Inuit and First Nations Art

November 2530, 2023
Auction begins to close at 7:00 pm ET

Online Auction
LOT 158

Lot 158

Kiakshuk ᑭᐊᓱ (1886-1966)

Kiakshuk ᑭᐊᓱ (1886-1966)
Lot 158 Details
Kiakshuk ᑭᐊᓱ (1886-1966), Kinngait (Cape Dorset)


stonecut and stencil
titled, dated and numbered 3/3; artist's name in Roman; unframed
sheet 12.5 x 20 in — 31.8 x 50.8 cm

Estimate $5,000-$10,000

Realised: $11,070
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report


The Collection of Terry Ryan;
Private Collection, Ontario


Imperial Oil Review, October 1960 (Vol. 44, No. 5), 18-19


Previously speculated to have been made in an edition of three, this important special commission print is clearly marked: “3/3.” Reproduced in the October 1960 edition of the Imperial Oil Review, the print depicts workers rolling oil drums from the beach up to a stone yard behind the Kinngait residence of James Houston. This scene may be documented in the photographic records of freelance photojournalist Rosemary Gilliat Eaton (1919–2004) who was working on behalf of Imperial Oil in 1960, and described the events portrayed in the print in her diary of that year.

Depicted in Kiakshuk’s distinctive, minimal style, the print is made up of a composition of layered linear scenes. Kiakshuk’s vision of the event hums with an attention to detail and subtle perception that may not always be apparent in the depictions of supernatural subjects for which he is typically known. The scene is bustling with the energy of the Inuk workers, and keenly records the officious postures of Imperial Oil overseers.

For almost 50 years Terry Ryan was the art advisor and general manager of the West Baffin Co-operative (WBEC). Much like his predecessor and fellow Ontario College of Art graduate James Houston, Ryan had a passion for the Arctic and its people, with whom he lived for the better part of his life. Speaking of Ryan in his 2017 obituary in The Globe and Mail, John Westren of Dorset Fine Arts said of Ryan that he dedicated himself to the task of supporting the co-op: “it was his whole life. He was one of those old-fashioned men of integrity.” (1)

Ryan was passionate about the art, and worked closely with nearly all of the early, now-celebrated Kinngait artists. Selections from the Terry Ryan collection were offered by Waddington’s in 2019 and again in 2020. We are pleased to be able to offer an additional installment of important works from Ryan’s collection.

1. Stoffman, Judy. “The godfather of Inuit art.” The Globe and Mail. September 17, 2017.


Rosemary Gilliat Eaton fonds [graphic material, textual record, cartographic material]
Rosemary Gilliat (Eaton)’s Arctic diary
Two people rolling oil drums outside in Cape Dorset, Nunavut
Two boys helping to load or unload oil drums from Mission. Aklavik, N.W.T.
Two people rolling oil drums outside in Cape Dorset, Nunavut
Kiakshuk working on a print
Men rolling oil drums, Cape Dorset, Nunavut


Overall very good condition. Some discolouration visible around perimeter. Rippling around perimeter, remnant of hinges verso. Minor imperfections.

Please contact the specialist for further condition information.

LOT 158

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.