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ItuKiagatta! Inuit Sculpture Featured at NGC
Attributed to Eli Weetaluktuk, Woman with Ulu Knife c. 1950–51. Stone and ivory with inlay. 22.2 x 21.5 x 19 cm. TD Bank Financial Group.

OTTAWA, CANADA.- The National Gallery of Canada has teamed up with one of the country’s largest financial institutions to present an exhibition of exceptional art from Canada’s North. ItuKiagâtta! Inuit Sculpture from the Collection of the TD Bank Financial Group is on display at the Gallery until 5 June 2005.

ItuKiagâtta!, an expression that means “How it amazes us!” in the Labrador Inuktitut dialect, features 91 of the finest stone, bone and ivory sculptures from TD Bank Financial Group’s (TDBFG) Inuit Art Collection, representing an early, vital period in the development of Inuit art. After its opening in Ottawa, a smaller version of the show, featuring about 50 works, will tour other cities across Canada, including Winnipeg, Halifax, Edmonton, Victoria and Montreal.

“The National Gallery of Canada, which is marking its 125th anniversary this year, is pleased to join TDBFG in commemorating its 150th anniversary with this important cultural initiative,” says Pierre Théberge, Director of the National Gallery. “ItuKiagâtta! celebrates a truly Canadian art form that has helped shape our national identity.”

In addition to sponsoring ItuKiagâtta!, TDBFG presented the National Gallery of Canada Foundation with a $125,000 donation today to enhance the Gallery’s student intern program and to acquire a new work of Inuit art. The gift will allow the Gallery to increase the number of internships it offers to eligible students and graduates every year.

“We are grateful to TD for their generous gift,” says Marie Claire Morin, President and CEO of the National Gallery Foundation. “By offering additional study and training opportunities and work experience, the National Gallery’s student intern program will ensure that valuable knowledge and skills are shared with the next generation of Canadian art experts.”

“As we celebrate our 150th anniversary, TD is pleased to share this unique collection of Canada’s history and culture. Through the public display of ItuKiagâtta!, we hope to play a role in raising awareness of Inuit art among Canadians and visitors from around the world,” says Rob MacLellan, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer. “Art Collections like ItuKiagâtta! require training and experience to manage and we are pleased to support the Gallery’s Internship program which trains students in the important work of managing and preserving art collections.”

TDBFG already sponsors four paid positions that offer study and training opportunities in the fields of Art Museum Education, Museum Collections Management, Art Librarianship and Library Preservation Technology.

The Bank began assembling its Inuit Art Collection to mark Canada’s Centennial in 1967. The original collection contained sculptures, prints, drawings and ceramics by artists from across the Canadian Arctic, with an emphasis on the period between World War II and 1967. The collection now includes 610 works.

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