London’s British Museum Retail Store Features NWT Artwork

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October 5, 2020

The British Museum in London, England has developed an immersive exhibition, Arctic Culture and Climate, which will be on display at the museum from October 22, 2020 until February 21, 2021.

The exhibition is a celebration of the ingenuity, creativity and resourcefulness of Indigenous Peoples from across the Arctic. The British Museum summarizes the exhibition as “…the powerful story of respectful relationships with icy worlds and how Arctic Peoples have harnessed the weather and climate to thrive”.

 To complement the Arctic Culture and Climate exhibition, the British Museum contacted NWT Arts in the hopes of purchasing authentic artwork from the territory to sell in its affiliated retail store.

 Staff at both NWT Arts and the Northwest Territories Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC) worked with the British Museum to develop a representative collection of approximately 300 pieces of NWT Art created in the territory.

 The collection includes moosehide brooches, moosehair tufting brooches, beaded mukluk zipper pulls, beaded earrings, birchbark baskets, beaded cardholders, and the now-famous tea cozies that Ulukhaktok crafters are renowned for.

NWT Arts provided supporting information and brochures highlighting the value of the NWT’s traditional arts and detailing the use and preparation of the natural materials used to create it. Some of the art work was created specifically for the collection; while others were adapted to address European sensitivities concerning fur.

 “This project was an opportunity for us to increase economic activity for about 16 artists, while effectively reaching a new market on the other side of the world,” notes Johanna Tiemessen, Manager of ITI’s Arts and Fine Crafts. “We thank the British museum for this opportunity and wish them a successful show of their exhibit and sale of NWT art.”


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