Saturday, October 10, 2020

IN MEMORIAM: Robert F. Lavack (1920-2019)

 

100th Anniversary of Robert F. Lavack's birthday 

(October 10th, 1920 - October 10th, 2020)






My deepest condolences to INGELA, Richard, Isabelle, John and their families*. ~ Ugo Matulic

Also, my deepest condolences to Richard, Isabelle and John for losing a mother Sheila M. Lavack (1925-2019) on August 12th, 2019, just two days after losing a father. 

* - grandchildren: Aaron, John, Sayla, Kalmia and Sandra; great grandchildren: Oliver, Mae Rose, Leland and Aladar.


Additional info: Robert "Kurt" Lavack by Angie Littlefield
                         ~ KBros Maroosis Art Centre by George Maroosis


>>> Reference posts:

THE MORRISSEAU PAPERS,
Friends of Norval Morrisseau (Part III)
,
Robert Lavack and the Norval Morrisseau Postage Stamp,
The Morrisseau Legacy missing links (Part I),

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Seventh Anniversary of the Judgement in the Pivotal Court Case Relevant to Authenticity of Norval Morrisseau Artworks...

















>>> In a court judgement Hatfield vs. Artworld of Sherway /Court File No. SC-09-087264-0000/ Judge Paul J. Martial stated the following:

"The Court finds that there is overwhelming evidence that Norval Morrisseau signed paintings in black brush paint.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: March 25th, 2013 - Page 34)

This important finding by Judge Paul J Martial was completely ignored by member of the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society, Dr. Carmen Robertson in Kevin Hearn Vs. Joseph B. McLeod and Maslak McLeod Gallery Inc. /Court File No. CV-12-455650/

This court finding was also purposely avoided by Jamie Kastner*, director of the 114 minute film “THERE ARE NO FAKES” which was screened at the 2019 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto on April 29th & May 1st 2019.

* - who is Kevin Hearn's 'high school buddy,' as noted by Shari Narine, Windspeaker.com Contributor

NOTE: Genuine Norval Morrisseau painting involved in this court case was also acquired from Randy Potter Estate Auctions and appraised by the late Mr. Joseph McLeod (1928-2017).

~ The Kevin Hearn's legal counsel, Mr. Jonathan Sommer, represented the Plaintiff in a court case Hatfield, Margaret Lorraine vs. Child, Donna and Artworld of Sherway. This court case concluded with devastating consequences for the Plaintiff Ms. Margaret Hatfield of Sarnia, Ontario costing her $56,894.65 of her retirement money (see below for this landmark court decision* confirming the authenticity of thousands of Norval  Morrisseau paintings). 

* - the Plaintiff's only witnesses in this court case were Mr. Donald Robinson of Kinsman Robinson Galleries and Mr. Ritchie SinclairBoth, Mr. Robinson and Mr. Sinclair were discredited by the Paul J. Martial's judgement (see below). The same witnesses where mysteriously removed from list of witnesses in Hearn Vs. McLeod court case!? 



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"On June 3, 1993, a day following Vadas’ and Morrisseau’s drive-by in which they saw the supposedly fraudulent Morrisseau work in the Gallery window, Morrisseau wrote a letter to Joseph McLeod. That letter has been produced and is in the evidentiary record. The letter was typed by another gallery owner, Don Robinson – a frequent ally of Norval Morrisseau’s and competitor of Joseph McLeod’s – and complains about the reproduction of Morrisseau works in McLeod’s promotional material. The letter never mentions forged Morrisseau paintings or fraudulent art of any kind; rather, it complains of the unauthorized reproduction of real Morrisseau paintings in McLeod’s brochure."

~ Justice Edward M. Morgan, May 24, 2018 (Paragraph 79); Kevin Hearn Vs. Joseph B. McLeod and Maslak McLeod Gallery Inc. /Court File No. CV-12-455650/

"This history of findings that Sinclair is unreliable undoubtedly provides an answer to why he was not called by Hearn’s counsel to testify about his intervention with the AGO here. At the same time, it fosters considerable skepticism as to whether the AGO’s decision to remove the painting from its exhibit was the right one. If history provides any clue, there is reason to believe that Sinclair was no more correct about Spirit Energy of Mother Earth than he was about Wheel of Life, the Morrisseau painting at issue in Hatfield. The AGO may well have acted in excessive haste and at the behest of someone who has made himself into a figure that is better for the art world to avoid than to rely on."

