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Jimmy Manning

Jimmy Manning was born in Kimmirut (Lake Harbour), NU in 1951. As an infant he moved to Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU with his family, where he continues to reside and work [1]. Manning’s primary medium is photography, though he has also produced drawings, prints and carvings. He is grandson to Peter Pitseolak, a photographer who was Manning's earliest inspiration [2]. Manning began taking pictures with an Instamatic camera in 1968 and in the mid-1970s, he took an interest in black and white photography and moved to 35mm film [3].

Manning is a self-taught photographer. His photographs explore day-to-day life in his community, creatively documenting landscapes and gatherings of family and friends.  He strives to capture scenes and emotions that reflect how Inuit culture is actively thriving and changing [4]. Manning also likes to photograph his subjects naturally, without posing or planning. He has expressed how important it is for him to have things look natural and shoot when they are in that state [5]. Most of Manning’s shots are taken using natural light [6]. Though most of his subjects are photographed during the day, Manning has also experimented with taking shots at night, as with the image Tents at Night (1984).

In 1972, Manning began his career as a carving buyer at the WBEC in Kinngait [7]. Manning was a significant influence in developing this Co-op, where he also worked as the manager of the printmaking studio [8]. During this time he would photograph artists at work [9]. Manning was a former member of the Inuit Art Foundation Board of Directors. His photographs are included in the collections of the Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau, QC and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Montréal QC.



2008: Included in the Arts Alive Video Archive by the Inuit Art Foundation.


1. Amy Adams “Jimmy Manning: Cape Dorset Photographer,” Inuit Art Quarterly, vol. 15, no. 4 (2000):14.
2. Amy Adams “Interview with Photographer Jimmy Manning,” Inuit Art Quarterly 15, no 4 (2000):22.
3. Ibid.
4. Barry Pottle, “Elder Artist: Jimmy Manning b. 1951 Kinngait, NU,” Inuit Art Quarterly 30, no 3 (Fall 2017): 119.
5. Adams, “Jimmy Manning: Cape Dorset Photographer,” 16.
6. Adams, “Interview with Photographer Jimmy Manning,” 24.
7. artbank, “Artist Spotlight: Jimmy Manning (b. 1951),” Art Bank, last modified July 17, 2017, https://artbank.ca/artist-spotlight-jimmy-manning-b-1951/.
8. Adams, “Jimmy Manning: Cape Dorset Photographer,” 14.
9. Ibid, 15.