Monday, November 3, 2014

"Charges Dropped in Norval Morrisseau Forgery Case" by Coline Milliard


 ~ Still image of Norval Morrisseau in this posting from "The Paradox of Norval Morrisseau" - film by NFB © 1974

/This 'artnet news' article has been reposted as a matter of significant public interest/


Charges Dropped in Norval Morrisseau Forgery Case

Coline Milliard
artnet news

One of Canada's most publicized art forgery cases in recent years has come to an abrupt end. According the Globe and Mail, renowned tenor John McDermott dropped his case against Toronto's Maslak McLeod Gallery this past June. The Scottish-Canadian musician filed his initial complaint in October 2013, accusing the gallery of selling him three paintings by the aboriginal Canadian artist Norval Morrisseau (a.k.a. Copper Thunderbird). He believes the paintings are “fakes and imitations."

McDermott, who did not explain why he was terminating the lawsuit, also claimed that these works were likely from “a fraud ring operating out of Thunder Bay [and] run by an individual by the name of Gary Lamont who at various times has employed various forgers, including local artists Benjamin Morrisseau [son of Barney Morrisseau, a brother of Norval Morrisseau] and Timothy Tait [a First Nations artist]." {FALSE STATEMENT NOT PROVEN IN COURT OR ANYWHERE, INFLUENCED BY RITCHIE SINCLAIRMR. LAMONT HAVE BEEN INSTRUMENTAL IN NORVAL MORRISSEAU LIFE AS PROVEN IN A COURT CASE... SEE ZELINSKI, WHENT, PUSTINA V. THE QUEEN, (No. 92-424), WHERE HE WAS MEDIATOR BETWEEN NORVAL MORRISSEAU AND THE SAID PARTY OF LAWYERS (CLICK HERE; SEE PAGE 10). THESE PAINTINGS HAVE BEEN DONATES TO NUMBER OF IMPORTANT MUSEUMS ALL ACROSS CANADA, INCLUDING GLENBOW MUSEUM IN CALGARY, ALBERTA}. He sought $69,500 in damages, but his allegations couldn't be proven in court.

The Norval Morrisseau market has long been plagued with fakes  {FALSE STATEMENT NOT PROVEN IN COURT OF LAW OR ANYWHERE, SUPPORTED BY RITCHIE SINCLAIR, NORVAL MORRISSEAU'S BUSINESS MANAGER GABOR VADAS AND NORVAL MORRISSEAU PRINCIPAL DEALERS: KINSMAN ROBINSON GALLERIES' DONALD ROBINSON, PAUL ROBINSON & JOHN MacGREGOR NEWMAN AND COGHLAN ART AND STUDIO GALLERY'S BRYANT ROSS }.The artist even took the matter into his own hands towards the end of his life  {FALSE STATEMENT NOT PROVEN IN COURT OR ANYWHERE, INFLUENCED BY RITCHIE SINCLAIR}. According to the website Norval Morrisseau Legal  {WEBSITE NOT TO BE TRUSTED AS IT IS OPERATED BY RITCHIE SINCLAIR WHO HAS BEEN DISCREDITED IN A COURT OF LAW... CLICK HERE}, Morrisseau made several declarations on fakes, denying the authenticity of artworks sold in six outlets: Artworld of Sherway, Gallery Sunami, Maslak McLeod Gallery, Randy Potter Estate Auctions, Bearclaw Gallery, and Woodland Gary Bruce Thacky Gallery.
In 2005, two years before he died of Parkinson-related disease, the artist launched the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society (NMHS) to compile a catalogue raisonné of his oeuvre  {ARTSIT COULD NO LONGER TALK, AND MENTALL HE HAD "LEFT THE BUILDING"}. The Art Dealers Association of Canada backed the organization, acknowledging it as “the sole authority for the authentication of works by Norval Morrisseau" in 2007. But NMHS has been bitterly contested by others, including Morrisseau collector Ugo Matulić (a.k.a. Spirit Walker). He says the artist was far too affected by dementia at the time to be able to set up such a body. Norval Morrisseau Legal lists 19 lawsuits involving fakes since 2007.

