Featured Artwork
Alaskan Man with Pipe by James Kivetoruk Moses
Fall - 2019
exhibition artwork

James Kivetoruk Moses


James Kivetoruk Moses was born c. 1903 on the Seward Peninsula in Alaska. Orphaned at an early age, he was raised by his Uncle Moses. While he had a childhood interest in drawing, he worked for many years as a hunter, trapper, trader and herder. He only began a career as an artist after being injured in a plane crash in 1953.


Kivetoruk Moses became known for his works on paper. Fond of a mixed-media technique using colored pencils, ink and watercolors the final results looked like paintings. His earliest works were signed James Moses, the name he was often called, but he soon added in his Inupiaq name, Kivetoruk.


Kivetoruk Moses' art depicts Inuit daily life, has great visual detail and narrative elements. He marketed his work to tourists in Nome and repeated popular images. Gaining in popularity, Kivetoruk Moses had trouble keeping up with demand and was able to charge far more for his artwork than his contemporary Inuit artists. In his later years, Kivetoruk Moses, suffered a series of strokes finally passing in 1982.


Based on James Kivetoruk Moses, Inupiaq Folk Artist by David Mollett, Associate Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks on AlaskaWeb.org/obits/mosesjk.html