Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Norval Morrisseau Collection for Sale

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~ Information for Morrisseau's Collectors and Art admirers
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Webster Galleries Inc., Calgary, Alberta CANADA
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>>> Preview on Thursday and Friday evenings; October 1st & 2nd, from 6 pm to 8 pm. Sale begins on Saturday October 3rd continuing to the 30th, 2009.
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>> The Norval Morrisseau Collection being offered for sale covers three decades of the artist's career (1970s to 1990s)

> For more information click on the image above or visit Webster Galleries website at www.webstergalleries.com.
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"I am a shaman-artist"

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Illustration by Spirit Walker
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"My art reflects my own spiritual personality. Driven from birth by the spirit force within, I have always been convinced that I am a great artist. Only the external and commercial society around me which has caused interruptions and deviations to occur has attempted to dictate to me and establish false values and ideals. The path through this maze has not been easy. Now, thirty-five years later, fortified by my grandfather's spiritual teachings during the first nine years of my life, I make peace with the external world, and I recognize the higher powers of the spirit.
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I am a shaman-artist. Traditionally, a shaman's role was to transmit power and the vibrating forces of the spirit through objects known as talismans. In this particular case, a talisman is something that apparently produces effects that are magical and miraculous. My paintings are also icons; that is to say, they are images which help focus on spiritual powers, generated by traditional belief and wisdom. I also regard myself as a kind of spiritual psychologist. I bring together and promote the ultimate harmony of the physical and the spiritual world.

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My art speaks and will continue to speak, transcending barriers of nationality, of language and of other forces that may be divisive, fortifying the greatness of the spirit which has always been the foundation of the Great Ojibway."

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Norval Morrisseau, 1979-
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Source: The text from THE ART OF NORVAL MORRISSEAU ('Jack Pollock's Book') /Lister Sinclair, Jack Pollock, and Norval Morrisseau/; ISBN: 0-458-93820-3 /Toronto, Ontario: Methuen, 1979./

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Norval Morrisseau Painting Techniques (Part II)

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/Previously posted: Norval Morrisseau Erotica (Part III)/
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"Erotic Couple", © 1980 Norval Morrisseau
~ Click HERE to view reverse side of canvas
/Click on image to Enlarge/
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"Erotica has always been an important aspect of Norval Morrisseau's art. To write about his creative opus without inclusion of erotica would make this Blog incomplete."
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Presented in this posting is an excellent example of Norval Morrisseau's painting technique.
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In this particular painting he painted black background first rather than finishing it with thick black outlines last. Click HERE to view a video of the painting titled "Christ My Savior" (1980) which Norval Morrisseau executed using the same technique. Also, he did not sign the front of the canvas with Cree syllabics which it does not lessen the value or importance of the art piece (in this case the artist did not have the space for the signature and decided to sign only the reverse side). If you observe the painting carefully (click on image to enlarge) you will see every single brush stoke and finger action (he was known to use his fingers for paint application).
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See also the inscription on the reverse of the canvas - his signature in English and title which is misspelled (- EROTIC COUPL - rather than - EROTIC COUPLE -). Norval Morrisseau was known to misspell many titles due to the fact that his English was not as perfect as his painting styles and techniques.
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Blog Master's advice to collectors:
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"Do not be concerned if your 'Norval Morrisseau' painting has not been signed in Cree syllabics or in English or in both. There are other elements to confirm if the painting is authentic or not such as an example of the painting technique presented in this example.
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If you have any concernes regarding the art piece that you own you may contact me for an unbiased opinion."
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Spirit Walker

/spiritwalker2008@gmail.com/
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>>> Reference posts:
- Norval Morrisseau Painting Techniques (Part I),
- Catholic Influences on Norval Morrisseau (Part V),
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Understanding Art of Norval Morrisseau (Part I),
- Understanding Art of Norval Morrisseau (Part II),

- Understanding Art of Norval Morrisseau (Part III),
- Understanding Art of Norval Morrisseau (Part IV) &
- Understanding Art of Norval Morrisseau (Part V).
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* The acrylic painting on canvas in this posting has provenance leading directly to the artist: "Erotic Couple, 36"x24", © 1980 Norval Morrisseau /Private Collection/

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Norval Morrisseau, a member of the Order of Canada

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© 1979 John Evans
/Click on image to Enlarge/
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On December 18, 1978, Norval Morrisseau became a member of the Order of Canada. He was invested on April 25, 1979 by Governor-General Edward Schreyer at Government House in Ottawa.

