By Katherine Taylor-McBroom, Curator of Exhibits and Collections
The print in the current exhibition is by the Inuit artist, Pudlo Pudlat, who lived a semi-nomadic life in the arctic on Baffin Island, Canada. Most of his artwork combines humor with the traditional Inuit culture he experienced as a child. His depiction of an umingmuk (also umingmak), the Inuktitut name for a muskox, translates to “the bearded one.” In addition to their beards, umingmuk are known for their thick coat and the strong odor they emit during mating season. Pudlat’s work, among many other beautiful examples of Inuit printmaking, is part of a large collection in the museum donated by Dr. Robert Christie in 2007.
Dr. Robert Christie, class of 1944, was an alumni trustee as well as an honorary degree and distinguished alumnus award recipient. He served in the US Army during World War II as a tank commander and later pursued the medical field, which brought him to Northfield where he set up a general practice. Dr. Christie also worked as a physician and scientist on an expedition to the Greenland Ice Cap. Christie later moved to New Hampshire where he practiced as a pathologist and laboratory director. He retired in New Hampshire after a lengthy medical career.
This collection of prints is culturally important for education and unique as a limited-edition print run of just 50, each signed and numbered by the artist.