~ Justice Edward M. Morgan, May 24, 2018 (Paragraph 38); Kevin Hearn Vs. Joseph B. McLeod and Maslak McLeod Gallery Inc. /Court File No. CV-12-455650/





























"Wheel of Life", © 1979 Norval Morrisseau
 /Canvas front & VERSO/


A landmark court decision confirms the authenticity of thousands of Norval  Morrisseau paintings! 

ArtworksHatfield vs. Artworld of Sherway
/Court File No. SC-09-087264-0000/

~ The following is the analysis and decision of Deputy Judge Paul J. Martial's judgement dated SEVEN YEARS AGO TODAY on March 25th, 2013 and officially issued by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on April 2nd, 2013 (Pages 35 - 39)
 

ANALYSIS – copy of Judge Martial’s Judgment
(Note: For clarity and brevity, we have removed Judge Martial’s lengthy supporting quotes from the trial transcripts, which he added between the paragraphs)

"The Court has considered in excess of some 750 pages of testimony over five days of hearing and reviewed the exhibits and considered the detailed written submissions of counsel.

"The Court finds that there is overwhelming evidence that Norval Morrisseau signed paintings in black brush paint.


"The eye witness testimony of his brother Wilfred Morrisseau who lived with him for substantial periods of time in the North and elsewhere and who saw him sign in black brush paint is convincing and credible.

"The testimony of Marlow Goring supports his testimony in regards to the practise of the artist signing paintings in black brush.

"Wilfred Morrisseau's testimony that his brother painted while in jail and his explanation of his brother's decadent lifestyle and his carefree attitude to life provides a cogent explanation for the lack of receipts to document the provenance.

"The Court adopts Wilfred Morrisseau's testimony that his brother painted a significant number of paintings en masse and it is therefore reasonable to conclude that his production was in the thousands.


"The testimony of Mr. Joseph McLeod is indicative of his care and the detailed efforts to confirm provenance, including the hiring of a forensic expert to examine the signature on the back of the painting indicate that he took his role to provide appraisals seriously.

"His testimony of the origin of the Cree syllabic signature, the name Copper Thunderbird and his interpretation of the painting "Wheel of Life" demonstrates his depth of knowledge of the painter due to his lengthy association with the artist.

"His explanation of the brown more muted colour of the painting compared to the brighter later paintings is credible when considered in the context of pictographs near Lac Seul and in Nipigon where Morrisseau lived and likely the inspiration of the earlier paintings. Such pictographs were also known to exist in the Petroglyphs near Peterborough where Morrisseau formerly resided.

"The Defendants acted reasonably in obtaining one of two appraisals from Mr. Joseph McLeod to authenticate the painting due to his knowledge of and prior dealings with the artist due to the controversy about provenance.


"The Court received the statutory declarations of Norval Morrisseau and letters filed by the Plaintiff in support of the allegation of forgery. This evidence was relevant and although hearsay was admitted since it was relevant to the central issue - Was the painting a forgery?

"In assessing the reliability of that evidence however, the Court notes that since this evidence was not subject to cross-examination it had to be carefully weighed in light of the testimony of all of the witnesses.


"The Plaintiff's own witness Donald Robinson provided viva voce testimony of Norval Morrisseau's inconsistency and difficulty in identifying his own work, and of his unpredictability.

"He agreed that Morrisseau could have memory problems from 2003 to 2006, and of his decline in health due to his illness.

Robinson's admission that he was not surprised that Morrisseau would sign a certificate of authenticity to please also cast doubt on the reliability of the statutory declarations signed by Morrisseau.

"His testimony coupled with the testimony of other witnesses of Morrisseau's Parkinson's disease raises a significant doubt of the reliability of the statutory declarations.

"Although a letter from a lawyer who was present at the signing of the statutory declaration and a doctor's letter were filed at trial, no expert testimony of capacity was proffered by the Plaintiff on such a key issue.

"Mr. Robinson was qualified as an expert in the area of valuation and appraisal. His testimony however overlapped into the area of handwriting and included an analysis of syllabic and English handwriting, areas for which he was not qualified.

"He has no formal training as an expert witness in handwriting analysis and his evidence is rejected.



