News & Blog

  • Announcing our Fall 2022 Inuit & First Nations Art Live Auction

    Including Masterpieces from The John & Joyce Price Collection
    by First Arts

     

    First Arts is proud to announce our Fall 2022 Auction of Inuit & First Nations Art, a live sale at 1 William Morgan Drive on Monday, December 5th at 7 PM ET, featuring works from the John & Joyce Price Collection.

     

    Visionary collectors, John and Joyce acquired works of superb caliber, obtaining art and objects that are amongst the finest in private hands.  This inagural sale includes outstanding examples by Kenojuak Ashevak, Christian White, George Tatanniq, Marion Tuu'luq, Francis Kalluraq, Akeeaktashuk, Bill Reid, and other iconic artists, as well as masterworks by anonymous 19th and 20th century artists. 

     

    In their passionate pursuit, John and Joyce have brought together masterpieces of Inuit and First Nations artworks.  From the fine examples of Inukjuak craftsmanship and Kinngait printmaking of the early 1950s, to the art and imaginings of Oviloo Tunnillie, Toonoo Sharky,  Annie Pootoogook, and Tim Pitsiulak, as well as from the skillful artisanship of the Chilkat Robe by an unknown Tlingit maker to the argillite carving of Christian White and to the graphite drawing of Bill Reid, their collection is united by caliber and quality. 

     

    Additional highlights from this season are several fine works from a California private collection, including a stirring example from Joe Talirunili’s famed Migration Boat series, published in Marybelle Mitchell’s important 1977 monograph on the artist, the imposing Hooded Figure by John Pangnark, and a large and moving Self-Portrait by Elizabeth Nutaraaluk

     

    We are proud to announce the sale of works from three important Toronto private collections. The first includes the outstanding Janus-faced Shaman by Karoo Ashevak that graces our front cover, and the exceptionally fine mid-19th century Haida argillite Recorder and Female Figure Holding Two Dolls.

     

    The second collection includes the monumental Dancing Bears by Pauta Saila by Nalenik Temela and Henry Evaluardjuk’s fabulous whale bone Gesturing Bear.

     

    From the third distinguished collection come the delightful stone Figure by Karoo Ashevak; the captivating Ennutsiak Bible Study, and an extraordinary Mother and Child by George Tatanniq.

     

    Other exceptional Inuit sculptures from various Canadian and American collections include an important early Bird Spirit (Natturalik) by Kiugak Ashoona,  a fine and early 1950s Mother and Child, formerly in the Robertson Collection

    Our excellent collection of two dimensional works includes early, rare-to-market masterpiece prints from American private collections, namely Four Muskoxen by Osuitok Ipeelee, Polar Bear and Cub in Ice by Niviaqsi, and Blue Geese on Snow by Mungitok Kellypalik; and a fine collection of paintings by Norval Morrisseau.

    Inuit works on cloth include a delightful early work by Marion Tuu’luq from the Estate of Jean Blodgett, the pioneer Inuit art scholar and curator.  We are also proud to offer a rare photograph by Peter and Aggeok Pitseolak, once held in the collection of Dorothy Harley Eber, CM, the respected writer and documentarian of Inuit oral history.

    Other important Northwest Coast works include two exquisite examples of gold jewellery by Robert Davidson from Morton and Estelle Sosland, a large Model Totem Pole by Ellen Neel, works by Charlie James, as well as his stepson Mungo Martin.

    Other Indigenous highlights include lovely Northwest Coast baskets and three fine Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) beaded panels.

    We encourage our clients to look for additional information, including references and extra photos, in the online catalogue on our website. 

     

  • by First Arts
  • by Nadine Di Monte

    TORONTO, ON – December 3, 2021:  As Canada’s leading promoter of Indigenous
    art at auction, First Arts’ fifth successful auction on November 30th set several
    new world records for works by Inuit and First Nations artists.  During the live
    auction – our first with the public in attendance since 2019 – 125 works from the historical and classic, as well as the modern and contemporary periods were auctioned for over $1,000,000 in total sales.  

  • Our Specialists are Travelling

    Seeking Consignments

    Specialists from First Arts will be travelling with our colleagues at A.H. Wilkens for appraisal and consignment events in Ottawa and Montreal. Meetings with our team are complimentary, confidential, and carry no further obligation

  • Works by ten Indigenous artists exceed world sales records at July 13th live auction

     

  • In memoriam: Jean Blodgett

    Distinguished scholar and friend of the Inuit art community
  • by Nadine Di Monte

    Following a year of challenging circumstances, we wish to extend our gratitude to our community for your support and encouragement of our business. Building on the success of our fall sales, we at First Arts are pleased to announce our exciting program of upcoming exhibitions and auctions.

