Joe Talirunili


JOE TALIRUNILI (1893-1976)


c. 1970, bears paper label with signature in Roman and syllabics
15" x 14" x 6.5" — 38.1 x 35.6 x 16.5 cm.

November 05, 2012

Estimate $100,000-$150,000

Realised: $290,000

Still the highest amount ever paid for a work of Inuit art, The Migration by Joe Talirunili remains one of the most iconic works of Canadian art.

The ‘Joe Boat’ as it has become known, was a subject repeated in dozens of carvings by Talirunili. It recounts a traumatic event from the artist’s own childhood. He and the other survivors of a shipwreck are depicted on a crowded umiak – a hastily constructed skin boat – paddling through breaking ice floes in an attempt to reach safety.

Related Items

JOE TALIRUNILI (1893-1976)


c. 1970, signed in Roman
4.5" x 7.5" x 2.5" — 11.4 x 19.1 x 6.4 cm.

November 16, 2015

Estimate $20,000-$30,000

Realised: $163,500



signed in Roman and syllabics, c. 1970
5 ins x 5.5 ins x 1.5 ins; 12.7 cms x 14 cms x 3.8 cms

May 30, 2016

Estimate $15,000-$20,000

Realised: $55,200

JOE TALIRUNILI (1893-1976)


c. 1975
11.5" x 10.5" x 3.5" — 29.2 x 26.7 x 8.9 cm.

June 02, 2014

Estimate $120,000-$140,000

Realised: $140,500

Inuit, First Nations & Métis Art

Waddington’s is internationally recognized as one of the leading authorities in marketing Inuit Art. No other auction house has been as intrinsically linked to the development of a market for this art form. From our first landmark auction in 1978 of the William Eccles Collection, Waddington’s has offered thousands of works, set record prices, and expanded the market well beyond Canada’s borders. Our legacy of successful Inuit Art auctions, our ability to achieve continually increasing values and our creation of an international market have been key factors in validating Inuit art as a whole and establishing it as an integral part of the Canadian Art scene.

Meet the Specialist

Duncan McLean
Duncan McLean


Inuit, First Nations & Métis Art, Management

[email protected]


Read Bio

Related Works

Joe Talirunili

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