"Dr. Singla's forensic evidence is preferred in this regard and his finding that it is highly probable that the painting "Wheel of Life" was painted by Norval Morrisseau was supported by his detailed technical analysis of known signatures of' Norval Morrisseau.

"Mr. Robinson also testified as to his personal dealings with Morrisseau paintings. It was his view that there were a large number of forgeries.

"It was also clear that his personal views and business interests conflicted with his professional opinion since it was in his interest along with Mr. Vadas to maintain the price of Morrisseau paintings which would not otherwise be the case if the market was flooded with paintings sourced from Potter auctions.



"The Court rejects his expert report and his conclusion that the Morellian analysis, style, colour, and provenance all pointed to forgery.

"Mr. Joseph McLeod's testimony is preferred to that of Mr. Ritchie Sinclair. Mr. Sinclair's testimony of numerous forgers paid for with drugs although dramatic was not supported by the evidence.

DECISION

"After a careful consideration of all of the evidence, the Court finds that on the balance of probabilities that the painting "Wheel of Life" dated February 1979 is an original Norval Morrisseau and undoubtedly one of his most notorious paintings.



"The painting “Wheel of Life" is not a forgery. The Defendants did not misrepresent the authenticity of the painting.

"The Plaintiff's claim is dismissed with costs fixed at $1,500.00 dollars pursuant to the written submissions of counsel.

"Dated at Toronto this 25th day of March 2013.

Signed

/Paul J. Martial/"


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~ This document, issued by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, also includes the introduction, plaintiff's and defence evidence as well as summary of testimonies by Ms. Margaret Hatfield, Mr. Donald Robinson, Mr. Ritchie Sinclair, Ms. Donna Child, Mr. Wilfred Morrisseau, Mr. Kevin Cott, Mr. Joseph McLeod, Mr. Marlow Goring, Dr. Atul K. Singla and Mr. James White.

Source: Deputy Judge Paul J. Martial's judgement
                  /Complete Original Downloadable Document/

                 


            /Complete Original Downloadable Document/

                



ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:


/This is an appeal by the appellant Hatfield from the decision of the Honourable Deputy Judge Paul Martial of the Toronto Small Claims Court dated March 25, 2013./

~ Funded by Canada’s lawyers and notaries for the benefit of all, CanLII provides free access to legal information 

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Note: "The Hatfield case was unique in that it represented the first time a Morrisseau authentication joust had proceeded through a complete trial – it required five hearings spanning about two and a half years and resulting in 750 pages of published evidence – and ended with a judicial ruling." ~ 'The Globe and Mail'

Brian Shiller - Legal counsel for Defendant


>>> REFERENCE POSTS (STRONGLY RECOMMENDED):
- Forensic Document Examination (Part I), - Signatures on Norval Morrisseau artworks certified by Forensic Science- 'A Fabulous Merry Christmas Greeting for Norval & All Canadians from Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson', - The Jonathan Sommer's appeal on behalf of the Plaintiff in Hatfield vs. Artworld of Sherway has failed on December 17th, 2013... (Part I)- The Jonathan Sommer's appeal on behalf of the Plaintiff in Hatfield vs. Artworld of Sherway has failed on December 17th, 2013... (Part II)The Jonathan Sommer's appeal on behalf of the Plaintiff in Hatfield vs. Artworld of Sherway has failed on December 17th, 2013... (Part III), - Downloadable Norval Morrisseau Forensic Reports (Part I), - Downloadable Norval Morrisseau Forensic Reports (Part II), - Downloadable Norval Morrisseau Forensic Reports (Part III), - Downloadable Norval Morrisseau Forensic Reports (Part IV), - Morrisseau's artwork in Auction Houses, Commercial Art Galleries & Museums Around the World, - Genuine Morrisseau paintings: Appraised, Authenticated and Forensically Analyzed... /In regards to the Genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings signed by the artist with a dry brush (DB) technique/ - Experts in Norval Morrisseau's Art (Part I) /Ref.: Mr. Joseph McLeod/ - Norval Morrisseau authenticating his artworks /In regards to the Genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings signed by the artist with a dry brush (DB) technique/, - Endorsement by Thunder Bay Art Gallery of genuine Morrisseau paintings from 1970's /In regards to the Genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings signed by the artist with a dry brush (DB) technique/, - Authenticity Statement by Mr. Goyce Kakegamic /'In regards to Genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings acquired from Collections of Mr. Rolf Schneiders and Mr. Gary Lamont/, - Statutory Declaration by Mr. Robert Scott, /' Witnessing Norval Morrisseau signing the paintings with a dry brush (DB) technique'/, - Statutory Declaration by Mr. Deiter John Voss, /' Witnessing Norval Morrisseau signing the paintings with a dry brush (DB) technique'/ - Hatfield, Margaret Lorraine vs. Child, Donna and Artworld of Sherway (Part IV) & - Pivotal Court Case Relevant to Authenticity of Norval Morrisseau Artworks.