The citation reads as follows:

"Artist working at Beardmore, Ontario. His paintings which have been shown in public galleries across Canada express his Ojibway heritage with such distincivness that he provides inspiration to younger Indian artists."
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Source: THE ART OF NORVAL MORRISSEAU ('Jack Pollock's Book') /Lister Sinclair, Jack Pollock, and Norval Morrisseau/; ISBN: 0-458-93820-3 /Toronto, Ontario: Methuen, 1979./
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Note: Norval Morrisseau was accompanied by his apprentice Brian Marion (see photograph, left) who in 1975 began a nine-year apprenticeship with Norval Morrisseau. To view some of his work visit his website at www.brianmarion.com.
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Reference posts:
- Govenor General of Canada website /Norval Morrisseau, C.M./,
- Norval Morrisseau's Legacy Continues (Part IV) /Brian Marion/.
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Words of Genius XXXIX

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- Norval Morrisseau's Prime Period [1970's]
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"Black Robe", © 1976 Norval Morrisseau
/Click on image to Enlarge/
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"When the Jesuits came, the Indian was already around. The Indian did not understand them. He tried to understand them, what they were up to. He knew that they were going to be there for awhile. He knew how sad it was, seeing his people, how low they were put, how they had previously enjoyed living and needed to live freely again. How do we go about doing that now? We need images. We’re going to use images ourselves."
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Norval Morrisseau
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* The acrylic painting on canvas in this post: "Black Robe", © 1976 Norval Morrisseau /Private Collection/

Spirit Walker meets Copper Thunderbird (Part V)

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Thunder Bay, Ontario - May 16th, 2002
/Click on image to Enlarge/
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Copper Thunderbird signing Spirit Walker's book:
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Inscription made inside of the book THE ART OF NORVAL MORRISSEAU ('Jack Pollock's Book') /Lister Sinclair, Jack Pollock, and Norval Morrisseau/; ISBN: 0-458-93820-3 /Toronto, Ontario: Methuen, 1979./
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Signed: Copper Thunderbird (Anishnaabe, Cree syllabics)
Signed: Norval Morrisseau (English)

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Reference posts:
- Spirit Walker meets Copper Thunderbird (Part I),
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Spirit Walker meets Copper Thunderbird (Part II),
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Spirit Walker meets Copper Thunderbird (Part III) &
- Spirit Walker meets Copper Thunderbird (Part IV).
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Blog Master's Comment: It is interesting to read the comments in the previous postings of the same title particularly in the posting 'Spirit Walker meets Copper Thunderbird (Part I)' :-) !
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To be continued...

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Norval Morrisseau Signature Study (Part XI)

