Who were the Printmakers of Cape Dorset and When was Kenojuak awarded the Order of Canada?

In the late 1950s, the Inuits of the small community of Cape Dorset in Nunavut, Canada were poor and often hungry.

Their fortunes changed when James Houston, a non-Native writer, introduced them to the art of printmaking.

Although this art form was new to the Cape Dorset Inuit, they took to it immediately. In their prints, they made use of the same simple patterns that traditionally they had used to decorate their sealskin clothing.

The most famous of the Cape Dorset printmakers is Kenojuak, the first woman to master the art. Best known for her prints of animals, two of her works, The Enchanted Owl and Return of the Sun, have appeared on Canadian postage stamps.

In recognition of her contributions to art, in 1967 she was given the Order of Canada, the highest honor awarded to civilians by that country.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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