~ As per decision of the SUPREME COURT OF CANADA (December 22, 2009), journalists and other media, including bloggers, will be protected from lawsuits if they diligently try to verify information on matters that are in the public interest (click HERE for more information and/or check NORVAL MORRISSEAU BLOG's DISCLAIMER @ the bottom of this page ). ~  

Friday, March 13, 2020

Thirteenth Anniversary of the First Brian Lindblom's Forensic Report involved in Norval Morrisseau Authenticity Court Trial - Case Won by the Plaintiff!

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Otavnik Vs Vadas SC 07-51428-00
/This post consists of previously presented material/

Kevin Hearn Vs. Joseph B. McLeod and Maslak McLeod Gallery Inc.
/Court File No. CV-12-455650/

"SPIRIT ENERGY OF MOTHER EARTH HAS NOT BEEN PROVED TO BE A FORGED OR FAKE MORRISEAU. FROM THE LAW'S POINT OF VIEW, IT IS THEREFORE A REAL NORVAL MORRISSEAU PAINTING."


~ Justice Edward M. Morgan, May 24, 2018



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"Untitled", 55"x19" ea., © 1969 Norval Morrisseau
~ Paintings involved in a court case Otavnik Vs Vadas SC 07-51428-00
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THIS IS THE FIRST AND THE ONLY AUTHENTICITY COURT CASE COMMENCED DURING NORVAL MORRISSEAU'S LIFE... THE CASE WON IN AN OUT-OF-COURT SETTLEMENT BY THE PLAINTIFF!!!



It is strange that Gabor Vadas was not able to request the proof of non-authenticity from Donald Robinson and/or Kinsman Robinson Galleries nor from the artist himself (Norval Morrisseau) for these paintings in a court case 'Otavnik Vs Vadas SC 07-51428-00' which was filed on April 16th, 2007 (more than six months prior Norval Morrisseau's passsing into the spirit world) even when Mr. Otavnik requested, via Gabor Vadas, for Norval Morrisseau to evaluate the paintings in question - requests ignored by Gabor Vadas!? The court case which Gabor Vadas lost and paid $11, 000 for damages to Joseph Otavnik.








>>> The following are the documents regarding a court case Otavnik Vs Vadas SC 07-51428-00 and include:
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a) Forensic Report by Brian Lindblom (ret.), Forensic Document Examiner,

b) Apraisal by Joseph McLeod (1928-2017) of Maslak McLeod Gallery - member of Art Dealers Association of Canada (ADAC),
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c) Statement of Claim,
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d) Defendant's Claim and
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e) Letter sent to Mr. Joseph Otavnik by Gabor Vadas' lawyer(s) regarding the signed Minutes of Settlement and Full and Final Release (click HERE) & cheque in the amount of $11,000 representing the agreed upon settlement funds.
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~ Dated March 13th, 2007
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> Forensic Report for the paintiungs in question by Brian Lindblom (ret.), Forensic Document Examiner (click on image to view full report).

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~ Dated March 20th, 2007
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> Apraisal of the paintings in question by Joseph McLeod of Maslak McLeod Gallery - a member of Art Dealers Association of Canada (ADAC),-
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~ Dated April 16th, 2007-

I contend that Mr. Vadas interfered in the sales process between myself and a third party (Heffel Auction house) which directly lead to a loss of sale (and revenue) on my part. My damages are estimated at the amount I could have reasonably been expected to receive given past sales results (and current projections) made at Heffel with respect to the same artist-Norval Morrisseau.