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- Exhibit K.
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"Untitled" (Pipe Ceremony), acrylic on canvas, 61"x98", © 1983 Norval Morrisseau /Click on image to Enlage/
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"Untitled" (Pipe Ceremony), acrylic on canvas, 61"x98", © 1983 Norval Morrisseau ~ Enlarged signature detail /Click on image to Enlarge/ (bottom left)
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Ref. Signature of Norval Morrisseau from the serigraph print ''Loon Totemic Spirit and Grebes with Human" (1976); Edition: 60; Publisher: Triple K Cooperative Inc.; also presented on page 168 in the book THE ART OF NORVAL MORRISSEAU /Lister Sinclair, Jack Pollock, and Norval Morrisseau/; ISBN: 0-458-93820-3 /Toronto, Ontario: Methuen, 1979./
~ Click HERE to read the "Morrisseau Signature Identification Article 101" where this print has been used as one of the signature reference samples
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Presented in this post is a great example of Norval Morrisseau's art from the 1980s but executed in painting style he mostly used in the 1970s. Norval Morrisseau signed this painting on front of the canvas (bottom left) and it matches other signature samples presented on the NORVAL MORRISSEAU BLOG.
~ See list of reference links below!
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Norval Morrisseau signed the front of this untitled painting from 1983 in English+Year+©. He would usually do that in case of a very large canvases and many times he would write a title on front without having any inscriptions on the reverse side of canvas. To learn more read previously published post "Understanding Art of Norval Morrisseau (Part I)".
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Important Note by a Blog Master:
The above presented painting was previously part of Mr. Rolf Schneider's private collection (Thunder Bay, Ontario). This painting was also part of my private collection as well as being shown in the past on Mr. Gary Lamont's website www.woodlandartgallery.ca (Thunder Bay, Ontario).

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Related story/link: In oder to provide legitimacy to their pieces collectors along with vendors including Toronto galleries who had pronounced the pieces genuine; commissioned a report on the signatures in English 'Norval Morrisseau' found on the front and back of the paintings. The Document Examination Consultants Inc. (who are a forensic services company based out in Ottawa Canada) were provided with publicly known letters/pictures and many signature specimens done by Norval Morrisseau and concluded that the signatures that were able to be read were in their 'expert opinion' done by the hand of Norval Morrisseau. This was considered solid evidence of the legitimacy of the pieces. (click HERE, HERE & HERE to view forensic signature analysis reports for three Norval Morrisseau artworks painted in the 1970s).
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Q: "Why do galleries feel that they need to provide legitimacy to their art pieces of Norval Morrisseau? Should a gallery not be confident (and responsible) in what they are selling?
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A: "Galleries do feel a need to provide legitimacy to their pieces in the above stated way. Today it is now safer than ever before to purchase valuable art painted by Norval Morrissau. With an ever growing database of forensic analysis to draw from. We can authenticate this artist's work easily and professionally. Thus eliminating any trepidation for collectors... novice and seasoned."-
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NOTE: In presented "Norval Morrisseau Signature Study" we are eager to introduce numerous examples to draw from known sources with provenance. We will use letters addressed by Norval Morrisseau/canvases/officially embossed signatures from Norval Morrisseau and serigraphs to anaylsis Norval Morrisseau's signature as it is found on his artwork. This study is to confirm and introduce to the novice and seasoned collector the many aspects of Norval Morrisseau's caligraphy found painted on the reverse/front of his canvases, signed limited edition serigraphs, books and correspondence.-
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~ I am inviting all readers, collectors and admirers of Norval Morrisseau's art to share the images (drawings, paintings, newspaper articles and painted objects), handwritten and other documents pertaining to the artistic legacy of Norval Morrisseau.~
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Spirit Walker
/spiritwalker2008@gmail.com /-
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>>> Reference posts:
- "Ceremonies of The Great Ojibway" (Part II),

- Norval Morrisseau Genuine Collage,
- Norval Morrisseau Signature Study (Part I),
- Norval Morrisseau Signature Study (Part II),
- Norval Morrisseau Signature Study (Part III),
- Norval Morrisseau Signature Study (Part IV),
- Norval Morrisseau Signature Study (Part V),
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Norval Morrisseau Signature Study (Part VI),
- Norval Morrisseau Signature Study (Part VII),
- Norval Morrisseau Signature Study (Part VIII),
- Norval Morrisseau Signature Study (Part IX),
- Norval Morrisseau Signature Study (Part X),
- "Morrisseau Signature Identification Article 101" (Part I),
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Norval Morrisseau's Certificate of Authenticity (Part I),
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Norval Morrisseau's Certificate of Authenticity (Part II),
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Norval Morrisseau's Certificate of Authenticity (Part III),
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Norval Morrisseau's Certificate of Authenticity (Part IV),
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Norval Morrisseau's Certificate of Authenticity (Part V),
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Norval Morrisseau's Certificate of Authenticity (Part VI),
- Understanding Art of Norval Morrisseau (Part I),
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Justice for Norval Morrisseau (Part I),
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Justice for Norval Morrisseau Found,
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Michael Moniz vs. CTV Globemedia Publishing Inc. /Court action CV-07-1776 SR/,
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Sacred Medicine Wheel /Forensic Report/,
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Sacred Medicine Bear /Forensic Report/,
- Thunder Bay's Norval Morrisseau vs. Jack Pollock's Norval Morrisseau (Part I),
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Thunder Bay's Norval Morrisseau vs. Jack Pollock's Norval Morrisseau (Part II),

