About

James&Alma

Houston North Gallery, opened in 1981, was located in historic Lunenburg, Nova Scotia for thirty years, and devoted to showing, selling and educating the public on Inuit art and culture. The gallery was originally owned and operated by John and Alma Houston, a son and mother team who spent much of their lives in the Arctic before moving south. With the passing of Alma in 1997, the gallery is now directed by John. In 2011, in response to great changes in the worlds of art and business, John sold the building and made the gallery completely on-line.

The Houston Family is celebrating 66 years of artistic collaboration with the Inuit of Canada, beginning in 1948 when John’s father, James Houston, traveled to the Arctic on a drawing adventure to capture the lives and culture of the people there. Upon realizing their talent for carving, he chose to stay and help them bring world recognition to what would become internationally known as Inuit art. What started as an experiment soon turned into the main form of economic support for the Inuit, as their nomadic lives came to an end in the 1950s.

The history and philosophy of the Gallery is immediately connected to the lives of the Houstons and the beginning of the Inuit art market in Canada. Through the Houston North Gallery, this legacy has continued while providing an educational outlet to help others learn more about Canada’s North and the people who have populated it since prehistoric times.

We hope you enjoy our website where you will find a wide variety of Inuit art from various communities as well as selected treasures of Nova Scotia Folk art. The gallery is also proud to offer services to the collector, including expert appraisals, a fine arts restoration, and sound advice on all matters pertaining to acquiring, shaping, and, when the time comes, selling or donating a collection.

Aerial view of Lunenburg

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