On Aug 1st, 2006 I entered a consignment agreement with Heffel Auction house in Toronto, Ontario as per Exhibit # 1 The lots are labeled AOL0906-E04085-001 and AOL0906-E04085-002. Heffel took possession of the lots on Aug 1st, 2006 and the lots were to be offered in the upcoming September on line auction which was to start on approx. 4.00pm EST Sept 4, 2006 and was to end approx. on September 30th, 2006. The items were initially posted on the on line auction for approx. for a week before they were taken down all of a sudden on and about September 12th, 2006. My two lots and 4 others were taken off approx. 1 week later right after the email sent by Mr. Vadas to Judy Scolnik at Heffel as per Exhibit # 2 as per lots # 027, 030, 032, 033, 034 and 035. (Judy Scolnik was the same person that accepted my consignment.) All of the items from all consignors which Mr Vadas said were fakes were withdrawn and not sold. Enclosed please find Exhibit # 3 which is the auction sale results for the Sept on line auction with corresponding lot numbers. (I submit that it is not a coincidence that Mr. Vadas complained about all the lots and all the lots were removed).





























An e-mail sent to the Heffel's Auction House /September 12th, 2006/
/Click on image to Enlarge/
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Mr Vadas claimed that my two lots were not authentic. I am suing with respect to lot AOIXJ906-E04085-002. Enclosed please find a forensic document as per Exhibit # 4 which confirms that Norval did sign the lot in question. Given that the lot in question was painted in 1969 it is only common sense that the signature and painting have shown wear and tear through the years. This report is from an independent forensic expert and I have enclosed his extensive CV. The signatures are not something Mr. Vadas would have seen because it was not shown on the on line auction and he never personally viewed the item because he complained via email from his home province of British Columbia. Moreover, at best Heffel could have only provided Mr. Vadas with a photograph of the signature.


I have enclosed a statement of opinion form a very experience retailer who has sold Norval's work for over forty years and is the recognized expert on Norval Morrisseau-Joe McLeod. I have enclosed his extensive CV as per Exhibit # 5. I have several other art dealers who are willing to give my more opinions if required. I can if required provide statements from several art framers who are a very experienced and knowledgeable with respect to Norval's work and the authenticity of this painting. I have also enclosed a statement from one of Norval Morrisseau's sons - David with respect to the authenticity of this painting as per Exhibit # 6.

Also, enclosed please find a copy of a picture of Norval with his son Christian which was taken on Dec 9, 2006 in British Columbia at Norval's nursing home as per Exhibit #7 Christian Morrisseau is willing to testify to the fact that his father is in no condition to give any opinion on anything yet alone anything he painted over 35 years ago. It is also public knowledge that Norval is in the advanced stages of Parkinson's and may suffer from Korsakoff syndrome due to Norval's widely publicized alcohol and drug use of which he has freely admitted to publicly. Thus, I have statements from independent experts, art dealers and members of Norval's family.

Mr Vadas has a pattern of threatening legal harm on anybody who is trying to sell any of Norval's work that was done prior to him meeting Norval on the streets of Vancouver in the late 1980's when they were both homeless. Enclosed please find Exhibit # 8 where Mr. Vadas threatened this auctioneer if he didn't stop selling works of art from Norval Morrisseau. This auctioneer (Mr. Randy Potter) ignored Mr. Vadas and Mr. Vadas has done nothing because he knows where the painting came from and he knows they are authentic.

Moreover, it is clear the Mr. Morrisseau has not rendered any opinion on anything nor does he care about his past work. He has made this abundantly clear in many interviews and newspaper articles. I can find articles and can have people attest to the fact that Norval doesn't even care if people are copying his style of painting or even if they are selling fakes. Norval Morrisseau is a true artist in the sense that he painted for himself and does not care about anything other than receiving satisfaction from his painting. It is Mr. Vadas who on his own claims to be speaking on Mr. Morrisseau's behalf but is actually speaking for himself and his own economic interests. The fact is that Norval Morrisseau was an established internationally known and respected artist for 30 years before he met Mr. Vadas on the streets of Vancouver. Indeed, Mr. Vadas has publicly admitted that he didn't even knew who Norval was when he met him when they were both homeless.

Thus, I have statements from independent experts, art dealers, an auctioneer and members of Norval's family to verify the authenticity of the lot in question.

To conclude, I believe I have established the authenticity of the lot and question and was denied the opportunity to sell this lot due to the actions of Mr. Vadas.