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Thunder Bay's Norval Morrisseau vs. Jack Pollock's Norval Morrisseau (Part III),

- Thunder Bay's Norval Morrisseau vs. Jack Pollock's Norval Morrisseau (Part IV) &
- Thunder Bay's Norval Morrisseau vs. Jack Pollock's Norval Morrisseau (Part V).
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* For detailed information on Norval Morrisseau's Signature Study go to "Signature Identification Article 101"

Norval Morrisseau Prints (Part X)

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- 1980's PERIOD-
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"Thunderbird's Spirit", Silkscreen (Edition of 310), © 1970s Norval Morrisseau /Click on image to Enlarge/
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"I transmit astral plane harmonies through my brushes into the physical plane. These otherworld colours are reflected in the alphabet of nature, a grammar in which the symbols are plants, animals, birds, fishes, earth and sky. I am merely a channel for the spirit to utilize, and it is needed by a spirit starved society."
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Norval Morrisseau-
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>>> Reference post:
- NORVAL MORRISSEAU UNLIMITED - Catalogue Raisonné For The Limited Editions /The Scientific Blog Project/
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* The print in this post: "Thunderbird's Spirit", Silkscreen (Edition of 310), © c. 1980s Norval Morrisseau /Private Collection/

Monday, September 28, 2009

Friends of Norval Morrisseau (Part IV)

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Yvonne Mason Reynolds
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Yvonne Mason Reynolds, 1925
/Click on image to Enlarge/
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If ever a picture was worth a thousand words, this is it, for me (unhappily, the "original" does not reproduce well). Who do you think this gorgeous creature is? What time period? How old do you think she is? I’ll tell you something about her but I want to see if anyone guesses her age in this photograph. Since this blog is dedicated to family history interests, I have to say she belongs in a unique way.

The striking beauty evoked gypsy or exotic Mediterranean comparisons, but she was born in Winnipeg to a working mother who struggled to make ends meet. As Yvonne Mason Reynolds, she was a child entertainer on prairie and western vaudeville circuits when “acts” would travel from one theatre to another with a manager - in her case, with her mother as chaperone. Vonne was eventually paired with sister Adele, but Vonne was rapidly growing, looking older than her years, while Adele was tiny and blonde. They sang, danced, did comedy routines on their physical differences, and were a great hit. Once - Winnipeg was on a prairie circuit for imported acts - her mother managed to persuade Bill (Bojangles) Robinson to give her tap dance lessons.

Theatre life was tough, along with life in general, and sometimes she wanted to give up. She knew her unacknowledged father was a scion of an old prairie family, and she only met him when he was on his deathbed. As vaudeville waned, she became a fashion model: a natural, with her perfect figure and over six-foot height. Early experience taught her to develop a shielding persona in her adult life of elegant appearance and wisecracking humour.

Some time after marriage to Ken Sherman, they moved to Thunder Bay where they bought a local photography studio. Vonne learned and managed every aspect of the photography business; her own glamour was no small point in selling customers on having their portraits captured, and she brought out the best in them with her fussing and uninhibited remarks. Her former stage career gave her the knack for posing her subjects, perfecting the lighting, and using imaginative props. In an era before colour film, Vonne’s artistic talents were instigated by colourizing of black and white portraits. Before long she also became a devoted member of the artistic community. She befriended Norval Morrisseau during one of his detox hospitalizations in the 1950s [1], bringing him art supplies, and treasured the paintings he gave her.