  • Rare Blanket Box

    Highlights from our Upcoming December 1st Sale
  • Monumental Migration Boat by Joe Talirunili

    Highlights from our upcoming December 1st Auction
  • Sohaney

    A Rediscovered Talent
    by Nadine Di Monte
  • FIRST ARTS SETS TEN AUCTION SALES RECORDS IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC

    We at First Arts have worked tirelessly to raise the level of professionalism in the resale of Canadian Indigenous art, treating the art and artists with the respect they so richly deserve. Proof that our approach has been appreciated by discerning collectors was realized with the tremendous success of our inaugural live auction in May 2019. We gathered together a second spectacular collection and forged ahead with the confidence that the support of our first sale had inspired, despite some rather daunting challenges.

  • Global News Interview and Virtual Tour

    Global News Weekend host Mike Arsenault interviews art auction curator Ingo Hessel about the virtual Inuit and First Nations art auction taking place this weekend.

  • The Discerning Eye

    First Arts is proud present an outstanding group of Inuit sculptures from a prestigious Montreal collection. Part of an important and wide-ranging collection of art from around the globe, they prove that Inuit art has a place amongst the great art traditions of the world. The selection of works includes some of the finest known examples of sculptures by Barnabus Arnasungaaq, Karoo Ashevak, Nick Sikkuark, Tuna Iquliq, and Elizabeth Nutaraaluk

  • Rare Sealskin Matrixes To be Offered by First Arts on July 12, 2020

    With less than two weeks until our Sunday, July 12, 2020 sale of Inuit and First Nations Art, we reflect on the unique honour bestowed on us to offer to collectors three sealskin stencil matrixes from the earliest days of printmaking in Kinngait. To our knowledge these are the only ones of their kind in private hands, making this the first and perhaps only opportunity for the public to view them and to give collectors a chance to make their acquisition.

  • As we approach our upcoming sale of Inuit and First Nations Art, to be held in association with A.H. Wilkens Auctions & Appraisals at their premises at One William Morgan Drive in Toronto on Sunday 12 July 2020, Ingo Hessel reflects on the legacy of Jessie Oonark and her versatility as an artist. We are delighted to share with our audience our research and appreciations of five fine examples of Oonark's works that will be on offer at this sale.

  • First Arts Announces New Association with A.H. WILKENS AUCTIONS & APPRAISALS.

    We at FIRST ARTS are excited to announce our new association with A.H. WILKENS AUCTIONS & APPRAISALS. 

  • Bidding Resumes for Our Online Auction on Tuesday, April 14th at 9:00 AM ET

    During this difficult period, we wish to continue to connect and serve our community.  With this in mind, we are pleased to announce the re-opening of our online auction.  The health and safety of our community as well as our fiduciary responsibility to our consignors remain our top priorities. To effectively serve our collectors in this exceptional time, we have reviewed and adapted our approach in the following ways

  • Bidding Now Available for our March Online Auction

    Tuesday, March 17 - Tuesday, March 31
    Bidding Now Available for our March Online Auction

    First Arts is proud to present our March Online Auction, which is open today for bidding. You will find in this offering a diverse range of graphic and sculptural works from the classic and modern periods. This sale presents unique finds that will appeal to both emerging and experienced collectors.

  • How do you Follow a Record-Breaking First Auction?

    A broadening of our mandate. Indigenous art is worldwide and, while we will continue our focus on Canadian First Nations, Inuit, and Métis artists, we welcome consignments of Indigenous art from around the world. 

  • Success Begets Success

    What happens when you bring leading experts on Inuit and First Nations art together with a mission to reinvigorate the resale market? The answer: A debut sale that smashes world records, and sells an astonishing 95% of lots offered.

  • Little Worlds

    The Norman Hallendy Collection of Ivory Miniatures
    Little Worlds

    It is with great pleasure that Galerie Elca London (1444 Sherbrooke Street West, #100, Montreal), in collaboration with First Arts, presents the Hallendy Collection of miniature ivories. 

  • New Company Smashes World Record Auction Price for a Work of Inuit Art

    TORONTO, May 30, 2019 - On May 28th, First Arts held its inaugural live sale of Inuit and First Nations Art. Offering a select group of 75 works from important Canadian and American collections, the auction realized a total of over $1.2 million, and sold an astonishing 95% of lots offered.