Note: For the calculation of damages see Exhibit # 9.
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~ Dated May 8th, 2007
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Defendant's Claim
- SCHEDULE"A"

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1. Except as expressly admitted herein, the Defendant, Gabor Michael Vadas, denies eachand every allegation in the Plaintiff's Claim.

2. Mr. Vadas is an individual living in Nanaimo, British Columbia, and is a long-time friend of Norval Morrisseau. Mr. Morrisseau is a renowned Canadian artist who paints aboriginal subjects. Mr. Vadas is the attorney for property for Mr. Morrisseau pursuant to a Power of Attorney dated April 24, 1990. Mr. Morrisseau asked Mr. Vadas to be his attorney so Mr. Morrisseau could focus on his painting. Mr. Morrisseau currently suffers from Parkinson's disease and has been confined to a wheelchair since around 2001. Mr.Vadas continues to assist Mr. Morrisseau with his personal care and business affairs.

3. At all material times, Mr. Vadas was acting as the attorney for Norval Morrisseau pursuant to the above-noted Power of Attorney.

4. On or about September 12, 2006, Mr. Vadas discovered that Heffel Auction House("Heffel") was offering two paintings for auction which purported to be original works by Mr. Morrisseau.

5. Mr. Vadas confirmed with Mr. Morrisseau that the impugned paintings were not hisworks and advised Heffel that the paintings were not authentic.

6. Mr. Vadas states, and the fact is, that the impugned paintings were not painted by Mr. Morrisseau.

7. Accordingly, Mr. Vadas was justified in advising Heffel that the paintings were not Mr. Morrisseau's works, contrary to the attribution in Heffel's auction materials.

8. The Plaintiff has not suffered damages, as alleged or at all, and Mr. Vadas puts thePlaintiff to the strict proof of the authenticity of the impugned painting and the Plaintiff's alleged damages.

9. The Defendant further states that the evidence tendered by the Plaintiff in the Plaintiff's Claim as to the authenticity of the impugned painting is not credible and cannot be relied upon.

10. Specifically, Mr. Vadas denies veracity of all statements in Christian Morrisseau’s Statutory Declarations and states that, aside from having no professional training or credentials that would allow either of these individuals to provide a reliable opinion on the authenticity of Mr. Morrisseau's art, both Christian and David Morrisseau have been estranged from their father, Noval Morrisseau, for at least five years and their opinions are biased as a result of the breakdown of that relationship, their relationship with the Plaintiff, and their relationship with Joseph McLeod.

11. Furthermore, Mr. Vadas denies the veracity of all statements in Joseph McLeod's letter and states that his letter should not be relied upon because Mr. McLeod and his gallery, the Maslak McLeod Gallery, have been and continue to be involved in a dispute concerning the authenticity of and control over Mr. Morrisseau's works. Mr. McLeod's letter is biased and self-serving and not admissible as evidence.

12. If this Honourable Court finds that Mr. Vadas is liable to the Plaintiff, which is not admitted but expressly denied, then the Plaintiff's damages are excessive and remote and not recoverable at law and the Plaintiff has failed to mitigate his damages. Mr. Vadas holds the Plaintiff to the strict proof of his alleged damages.

13. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Vadas submits that the Plaintiffs Claim should be dismissed with costs.
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~ Dated June 17th, 2008
- - FRASER MILNER CASGRAIN's letter to Mr. Joseph Otavnik
/Click on image to enlarge/
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> It is strange that Gabor Vadas was not able to request the proof of non-authenticity from Donald Robinson and/or Kinsman Robinson Galleries nor from the artist himself (Norval Morrisseau) for these paintings in a court case 'Otavnik Vs Vadas SC 07-51428-00' which was filed on April 16th, 2007 (more than six months prior Norval Morrisseau's passsing into the spirit world) even when Mr. Otavnik requested, via Gabor Vadas, for Norval Morrisseau to evaluate the paintings in question - requests ignored by Gabor Vadas!? The court case which Gabor Vadas lost and paid $11, 000 for damages to Joseph Otavnik (Ref.: Exhibit No. 15).


