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Pitseolak Ashoona Life & Work by Christine Lalonde
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Photo Credits

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Credit for Cover Image

Pitseolak Ashoona, Drawing for print Summer Camp Scene, c. 1966–76. (See below for details.)

Credits for Banner Images

Biography: Pitseolak in Cape Dorset, 1968, photograph by Norman Hallendy. (See below for details.)
Key Works: Pitseolak Ashoona, The Critic, c. 1963. (See below for details.)
Significance & Critical Issues: Pitseolak Ashoona, Untitled (Solitary Figure on the Landscape), c. 1980. (See below for details.)
Style & Technique: Pitseolak Ashoona, Summer Camp Scene, c. 1974. (See below for details.)
Sources & Resources: Contact sheet of installation views of the exhibition Pitseolak at Simon Fraser Gallery, Vancouver, 1976. Collection of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Gatineau.
Where to See: Installation view of the exhibition Pitseolak at Simon Fraser Gallery, Vancouver, 1976. (See below for details.)

Credits for Works by Pitseolak Ashoona

Camp at Igalalik, 1973. Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau. © Dorset Fine Arts.
The Critic, c. 1963. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Drawing for print Eskimos on Sealskin Boat, c. 1966–72. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.2528. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Drawing for print Innukshuk Builders, c. 1966–68. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.1428. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Drawing for print Journey to Toodja, c. 1973. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.3577. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Drawing for print Memories of Childbirth, 1976. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.1184. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Drawing for print The River at Netsilik, c. 1966–76. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.4031. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Drawing for print Summer Camp Scene, c. 1966–76. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.1736. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Dream of Motherhood, 1969. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dorset Fine Arts.
The Eyes of a Happy Woman, c. 1974. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Fantastic Animals, c. 1970. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Gift of Samuel and Esther Sarick, Toronto, 2002, 2002/10668. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Festive Bird, 1970. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dorset Fine Arts.
First Bird of Spring, 1975. Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau. © Dorset Fine Arts.
In summer there were always big mosquitoes, 1970. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Gift of Samuel and Esther Sarick, Toronto, 2002, 2002/10664. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Innukshuk Builders, 1967. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Joyful Owl, 1961. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Legend of the Woman Who Turned into a Narwhal, c. 1974. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Memories of Childbirth, 1976. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CDP.27.8.1. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Moving Camp, c. 1971. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Gift of Samuel and Esther Sarick, Toronto, 2002, 2002/10671. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Portrait of Ashoona, c. 1970. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dorset Fine Arts.
The Race, c. 1973. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dorset Fine Arts.
The Shaman’s Wife, 1980. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Summer Camp Scene, c. 1974. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Summer Camping, c. 1960–65. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Gift of Samuel and Esther Sarick, Toronto, 2002, 2002/10656. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Summer Voyage, 1971. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Gift of Samuel and Esther Sarick, Toronto, 2002, 2002/10670. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Summer Wanderers Watch Woman Scraping Hide, 1961. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Tatooed Woman, 1963. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Gift of Samuel and Esther Sarick, Toronto, 2002, 2002/9570. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Tattooed Woman, 1960. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Gift of Samuel and Esther Sarick, Toronto, 2002, 2002/10648. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled (Bird and Woman), c. 1966–76. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.2974. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled (Bird Flying Overhead), c. 1966–67. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.2969. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled (Birds Flying Overhead), c. 1966–67. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.3342. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled (Camp joyfully greeting the return of a family member), 1976. Private collection. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled (Solitary Figure on the Landscape), c. 1980. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.6405. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled (Woman Attacked by Birds), c. 1966–76. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.1621. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled, c. 1959–61. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.48. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled, c. 1959–65. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.194. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled, c. 1959–65. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.254. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled, c. 1959–65. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.522. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled, c. 1960. Private collection, Kingston. Photograph by Paul Litherland. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled, c. 1962. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.390. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled, c. 1962–64. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.1247. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled, c. 1965. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.819. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled, c. 1965. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.907. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled,  c. 1966–67. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.1651. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled, c. 1966–67. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.1306. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled, c. 1966–76. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.1357. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled, c. 1966–76. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.2338. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled, c. 1966–76. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.2462 . © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled, c. 1966–76. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.2513 . © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled, 1976. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.4434. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled, c. 1979–80. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.6419. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled, c. 1979–80. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.6487. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled, 1981. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, CD.27.6601. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Winter Camping, 1966–76. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Gift of Samuel and Esther Sarick, Toronto, 2002, 2002/10675. Dieter Hessel Photography, Courtesy of Walker’s Fine Art & Estate Auctioneers. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Woman with an Ulu, 1962. Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Women Gutting Fish, 1960–65. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Gift of Samuel and Esther Sarick, Toronto, 2002, 2002/10657. © Dorset Fine Arts.

