One of the collections housed at the National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center are records from the Arctic Circle Gallery, an art gallery established by Bert and Ellen Witt in Los Angeles with the purpose of highlighting Inuit art. The Witt’s aimed to support Inuit communities by purchasing art through the Arctic Co-operative movement and by cultivating friendships with native artists. In addition to gallery information this collection contains materials gathered by the Witt Family: Bert, Ellen, and Tony, on travels to the Canadian Arctic.
|Photo by Tony Witt. P28589|
The photo above shows Bert Witt and Karoo Ashevak in 1973 in Karoo’s hometown of Spence Bay (now known as Taloyoak). Taloyoak is located in Canada’s Nanavut Territory and is home to Netsilik Inuits.
|Karoo Fishing. 1973. Photo by Tony Witt. P28590|
Karoo was also an artist, a carver, and he worked with whale bone. The carving pictured below is titled “Drum Dancer” and was purchased by the Witt Family from the Spence Bay Cooperative (now Taloyoak cooperative). It is now part of the National Museum of the American Indian’s object collection.
|Drum Dancer by Karoo Ashevak. 260382|
Archives Scanning Technician
National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center