The end of McDermott's case doesn't mean that the Maslak McLeod Gallery is out of trouble. Still ongoing is a case filed in 2012 by Barenaked Ladies keyboardist Kevin Hearn, who claims that a painting the gallery sold him in 2005, Spirit Energy of Mother Earth, is also a fake. Maslak McLeod firmly denies the allegation.

Hearn and McDermott share the same lawyer, Jonathan Sommer. He intends to use the knowledge gained working with McDermott to the advantage of his other client. Speaking to the Globe and Mail, he said “Those facts as they were presented in the McDermott claim, those are exactly the facts we'll be proving or attempting to prove in the Hearn case. {FALSE STATEMENT NOT PROVEN IN COURT OR ANYWHERE, INFLUENCED BY RITCHIE SINCLAIR}" A ruling isn't expected until next year.

© Copyright 2014 artnetnews. All Rights Reserved.

Coline Milliard 
/This 'artnet news' article has been reposted as a matter of significant public interest/


STRONGLY RECOMMENDED: 229 Page Special Report: the Media Abstract: "The WHITE PAPER on the Negligent Media & The Physical, Mental, & Artistic Decline of Norval Morrisseau  (1980s – 2007)"

~ Source:



Unfortunately artnet News are making the same mistake as "The Globe and Mail" in misrepresenting to what really happened in this court case. They are using the information from statement of claim which have not been proven in court and which actually have been manipulation of Mr. Ritchie Sinclair in order to influence Mr. John McDermott's opinion. For detailed explanation please read material presented below...

Who is Mr. John McDermott ('Plaintiff') - a singer:

> Another art collector who falsely accused Mr. Joseph McLeod that his genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings, purchased from Maslak McLeod Gallery, were forgeries.

>>> Both, Mr. Hearn's and Mr. McDermott's opinions about autheniticity of their genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings came from no one else than Mr. Ritchie Sinclair of Toronto, Ontario - owner and operator of a notorious malicious website that claims that over 1,000 Morrisseau paintings - 99% of which he has never seen in person - are FORGERIES.

In one of his web posts, of October 23th, 2008, Mr. Sinclair candidly admitted as much, saying he was posting the images only “for inspiration and enjoyment.”

He stated further that, "With the exception of paintings that I witnessed painted or exhibited by Morrisseau I have no way of discerning whether the images shown here are all authentic Morrisseau originals." (click HERE).

"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; "Hatfield vs. Artworld of Sherway" /Court File No. SC-09-087264-0000/)

Note: Mr. Ritchie Sinclair did not just label genuine Morrisseau paintings as forgeries... he had also labeled genuine Norval Morrisseau limited edition prints as "Inferior Prints" (click HERE).

ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT NOTE: Mr. Sinclair allegedly states that his website "brings the important issue of Morrisseau forgery proliferation into the public spotlight."

It is obvious that Mr. Sinclair is not interested at all in protecting his mentor's legacy as he continues to ignore the conclusive findings of the three top internationally recognized Forensic Document Examiners and Handwriting Experts from Ottawa, Toronto and Calgary (click HERE).

~ At least 40 paintings, certified by forensic science [2], continue to be maliciously labeled as FORGERIES on Mr. Sinclair's notorious malicious website... For .PDF screen grabs click 1. HERE, 2. HERE, 3. HERE, 4. HERE, 5. HERE, 6. HERE, 7. HERE, 8. HERE, 9. HERE, 10. HERE, 11. HERE, 12. HERE, 13. HERE, 14. HERE, 15. HERE, 16. HERE, 17. HERE, 18. HERE, 19. HERE, 20. HERE, 21. HERE, 22. HERE & 23. HERE.