This is when I met her as a family friend; we shared a certain love of the footlight experience. And shared a cross-country trip to the Banff School of Fine Arts, me with two chaperoning mothers. Vonne’s public persona was a magnet for men and women alike. Dinner parties at the Shermans’ always involved exquisite meals with ingredients uncommon to most Thunder Bay tables. She never had children, but became a surrogate mother to a couple of “chosen” daughters, delighting to repeat in her smoky drawl that she never had to spread her legs to get them.

Vonne never lost her enthusiasm for the stage and returned to it later in life. She and Ken retired to Victoria in the 1970s. She proceeded to become well-known in Victoria for her participation in dozens of theatrical productions; early on, she was persuaded to join the cast of “Auntie Mame” as Vera. Other major roles followed in “Gypsy” and any number of musicals. Her can-can high kicks and later character performances - which she kept up until she was 80! - endeared her to fellow performers and audiences alike. This is where she really felt alive. There was nothing better than a cast party where she could be persuaded to croon at a piano Dietrich-style. One of the most public moments was the visit to British Columbia of Vonne’s look-alike Bea Arthur (remember “Maude” on TV?). They were posed in “twin” pictures with an interview which was flashed all over newspapers up and down the west coast. No doubt in my mind who was the star.

As she lost her sight, underwent numerous cancer operations and debilitating physical humiliations, she refused to lose her imagination or the stalwart humour. In fact she regularly tortured herself to apply makeup and fix her hair just so for a photo, to prove to her distant friends she was still alive. From her original majestic height, she had shrunk to a painful five feet six inches by the end, and at the age of 93+ years her body finally succumbed. Vonne insisted on no death notice or obituary or public burial when her time came, and her wish was honoured.

I still half expect to hear that voice coming down the phone line, “What’s on your mind today, love? What can Momsie do for you?” She knew how much she was loved.
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© Brenda Dougall Merriman
/"I Was Adopted", published August 4, 2007/
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[1] - St. Joseph's Hospital, which was in Port Arthur (Port Arthur and Fort William amalgamated to what is now known as Thunder Bay in 1970)... Norval was very grateful for Yvonne's attention, especially for the supplies to keep him painting while in hospital. He gave her six paintings he created during that period.
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Source: Brenda Dougall Merriman Blog
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>>> Reference posts:
- Friends of Norval Morrisseau (Part I) /Curtis Jonnie 'Shingoose'/,
- Friends of Norval Morrisseau (Part II) /Alex Janvier/ &
- Friends of Norval Morrisseau (Part III) /Robert Lavack/.
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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Morrisseau Raffle at Thunder Bay Art Gallery

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~ Information for Morrisseau's Collectors and Art admirers
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Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, Ontario
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An opportunity for art collectors to acquire Norval Morrisseau's "Native Unity", 20"x16", Serigraph (Edition of 195).

~ For more information click on the image above or visit Thunder Bay Art Gallery website at www.theag.ca.
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NORVAL MORRISSEAU UNLIMITED

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Catalogue Raisonné For The Limited Editions
/The Scientific Blog Project/
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By MorrisseauUnlimited
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~ Journey 1 ~
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About the project & Mission
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Background

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For all the original paintings and drawings, the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society (NMHS) has accepted the task (in 2005) to work on a catalogue raisonné, documenting every known work created by the artist. The large amount of - unrecorded - Norval Morrisseau’s originals will understandably lead to years of research and investigation by the NMHS.
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Documenting the original signed limited edition silkscreens/serigraphs and lithographs are not part of their mission. Therefore this project will deal with all original signed limited editions, with the mission statement as written below.
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If you own a Norval Morrisseau painting and would like to document it, contact the NMHS, contact the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society at
norvalmorrisseauheritage@gmail.com.
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If you own a piece of a Norval Morrisseau limited edition, you can
contribute in this blog research project.
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Mission Statement

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This project has the mission to document all original signed limited editions of Norval Morrisseau. Norval Morrisseau Unlimited uses an on-line blog for the following reasons:
- to stimulate owners of a piece, to contribute with factual information;
- to support the art market as soon as possible, not out waiting the finalization of the project.
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Contribute to the research!

