Skip Navigation

The Enchanted Owl

Kenojuak Ashevak

Arts of the Americas

Kenojuak Ashevak’s drawings and prints feature fantastical creatures and bold colors and forms. This captivating image of an arctic owl was among the first prints produced by the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative. It quickly became a Canadian icon, and in 1970 the print was chosen for the country’s commemorative stamp.
MEDIUM Stone cut on paper
DATES 1960
DIMENSIONS Sheet: 21 1/8 x 26 in. (53.7 x 66 cm)  (show scale)
MARKINGS Lower right, vertical: Cape Dorset printer’s mark
SIGNATURE Signed, lower right in graphite: "Kenojuak"
INSCRIPTIONS Inscribed across lower edge, from left to right in graphite: "The Enchanted Owl. Stone Cut 2/50. Cape Dorset Baffin Island 1960. Kenojuak"
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
CREDIT LINE Gift of George Klauber
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Kenojuak Ashevak's drawings, prints and sculpture express her understanding of the world through unique imagery. Her early work is filled with images of camp life, people, animals, and for what Kenojuak is renowned: fantastical birds that reveal her ability to capture the essence of her subjects in simple forms. Kenojuak is among the first Kinngait women to have her drawings included in the Cape Dorset Print Collection. This captivating image of an arctic bird quickly became a Canadian icon, and in 1970 the print was chosen for their commemorative stamp. This is seemingly her most popular print, exemplifying her graphic style of simplifying her subject to maximize its unique form in a strong composition and use of vivid color. Kenojuak was first encouraged to draw by James Houston, the Federal Government administrator for the Baffin Island area. Houston is credited with raising public awareness of Inuit art and encouraging the Inuit to control their own production of prints. Kenojuak's owl drawing was among the first prints produced by the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative in 1960. Over the years Kenojuak Ashevak has received many honors, among these the Order of Canada and a Lifetime Aboriginal Achievement Award. She lives in Kinngait (Cape Dorset) and continues creating her drawings and prints, fantastic explorations of form, design and color.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Kenojuak Ashevak (Inuit, 1927–2013). The Enchanted Owl, 1960. Stone cut on paper, Sheet: 21 1/8 x 26 in. (53.7 x 66 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of George Klauber, 1998.122. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1998.122_PS1.jpg)
EDITION Edition: 2/50
IMAGE overall, 1998.122_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
RIGHTS STATEMENT © Kenojuak Ashevak, courtesy of Dorset Fine Arts
Copyright for this work may be controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders. A more detailed analysis of its rights history may, however, place it in the public domain. The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact If you wish to contact the rights holder for this work, please email and we will assist if we can.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.