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The Dennos Museum Center

Inuit Art Collection At the Dennos

The Dennos Museum Center’s collection includes one of the largest collections of Inuit art in the United States. As it exists today, the collection and gallery spaces owe much to a dedicated group of collectors and supporters.

The Inuit art collection was established in the 1960s by Bernie Rink, then director of the Osterlin Library at Northwestern Michigan College. Beginning with a small group of carvings and prints gifted by Chicago businessman Wilbur C. Munnecke, Mr. Rink grew the collection to around 500 works through donations and annual purchases. With the opening of the Dennos Museum Center in 1991, the collection was moved to its new home. In 1995, Philip Power donated over 200 works from his father Eugene’s collection. The Power Family Inuit Gallery was named in recognition of this gift and Eugene Power’s involvement in bringing Inuit art to the United States. The Dudley and Barbara Smith Wing for Inuit Art was built in 2017 and represents the Smith family’s longtime support of Inuit art and patronage of the Dennos Museum Center.

Today, thanks to many collectors and supporters, the Inuit art collection includes works from master artists like Kenojuak Ashevak, Pitseolak Ashoona, Kananginak Pootoogook, Pudlo Pudlat, Judas Ullulaq, and Jessie Oonark. Celebrated 21st century artists include Shuvanai Ashoona, Annie Pootoogook, Ningeokuluk Teevee, and the Ruben brothers: David Ruben Piqtoukun and Abraham Anghik Ruben. With shared traditions and continually innovative approaches, these artists express the culture and experiences of the Inuit people—past, present, and future.

Inuit Art Galleries »

Buy Inuit art at the Museum Store »