Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings exhibited at AGO in 2010 auctioned at RITCHIES, owned by Alan Swanson of Winnipeg, Manitoba

Art Gallery of Ontario
Musée des beaux-arts de l’Ontario /Toronto, Ontario CANADA/

Revised on August 15th 2018


"Water Spirits 1 of 3"/"Water Spirits 2 of 3",
approx. 34"x24" ea., © 1970 Norval Morrisseau
/These paintings were EXHIBITED & OFFERED FOR SALE at AGO Art Rental + Sales Galleryclick HERE & HERE for screen captures/
PROVENANCE: Norval Morrisseau, Thunder Bay, Ontario; Alan R. Swanson, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Maslak McLeod Gallery, Toronto; Private Collection, Windsor, Ontario.

~ NOTE: These paintings, while exhibited at AGO in 2010, were titled "Spirit Animals" and "Shaman Speaks With Birds" respectively and marked as a diptych (click HERE); also click HERE and/or HERE to see comparison of these two paintings with genuine Norval Morrisseau painting which was authenticated by Forensic Science on December 2011.  

>>> These genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings were signed by the artist with a dry brush (DB) technique on the canvas versos. They were auctioned on May 28th, 2013 at Ritchies Auctioneers Auction Gallery* (RITCHIES) at 777 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario.

See Lot 24 and Lot 25 (or click HERE and HERE for screen captures).-

Estimate: $14,000/16,000 ea.

* - With offices in Toronto, New York and Hong Kong RITCHIES offer over 20 auctions each year to a broad national and international market. Their buyers include leading collectors, dealers, designers, curators and discerning private individuals who have come to trust their expertise, experience and in-depth market knowledge.-

Sources: AGO Art Gallery of Ontario / Musée des beaux-arts de l’Ontario &

                  Ritchies Auctioneers Auction Gallery
                  /Auctions House Closed Permanenltly/


>>> 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 35)

In the same court judgement 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)



~ The paintings in this post have provenance leading to the artist himself and to Mr. Joseph McLeod's Maslak McLeod Gallery, Toronto, Ontario. Also, to Alan R. Swanson (1947-1998) who was getting paintings from Mr. Rolf Schnieders (1928-2015) of Thunder Bay, Ontario (click HERE to view the paintings which were authenticated by the artist in 2002 and by Forensic Science in 2011 - all acquired from private collection of Mr. Schnieders.

Also, see below genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings which were acquired from the same source by Alan R. Swanson and were also authenticated by Forensic Science in 2011; exhibited at Manitoulin Island's art gallery in 1999.



Untitled" 58"x138", © 1979 Norval Morrisseau
/To view Norval Morrisseau posing in front of his artwork click on image to Enlarge. This painting on canvas was exhibited for sale at Nimkee Art Gallery (M'Chigeeng, Ontario) when Norval Morrisseau, accompanied by Mr. Gabor Vadas, stayed while visiting Manitoulin Island for ten days in September/October 1999./

"Untitled" 58"x138", © 1979 Norval Morrisseau
Source: Private Collection of Mr. Rolf Schnieders, Thunder Bay, Ontario
/Click on image to Enlarge and/or click HERE to view the signature signed with large letters in black dry brush paint on the face of the canvas/

* This painting has also be proven to be signed by Norval Morrisseau as per December 19, 2011  Forensic Report by Mr. Kenneth J. Davies of 'Hawkeye Studios (Grapho-Lab® Services)'. 

Below, Norval Morrisseau sits in front of another painting claimed as a forgery by Mr. Gabor Vadas and Mr. Ritchie Sinclair a.k.a. Stardreamer.

Mr. Gabe Vadas proudly posing in front of "Arrangement of Underworld Spirits, 1980" with Norval Morrisseau and Blair Debassige /The Manitoulin Expositor/ at an eagle feather ceremony held on September 24, 1999 at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation (OCF); M'Chigeeng, Ontario. Hanging on the wall the genuine Norval Morrisseau painting "Arrangement of Underworld Spirits, 1980". This painting was appraised by Mr. Joseph McLeod of Maslak McLeod Gallery on March 11th, 2008. Mr. McLeod was, at the time of signing, a member of the Art Dealers Association of Canada (click HERE).


