Lorne Balshine has been a collector and exhibitor of Inuit art for over 35 years. He was first introduced to Canadian Inuit art by his sister in 1969. He has devoted much of his life to the procurement and promotion of contemporary Inuit sculpture as fine art rather than native or ethnic art. Recognizing that the Inuit were recording their oral culture in their contemporary art works, he decided to build his own collection in the themes of survival, family, Shamanism, mythology, Sedna and acculturation. Another dimension of his collection is that it reflects works from the major artists of each community.
Lorne’s long involvement with Inuit art has produced many, many highlights. Only a few have been selected here.
- He has attended every Inuit art auction at Waddington’s in Toronto since its inception in 1978.
- He has organized and lent Inuit sculpture for many major Canadian exhibitions.
- He has visited East and West Greenland in 1980 to meet Greenlanders, and continues to collect Greenlandic art for the Balshine Collection which today numbers over 300 works that date from 1940 to 2008.
- He has organized, along with Abraham Ruben, an Arctic Sculpture Symposium at the 1996 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, B.C.
- He has served as the Assistant to the Chairman for the Canadian National Committee Arts from the Arctic Project from 1991 to 1997.
Today, Lorne serves as the President and a Director of the Arctic Art Museum Society. In that role he works tirelessly to promote contemporary Canadian and Greenlandic Inuit art by staging exhibitions and producing educational programs on the subject.
Lorne was born in Vancouver, B.C. He graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Law.