Credits for Photographs and Works by Other Artists 

Aliguq’s Seaweed Spirits, 1996–97, by Napachie Pootoogook. Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2008-98. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Bust of a Woman Holding “Ajuktaut” Racquet, c. 1977, by Qaqaq Ashoona. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dorset Fine Arts.
The camp of Pitseolak’s uncle Kavavow at Idjirituq in the winter, c. 1921–22, photograph by Donald Baxter MacMillan. Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, 3000.33.728.
Catalogue for the McMichael Canadian Art Collection exhibition Three Women, Three Generations: Drawings by Pitseolak Ashoona, Napatchie Pootoogook and Shuvinai Ashoona (Kleinburg, ON: McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 1999).
Drawing of My Tent, 1982, by Napachie Pootoogook. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dorset Fine Arts.
The first edition of Pitseolak’s autobiography, Pictures Out of My Life (Montreal: Design Collaborative Books; Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1971).
Fox pelts hanging from the rigging of the Bowdoin at Idjirituq, 1922, photograph by Donald Baxter MacMillan. Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, 3000.33.590.
Head of a Woman, c. 1960–69, by Kumwartok Ashoona. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Hudson’s Bay Company post, Cape Dorset, 1928, photograph by J. Dewey Soper. J. Dewey Soper fonds, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 79-21-34-206.
Installation view of the exhibition Pitseolak at Simon Fraser Gallery, Vancouver, 1976. Collection of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Gatineau.
Inuit artists and Terrence Ryan at the print studio in Cape Dorset, 1961, photograph by B. Korda. Library and Archives Canada.
Inuit artists of the Cape Dorset co-operative, 1961, photograph by B. Korda. Library and Archives Canada. 
Inuit cairn on the limestone plateau at the northern tip of Baffin Island, 1929, photograph by J. Dewey Soper. J. Dewey Soper fonds, University of Alberta, Edmonton.
James, John, Samuel, and Alma Houston in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, 1960, photograph by Rosemary Gilliat Eaton. Library and Archives Canada. 
Jean Chrétien, Pitseolak Ashoona, and Jessie Oonark at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, 1973. Collection of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Gatineau.
Kaliviktato/Skipping, 1976, by Sorosilutu Ashoona. Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Map of southern Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin Island). © Eric Leinberger.
Mary Ezekiel, 1958, photograph by Peter Pitseolak. Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau.
Napachie’s Family, 1998–99, by Napachie Pootoogook. Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2008-42. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Pictures of My Drawings, 2007, by Shuvinai Ashoona. Private collection. Courtesy of Feheley Fine Arts. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Pitseolak and Dorothy Harley Eber at the presentation of the artist’s autobiography, Pictures Out of My Life, 1971, photograph by David Zimmerly. Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau.
Pitseolak and her brother Kavavow, c. 1921–22, photograph by Donald Baxter MacMillan. Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine. 
Pitseolak drawing in bed in her son Kumwartok’s house, c. 1975. © Tessa Macintosh.
Pitseolak drawing in her summer tent in Cape Dorset, June 1967. Photograph by Evelyn Crees.
Pitseolak Drawing with Two Girls on the Bed, 2006, by Annie Pootoogook. Private Collection. Courtesy of Feheley Fine Arts. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Pitseolak in Cape Dorset, 1968, photograph by Norman Hallendy. McMichael Canadian Art Collection Archives, Kleinburg, Gift of Norman Hallendy, 2007, ARC-NH2007.4.1.
Pitseolak in Cape Dorset, c. 1975. © Tessa Macintosh.
Pitseolak was one of four Canadian women featured on a series of postage stamps released in 1993. © Canada Post.
Pitseolak’s father, Ottochie, in Idjirituq, c. 1921–22, photograph by Donald Baxter MacMillan. Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, 3000.33.622.
Pitseolak’s Hardships #2, 1999–2000, by Napachie Pootoogook. Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2008-44. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Portrait of Ashoona, c. 1929, photograph by J. Dewey Soper. J. Dewey Soper fonds, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 79-21-34-206.
Portrait of My Guide, Baffin Island, 1976, by J. Dewey Soper. Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary.
Portrait of Pitseolak Ashoona, c. 1942–45, photograph by Peter Pitseolak. Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau.
Postcard for the 1971 exhibition of Pitseolak’s drawings at the Innuit Gallery in Toronto. York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections, Avrom Isaacs fonds (F0134). York University, Toronto.
Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau wears a fur hat and parka at the 1970 Arctic Winter Games in Yellowknife, photograph by Henry Busse. NWT Archives, Yellowknife, N-1979-052:1234. 
Printmakers Iyola Kingwatsiaq and Eegyvudluk Pootoogook in 1960, pulling a print of Pitseolak’s Joyful Owl, photograph by Rosemary Gilliat Eaton.
The schooner Bowdoin at Idjirituq (Schooner Bay) during the winter, 1922, photograph by Donald Baxter MacMillan. Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, 3000.33.422.
Sealskin appliqué by “Pitsulak,” c. 1958. Location unknown, photographer unknown. 
Stone Images Mark the Western Sea Route, 1960, by Kiakshuk. Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau. © Dorset Fine Arts.
The Story of Nuliajuk, 2009, by Goota Ashoona. Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2010-26.
Three Generations, 2005, by Annie Pootoogook. Private Collection. Courtesy of Feheley Fine Arts. © Dorset Fine Arts.
An undated newspaper clipping illustrates the wide press coverage surrounding the publication of Pitseolak: Pictures Out of My Life. Collection of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Gatineau.
Untitled (Childhood Dream), 1980–81, by Kiugak Ashoona. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario CD.64.94. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Untitled (Napachie Saving Nujaliaq), 1997–98, by Napachie Pootoogook. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dorset Fine Arts.
Woman Scraping Sealskin, 1961, by Kiakshuk. Collection of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd., on loan to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario.


