First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art

May 28, 2019


Lot 5

PARR (1893-1969)

 PARR (1893-1969)
Lot 5 Details
PARR (1893-1969), E7-1022, Cape Dorset / Kinngait


1968, 18/50
16 x 24 in — 40.6 x 61 cm

Estimate $2,500-$3,500

Realised: $2,400
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report


a Toronto collection


Inuksuit (pl. of inuksuk) are stone structures commonly thought of as being built to look like human beings. They are typically used as markers and signposts in the Arctic. The odd, angular shapes that make up these two figures (of children?) presumably are meant to represent the shapes of rocks. Parr, one of the oldest graphic artists in 1960s Cape Dorset, began drawing when already in his sixties. His style is often compared to the drawings of young children, but it did evolve over the eight years that he drew until his death in 1969. This fascinating image is based on a slightly more complex felt pen composition that included two dogs. The stonecut print beautifully captures the lively, scratchy drawing style of Parr’s late period. The image has a slightly abstract, almost jazzy feel to it.

Note: this print was officially titled Innukshuit at Play, but this copy is one of several inscribed with the anglicized plural Innukshuks.

References: this image by Parr is illustrated in Leslie Boyd Ryan, Cape Dorset Prints: A Retrospective (Pomegranate, 2007) p. 75. For the original felt pen drawing by Parr see


For condition information please contact the specialist.


About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.