Agnes will remain closed in compliance with the province-wide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. Learn more.

Picturing Arctic Modernity: North Baffin Drawings from 1964
7 January–9 April 2017
Historical Feature and R. Fraser Elliott Galleries
Curated by Norman Vorano

Developed by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and the Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau, Quebec, with contributions by and support of various Nunavut organizations including the Pond Inlet Archives, Itaq, and Ilisaqsivik, this exhibition examines a transformative era in Canada’s Arctic through a unique collection of drawings gathered by Terry Ryan, the artist and arts advisor who worked in Cape Dorset. Created over a three-month period in early 1964 by Inuit men and women from the North Baffin communities of Clyde River (Kanngiqtugaapik), Pond Inlet (Mittimatalik) and Arctic Bay (Ikpiarjuk), the drawings eloquently document Inuit perspectives of daily life, history and memory during a time of profound social change. Through accompanying video clips, visitors to the exhibition will encounter the contemporary voices and reflections of the artists, their descendants, and friends, who provide an intimate connection to the people, events and themes depicted in the drawings, while underscoring the importance of cultural heritage to communities today.

Discover more about the selected works and watch the accompanying videos on the microsite, available in English, French and Inuktitut.


This exhibition, organized by Queen’s assistant professor of art history and Agnes Curator of Indigenous Art Norman Vorano, was produced with the assistance of practicum student Rosemary Legge and made possible in part by a grant from the Museums Assistance Program, Government of Canada. The exhibition will tour to Piqqusilirivvik Inuit Cultural Learning Facility in Clyde River, the Pond Inlet Archives and the Nunatta Sunakkutanngit Museum in Iqaluit starting in the late summer of 2017, followed by the Canadian Museum of History and venues across Canada.

Cornelius (Kooneeloosee) Nutarak (Pond Inlet), Happy Narwhal Hunting, 1964, pencil crayon and graphite on paper, 50 x 65 cm, Canadian Museum of History, IV-C-8216

Government of Canada Wordmark

Touring Exhibition Schedule

Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum, Iqaluit, NU
26 August–8 October 2017

Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau, QC
16 February–3 September 2018

Piqqusilirivvik, Clyde River, NU
1 June–17 August 2018

Nattinak’s Visitor Centre, Pond Inlet, NU
1 June–17 August 2018

Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, BC
17 November 2018–13 January 2019

Woodstock Art Gallery, Woodstock, ON
16 February–30 June 2019

Toongalook (Arctic Bay), What I Had Seen a Long Time Ago, 1964, graphite on paper, 50 x 65 cm, Canadian Museum of History IV-C-6848

Jemima Angelik Nutarak, (Pond Inlet), String Games and Ayagaq, 1964, graphite on paper, 50 x 65 cm, Canadian Museum of History IV-C-7691

Discover More

Image Credits

Subscribe to our “This Week at Agnes” e-newsletter to stay abreast of events, news and opportunities at the art museum.