Saturday, December 27, 2008

Recommended readings (Part V)


© 2006 Greg A. Hill - National Gallery of Canada; ISBN 1-55365-176-6

This 11"x 9" soft cover includes complete background to Norval Morrisseau's art and his influence on North American Native Art. Lavishly illustrated and with essays on the subject by Ruth B. Phillips, Armand Garnet Ruffo & Greg A. Hill. This book has been prepared to accompany the Norval Morrisseau retrospective in 2006 which was the first solo exhibition featuring a First Nations artist in 126-year history of the National Gallery of Canada.

Note: Despite being widely recognized as the father of contemporary aboriginal art and despite the pleas of some influential people, Morrisseau did not become part of the National Gallery of Canada's collection until 2000. As early as 1972, Selwyn Dewdney, an influential anthropologist and art enthusiast who befriended Morrisseau in northern Ontario early in his career, pressed the National Gallery of Canada to buy some of the artist's work. The gallery refused.

"I made a pitch at the National Gallery for inclusion of your work in the permanent collection but encountered deaf ears, Dewdney wrote Morrisseau. "It appears that if you're of Amerindian origin the proper place for your art is a museum!"

* Detail on a book cover "NORVAL MORRISSEAU: SHAMAN ARTIST" was from the painting "Observations of the Astral World", 93"x202", © c. 1994 Norval Morrisseau /Collection of the National Gallery of Canada/

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