of experience: February 2012
3  Thank Mermaid_22222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Museum of Inuit... T, Manager at Museum of Inuit Art, responded to this reviewResponded April 1, 2012

Thank for you the feedback - given the many positive reports on this forum regarding the Museum of Inuit Art we are sorry that your experience was not similar. Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine from your review exactly what transpired because it seems that there was some misunderstanding regarding our organization. The museum does not in fact have an owner; rather, we are a registered non-profit organization and were founded to fulfill a forty year need for a museum dedicated to Inuit art and culture - and we are committed to ensuring that the museum's 75,000 yearly visitors have access to timely and accurate information about the museum and its mandate.

As an award-winning institution we are committed to achieving our mandate - which includes operating the MIA Gallery in order to represent living Inuit artists and their work. acquired exclusively through the Inuit cooperatives and art marketing organizations - and for which we had been acknowledged as one of the top representatives in Canada and a leader in publications and research. The relationship of the gallery to the museum is articulated throughout the gallery signage, but essentially the gallery supports both living artists and the museum's operational costs.

The MIA Gallery has exclusive deals with Inuit owned and operated cooperatives and art marketing systems, meaning that they set the gallery's prices and we do not raise them. In fact, we have been routinely told that our gallery's prices are significantly lower than most other galleries. To answer your original question, artists are paid up front when they sell their work to the cooperative or art marketing organization. They are offered a price and are able to accept it or decide to sell the work elsewhere. It's an entirely equitable system, controlled by Inuit, and when someone purchases artwork here the proceeds go back into the communities and into supporting our museum.

Our museum is the only museum in the country devoted exclusively to art made by Inuit and I can assure you it is not a gimmick to persuade people into purchasing works at the gallery. The gallery exists in order to offer interested people an opportunity to purchase a work and to allow those proceeds to support vital museum operations, but the vast majority of our 75,000 annual visitors do not shop in the gallery. Neither do any of the thousands of school children who take advantage of our complimentary school visits program. We are committed to fulfilling our mandate, which is to showcase the history, variety, breadth and depth of this art form for the public and in creating meaningful experiences for our visitors. We would like to invite you for a guided tour of the museum in order to demonstrate how we work towards our mandate and address any concerns you may still have. Please contact us at info@miamuseum.ca if you would like to continue the discussion or come in for a tour.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 5, 2012

We were surprised by inuit art, very interesting and nice. Lot of bone sculptures. Inuit art is simple and very close to the nature. About 2 hours to visit.

Date of experience: June 2011
1  Thank Monica G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed February 28, 2012

Interesting art from the North, arranging in an informative and engaging way. In the Queen's Quay Terminal building in Harbourfront.

1  Thank FrancesWest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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