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If you have a limited edition of Norval Morrisseau, you can help to add factual information, which are still missing in the on-line Catalogue Raisonné. Search for the edition, in which you own a piece, in the “list (so far)”, look at the information and:
- confirm (or unconfirm) the written information (the more confirmations, the more reliable the information);
- send the unknown information.
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Contribute by sending your information to
morrisseau.unlimited@gmail.com or by adding a comment (with the information) to a posting, by clicking on the posting title of your edition. It does not matter if a posting is old, you can always respond. See the on-line blog as a database, in which information will continuous be added.
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Content

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All information mentioned are factual registered by one ore more sources. For the codification of the sources and the reliability, see ‘codification’.
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The limited editions will be numbered. For the codification of the numbering, see ‘
codification‘.
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For the first year, after the launch of this project, regular there will be new posting of a known limited edition.
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Blog master’s personal note
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I am really fond of limited editions and I love the art of Norval Morrisseau. The combination is magical, to me. I discovered his art in the beginning of 2000 and it was the start of a special journey.

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During these last 9 years I followed his art and collected almost scientifically al kind of information. This was not as easy as I expected for a well known and respected Canadian artist. However all my collected information of limited editions is the basis of this project “Catalogue Raisonné for the Limited Editions’.
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I hope all owners will contribute to finalise this non-commercial project and that everyone will enjoy this site during the project.

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Warm regards,

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Frank Kortstee, 05/24/2009
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* Blog Master's comment: I would like to invite and encourage all of the readers of THE NORVAL MORRISSEAU BLOG to assist Mr. Frank Kortstee in this important and honourable project! Miigwech, Spirit Walker.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Norval Morrisseau Collection for Sale

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~ Information for Morrisseau's Collectors and Art admirers
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Webster Galleries Inc., Calgary, Alberta CANADA
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"The Norval Morrisseau Collection being offered for sale covers three decades of the artist's career (1970s - 1990s).

~ For more information click on the image above or visit Webster Galleries website at www.webstergalleries.com.
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Moses (Potan) Nanakonagos

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~ Reference for Morrisseau's collectors and investigators
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Moses (Potan) Nanakonagos
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"It is only his name I want to mention (when asked by Selwyn Dewdney* to fill a genealogy form), so that in one way or the other his good heart, his good teachings shall be repayed. Of my actual father I saw little... I knew he was not my father but I began to love and respect him more and more as I advanced in years, as this was all a part of me and I must carry on his wisdom."-

Norval Morrisseau
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* Selwyn Dewdney - Art aducator and noted expert on Ojibway art and anthropology. Edited Norval Morrisseau's book "Legends of My People, The Great Ojibway" /Toronto, Ryerson Press, 1965/-


A still image of Moses (Potan) Nanakonagos © CBC

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Shamans do Battle for the Good of the Existence", © 1978 Norval Morrisseau

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"Shamans do Battle for the Good of the Existence",
© 1978 Norval Morrisseau /Click on image to enlarge/
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"How was it possible for this youth to reach back to the old feelings, to conceive the images that would bear the unmistakable stamp of his people? How could this firm pride originate in a community relegated to the status of third class citizens, constantly reminded of this status and defeated by it? What was there about this lad that earned for him in a medicine woman's dream the combined names of a powerful spirit and the metal traditionally sacred to the Lake Superior Ojibway - Copper Thunderbird?"
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* The acrylic painting on canvas in this post: "Shamans do Battle for the Good of the Existence", 50"x43", © 1978 Norval Morrisseau /Private Collection/