~ These paintings were also purchased at Randy Potter Auctions (former Kahn Auctions) as the majority of the paintings in Exhibit No. 12 & Exhibit No. 13.
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~ Dated June 12th, 2008
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- FRASER MILNER CASGRAIN's cheque payable to Mr. Joseph Otavnik for damages caused by Gabor Vadas's actions /Click on image to enlarge/
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> Click HERE for the signed Minutes of Settlement and Full and Final Release!
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NOTE: It is very strange that 'Item 2' was added by Gabor Vadas' lawyer(s) in the MINUTES OF SETTLEMENT which states the following...
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"All of Otavnik's rights, including any copyright, to and in the said paintings will pass to and are hereby irrevocably granted and assigned to Vadas"
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... especially knowing that Gabor Vadas slandered the paintings in question by calling them 'fakes'!?

ADDENDUM #1: 

Another painting Mr. Vadas and his wife Michele had denounced as a forgery – in a letter to Heffel Auction House in 2006 (click HERE) - was “Grandfather Speaks of Great Ancestral Warrior, 1977” owned by Mr. Joseph Otavnik and at one time owned by Dr. Jonathan Browne and Julie Witmer of Ottawa, Ontario.


"Grandfather Speaks of Great Ancestral Warrior"
© 1977 Norval Morrisseau; Click HERE to view this canvas VERSO
Source: Private Collection of Mr. Rolf Schnieders (1928-2015), Thunder Bay, Ontario


However, “Grandfather Speaks of Great Ancestral Warrior 1977” was subsequently verified, on April 18, 2012, as a genuine Morrisseau, by another top international forensic and handwriting expert, Mr. Kenneth J. Davies of 'Hawkeye Studios (Grapho-Lab® Services)' (Calgary, Alberta).

Mr. Davies concluded that signature on the reverse side of the "Grandfather Speaks of Great Ancestral Warrior, 1977" is a true signature of Norval Morrisseau.


To download 4th Summary Forensic Report by Mr. Kenneth J. Davies dated April 18th, 2012 click HERE.


NOTE: Together with "Grandfather Speaks of Great Ancestral Warrior, 1977" Mr. Davies also evaluated and certified authentic the signatures of other genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings "Medicine Being from Sacred Fish Stomach, 1977", "Shaman with Power Spirits, 1977" and painting on a used pizza box dated 1982.
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Dr.. Carmen Robertson* noted that Mr. Schnieders was "well-known conduit for Morrisseau's paintings in the Thunder Bay region" and was "actively handling works by the artist since 1960s. He operated small store on May St., in Thunder Bay ON called 'Yesterday's Treasures' for a number of years and this was one way he sold works by Morrisseau." 

Full Professor at Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario; Formerly an associate professor of contemporary Aboriginal art history in the Department of Visual Arts, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan; E-mail: carmen.robertson@carleton.ca... also a  Member of the defunct Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society (NMHS)
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This painting was part of court case Jonathan Browne v Jackie Bugera & Bugera Holdings /CV-09-00370363/

The following text is quotation from:
~ 'The Ottawa Citizen' article 'Collectors sue gallery over disputed painting' ~


Ms. Bugera stated that her gallery "stands by the authenticity" of 'Grandfather Speaks of Great Ancestral Warrior' and Mr. Browne and his wife, also known as Julie Witmer, bought there. Both husband and wife hold PhDs and operate an Ottawa consulting business.

"Over the course of selling Norval Morrisseau works over the past 30 years, Drs. Browne and Witmer are the first customers who have ever questioned the authenticity and provenance of our paintings," Ms. Bugera wrote. "As with any other customer, Bearclaw Gallery has treated Drs. Browne and Witmer in a manner not inconsistent with the standards expected of any other fine art gallery in Alberta."


Ms. Bugera said the gallery was initially prepared to exchange 'Grandfather Speaks of Great Ancestral Warrior' upon learning of the Brownes "specific reservations." That position changed after "the great lengths" the Brownes took to express their "dissatisfaction." The prospect of any "exchange or refund" was removed from the table. After the Brownes launched the suit against Bearclaw Gallery."


~ 'The Ottawa Citizen' article 'Collectors sue gallery over disputed painting' ~


IMPORTANT NOTES: In this newspaper article Otavnik Vs Vadas SC 07-51428-00 was mentioned as well. Also, the newspaper tried to contact Mr. Gabor Vadas and ask him questions about this painting:

"Reached by telephone at his home in Nanaimo, B.C., Mr. Vadas refused to comment on any aspects of the Morrisseau controversies saying he did not want to unleash more "harassment" against him. Mr. Vadas did invite the Citizen to send him written questions. That was done. But, in an e-mail, he declined to answer any of them."