"Arrangement of Underworld Spirits" 54"x68", © 1980 Norval MorrisseauSource: Private Collection of Mr. Rolf Schneiders, Thunder Bay, Ontario

 /Click on image to Enlarge and/or click HERE to view the signature signed with large letters in black dry brush paint on the canvas VERSO/

* This painting has also be proven to be signed by Norval Morrisseau as per December 19, 2011 Forensic Report by Mr. Kenneth J. Davies of 'Hawkeye Studios (Grapho-Lab® Services)'.

Also, see below and/or click HERE & HERE for the painting owned by Alan R. Swanson and sold through Winnipeg's Wahsa Gallery and Waddington's Auction House).







"Untitled", diptych (acrylic on wooden table), © 1970s Norval Morrisseau

Each panel 22" x 28" — 55.9 x 71.1 cm.
/Click on image to Enlarge and/or click HERE to see how this painting compares with some other similar ones executed by Norval Morrisseau in the 1970s/

Acquired directly from the artist,
Northern Intruders, Winnipeg, MB, 1998,
Private collection, 2007,
Private collection, Canada


In a private correspondence, Alan Swanson of the Northern Intruders Gallery, proposed that this diptych depicts the artist, the figure in blue, receiving his Ojibwa name, ‘Ozaawaabiko-binesi’ or ‘Copper Thunderbird.’
In the book cited above, Morrisseau recounts the story of the naming ceremony. After a grave illness, the artist was taken to visit a medicine woman. “She had already administered all the power she could, so there was only one thing left to do. This is the highest sort of power that can be given to anyone that is sick: and that is to give him a new name, a powerful name. [...]

So at that special moment, she gave me a new name, the name of Copper Thunderbird. That was a very, very powerful new name; and it cured me. From then on I changed, because that was a name whose power you could actually feel. Copper is a very sacred metal, and here you can imagine a Thunderbird, a huge massive bird all made of copper, and he was actually flying!

My name was changed to Copper Thunderbird. I sign my paintings Copper Thunderbird.”


At the same time when I originally introduced Mr. Rolf Schnieders on this platform I introduced individual that was selling paintings that originated from Mr. Schnieders' collection - Mr. Anthony (Tony) Martinenko; art dealer from Winnipeg, Manitoba; who is an important element in describing many of the issues involving Norval Morrisseau's art that have been offered for sale all across Canada in the past two decades.

He took over art dealing activities from Alan (Al) Ragnar Swanson (August 10, 1947- November 05, 1998) of 'Northern Intruders Gallery' in Winnipeg, Manitoba and dealt with paintings from Mr. Rolf Schnieders' collection. Another individual introduced who sold many paintings that originated from the same source was Darcy Boylan (1964-2003), also deceased, from Thunder Bay, Ontario.


To provide more information about the late Mr. Alan Ragnar Swanson*, please send it at below noted e-mail address.

Thank you/Miigwetch,

Ugo Matulić

Alan Ragnar Swanson's obituary,
Winnipeg Free Press, November 1998

* - Son of Arni Ragnar (Bob) Swanson (April 9th, 1921- September 4th, 2004) & Marjorie Rae (nee Duncan) Swanson (March 5th, 1932 - July 4th, 2011); brother of Carol Dressler (Brian), Linda Catherine Meyer (Dale), David Swanson (Sarah) & Kristin Kardal (Bruce); father of Dayna Crosby (Kevin) of Thunder Bay ON & Kendra Patterson (Brett) of Winnipeg MB and nephew of Olivia Olson (Holman). He is also missed by George Whitehead, nephew of Olivia and Holman Olson.

>>> Reference posts:
- The Art of Norval Morrisseau in Galleries and Museums Around the World (Part VIII), - Forensic Document Examination (Part I), - Signatures on Norval Morrisseau artworks certified by Forensic Science, - 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.

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