The George & Tannis Richardson Collection of Inuit Sculpture contains 39 significant works. Assembled during the 1970s and early 1980s, the collection features sculpture by well-known artists such as Lukie Airut, from Igloolik, and Jimmy Arnamissak, from Inukjuak. Dramatic large-scale pieces include Airut’s depiction of a mother who drops her child from her amautik (parka) after clashing with a muskox, and Arnamissak’s scene of two men loading a kayak onto a kamotik (sled) for overland travel.
George T. Richardson (1924–2014) became the first Canadian-born Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1970 and served until 1982. During his tenure, the Hudson’s Bay Company moved its headquarters and archives from London, England, to Winnipeg, and transferred ownership from Britain to Canada. He developed an interest in Inuit art while travelling throughout the Canadian Arctic as Governor.
Tannis Richardson is a dedicated supporter of the WAG and she was instrumental is initiating the Volunteer Committee’s Study Group program and Art to the Schools. Additionally, Tannis chaired the Gallery’s organization of the landmark David Milne exhibition held in the late 1960s, and fundraising for the spectacular rotating front door of the new gallery building that opened in 1971.
In 1969, George Richardson built the first modern skyscraper in Winnipeg, the Richardson Building. He was a founding member of several community organizations, including Junior Achievement of Manitoba, United Way of Winnipeg, and the Manitoba Museum; served on many corporate boards; and supported numerous philanthropic endeavours.