~ 'The Ottawa Citizen' article 'Collectors sue gallery over disputed painting' ~


(the content of 'THE OTTAWA CITIZEN' detailed explanation as per their newspaper article 'Collectors sue gallery over disputed painting' cannot be viewed anymore as it has been deleted by OTTAWA CITIZEN Editors; article written by Paul Gessell dated 01/22/2009.

Click HERE to view the 'THE OTTAWA CITIZEN' article 'Collectors sue gallery over disputed painting' .pdf file stored at www.norvalmorrisseau.com).



Mr. Jonathan Browne became infamous, among knowledgeable Norval Morrisseau collectors and art dealers, when he wrong-headedly, and fallaciously, labeled his magnificent genuine Norval Morrisseau painting “Grandfather Speaks of Great Ancestral Warrior 1977” a forgery. And published it as such all over the internet.

Click HERE to view the consignment agreement between Mr. Joseph Otavnik and Heffel Auction house in Toronto, Ontario in which this painting "Grandfather Speaks of Great Ancestral Warrior" was clearly mentioned or click HERE (Ref.: Exhibit No. 24). > Document dated August 1st, 2006 <




This magnificent painting has been blatantly labeled as a fake by Mr. Gabe Vadas? (see Exhibit No. 23).

Mr. Jonathan Browne who created www.morrisseaubuyersbeware.com because he felt that gallery which sold him the painting (Bearclaw Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta) withheld vital information concerning the provenance of the art piece which he believed was not particularly ethical.


More about disrespectful, incorrect and misleading information presented at Dr. Jonathan Browne's www.morrissaubuyersbeware.com will be posted on these pages soon.

It is important to mention that, while surfing the internet, Ms. Margaret Hatfield came across a defamatory website www.morrisseaubuyersbeware.com (NOT ACTIVE ANYMOREwhich was operated by Mr. Jonathan Browne, of Ottawa, Ontario. This was the beginning of the court case Hatfield, Margaret Lorraine vs. Child, Donna and Artworld of Sherway /Court File No. SC-09-087264-0000/. 

~ This court case concluded with devastating consequences for the Plaintiff Ms. Margaret Hatfield of Sarnia, Ontario costing her $56,894.65 of her retirement money (click HERE for this landmark court decision* confirming the authenticity of thousands of Norval  Morrisseau paintings).
 


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 >>> In a recent court judgement "Hatfield vs. Artworld of Sherway" /Court File No. SC-09-087264-0000/ Judge Paul J. Martial stated the following about Mr. Joseph McLeod of Maslak McLeod Gallery:

“He demonstrated a superior depth of knowledge of Morrisseau…” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: March 25th, 2013 - Page 25)


“The testimony of Mr. Joseph McLeod is indicative of his care and the detailed effort to confirm provenance, including the hiring of a forensic expert to examine the signature on the back of the painting indicate that he took his role to provide appraisals seriously. His testimony… demonstrates his depth of knowledge of the painter due to his lengthy association with the artist.”
(Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: March 25th, 2013 - Page 35)


"His (Ritchie Sinclair's) methodology in identifying forgeries is clearly inadequate and suspect since he testified that he does not even view the original paintings before condemning them as fakes." (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: March 25th, 2013 - Page 16)


"Mr. Robinson (of Kinsman Robinson Galleries) was qualified as an expert in the area of valuation and appraisal. His testimony however overlapped into the area of handwriting and included an analysis of syllabic and English handwriting, areas for which he was not qualified. 

"He has no formal training as an expert witness in handwriting analysis and his evidence is rejected. (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: March 25th, 2013 - Page 37)


"Dr. Singla's forensic evidence is preferred in this regard and his finding that it is highly probable that the painting "Wheel of Life" was painted by Norval Morrisseau was supported by his detailed technical analysis of known signatures of' Norval Morrisseau. (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: March 25th, 2013 - Page 37)


"The Court finds that there is overwhelming evidence that Norval Morrisseau signed paintings in black brush paint.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: March 25th, 2013 - Page 34)

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>>> REFERENCE POSTS:
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