Acknowledgements

From the Author

Many thanks to Sara Angel, the visionary and force behind the Art Canada Institute. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work closely with Meg Taylor, John Geoghegan, Ruth Gaskill, and the whole ACI team. I am also deeply appreciative of Anna Hudson for bringing me into this innovative series, and to the Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage project at York University for supporting my writing retreat in Cape Dorset. Special thanks to the extended Ashoona family, in particular to elders Kiugak Ashoona and Mayureak Ashoona for sharing their stories and knowledge in our interviews; to Innuqqu Ashoona, Leevee Ashoona, Ashoona Ashoona, and Mary Bergin Ashoona for their interpretation; to Mary Ashoona Curley and Koomuatuk Curley for creating the immense Ashoona family tree; and to Shuvinai Ashoona for all her encouragement.


I am deeply indebted to Dorothy Harley Eber for her pioneering work with Pitseolak Ashoona. Across a spectrum, Jimmy Manning, Norman Hallendy, William Kemp, Marie Routledge, and, last but not least, William Ritchie and the Kinngait Studios were extremely helpful. I am grateful to Linda Grussani and Daniel Shrestha for their essential assistance in my research at the Aboriginal Art Centre at the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. My heartfelt thanks to my colleagues Greg Hill and Rachelle Dickenson, my sounding boards Mathew Nuqingaq and Bill Nasogaluak, and to Christophe Vischi and my own family, for their unwavering support. —Christine Lalonde


From the Art Canada Institute
This online art book was made possible thanks to BMO Financial Group, Lead Sponsor for the Canadian Online Art Book Project; and TD Bank Group and The Hal Jackman Foundation, Title Sponsors for Pitseolak Ashoona: Life & Work. The Art Canada Institute gratefully acknowledges the other sponsors for the 2014–15 Season: Aimia; The Audain Foundation; Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc.; Phyllis Lambert; the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts; and the Harold Town Estate.

Thanks also to the Art Canada Institute Founding Patrons: Sara and Michael Angel, Jalynn H. Bennett, The Butterfield Family Foundation, David and Vivian Campbell, Albert E. Cummings, Kiki and Ian Delaney, The Fleck Family, Roger and Kevin Garland, The Gershon Iskowitz Foundation, Michelle Koerner and Kevin Doyle, Phil Lind, Sarah and Tom Milroy, Charles Pachter, Gerald Sheff and Shanitha Kachan, Sandra L. Simpson, Pam and Mike Stein, and Robin and David Young; as well as its Founding Partner Patrons: The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and Partners in Art.

The ACI gratefully acknowledges the support and assistance of the the Aboriginal Art Centre (Danielle Shrestha), the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Alicia Boutilier and Jennifer Nicoll), the Art Gallery of Ontario (Jim Shedden and Ebony Jansen), Dorset Fine Arts, Feheley Fine Arts, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Janine Butler and Elyse Portal), the National Gallery of Canada (Kristin Rothschild and Raven Amiro), the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center (Genevieve LeMoine), Walker’s Auctions, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery (Nicole Fletcher). 


Publisher: Sara Angel
Editorial Director: Meg Taylor
Art Direction: Concrete Design Communications
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Image Research Director: John Geoghegan
Chief Copy Editor: Ruth Gaskill
Editor: Meg Taylor
Image Research: John Geoghegan
Copy Editor: Ruth Gaskill
Translator and French Copy Editor: Dominique Denis

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Copyright

© 2015 Art Canada Institute. All rights reserved. 
ISBN 978-1-4871-0056-8

Art Canada Institute
Massey College, University of Toronto
4 Devonshire Place
Toronto, ON M5S 2E1

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Lalonde, Christine, author
Pitseolak Ashoona : life & work / by Christine Lalonde.

Includes bibliographical references.
 
Contents: Biography — Key works — Significance & critical issues — Style &
technique — Sources & resources — Where to see.
Electronic monograph. 
ISBN 978-1-4871-0058-2 (pdf). —ISBN 978-1-4871-0060-5 (epub)


1. Pitseolak, 1904-1983.  2. Pitseolak, 1904-1983—Criticism 
and
interpretation.  3. Inuit women artists—Canada—Biography.  
I. Art Canada
Institute, issuing body II. Title.

E99.E7L25 2015                   741.092                   C2015-902100-6