[2] - The above presented genuine Norval Morrisseau artworks were examined and certified by the following Forensic Document Examiners and Handwriting Experts: Mr. Brian Lindblom of 'The Document Examination Consultants Inc.' (Ottawa, Ontario), Dr. Atul K. Singla of Worldwide Forensic Services Inc. (Toronto, Ontario) &  Mr. Kenneth J. Davies of 'Hawkeye Studios (Grapho-Lab® Services)' (Calgary, Alberta). 

>> Other individuals, associated with Mr. Sinclair, who influenced Plaintiff's decision in HEARN vs. MASLAK McLEOD GALLERY were Mr. Mark Anthony Jacobson, artist from Vancouver BC and Mr. Bryant Ross, director of Coghlan Art Studio & Gallery in Aldergrove BC.

More information to follow...  

~ Both of the Plaintiffs, Mr. Kevin Hearn and Mr. John McDermott, sued Maslak McLeod Gallery for purchasing genuine Norval Morrisseau's artworks which they allege to be forgeries.

Their actions towards the most prominent expert in Norval Morrisseau's art, Mr. Joseph McLeod, could have been viewed as their (un)knowing and apparently misguided attempt to damage the Legacy of the Canadian National Treasure - Norval Morrisseau a.k.a. Copper Thunderbird.

They are surely musical celebrities known in Canada and internationally, but when it comes to their place in Canadian history they will always be remembered as uninformed, misguided and uneducated art collectors.

Who is Mr. Joseph McLeod ('Defendant'):

Joseph McLeod
> An art expert with a comprehensive knowledge of an artist's work who generated adequate consensus within the art community to establish the authenticity of Norval Morrisseau's works of art.

Mr. Joseph McLeod is widely regarded as one of the foremost experts in Canadian 'Woodland Art' and his Maslak McLeod Gallery has built an impressive reputation in the art world for more than 30 years.

He has been a qualified expert witness for the Crown in Federal Court with respect to Norval Morrisseau's art in a pivotal Tax Court of Canada case relevant to cultural property donation program [see Zelinski, Whent, Pustina v. The Queen, (No. 92-424)].

Recently, Mr. Joseph McLeod testified in a pivotal court case relevant to authenticity of Norval Morrisseau artworks [see Hatfield, Margaret Lorraine vs. Child, Donna and Artworld of Sherway].

Mr. McLeod has also been called upon by numerous auction houses such as Sotheby's to help authenticate Norval Morrisseau artworks with his professional expertise.

Mr. McLeod was a member of Art Dealers Association of Canada (ADAC) and currently has a membership with The Canadian Association of Personal Property Appraisers (CPPA).  

>> Mr. Joseph McLeod has been instrumental in bringing Canadian Native Art to Germany, Italy, Brazil, Japan, China, France and Puerto Rico. 

 >>> Affiliations Curatorial and Appraisal Work of Joseph McLeod:

Art Dealers Association of Canada;
Canada Council for Aboriginal Buisness;
The Government of Canada;
Museum of Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay, Ontario CANADA;
Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, U.S.A.;
The Paul R. Macpherson Woodland Collection of Art,
McMaster University Museum, Hamilton, Ontario;

Sotheby' - Master Dealer;
Institute of American Indian Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A.;
The Pequot Museum, Conneticut, U.S.A.;
The Heard Museum, Pheonix, Arizona, U.S.A.;
Govenor's Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A.;
Volkunder Museum, Munich, GERMANY &
Exposicao de Arte Indigena, Belo Horizonte, BRAZIL.


>>> 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)


Forensic Document Examinations have been deployed numerous times on various genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings. These artworks were successfully purchased at Randy Potter Estate Auctions and at other auction houses/commercial art galleries across Canada and around the world (click HERE).

These scientific findings have proven successful at determining authenticity of the artwork authored by Norval Morrisseau's hand against publicly known signatures by Norval Morrisseau and his letters of correspondence.

I am certain that these genuine Norval Morrisseau acrylic paintings on canvas will be authenticated by forensic science as well.

Forensic Document Examinations were conducted on paintings which were signed by the artist with a dry brush (DB) technique commonly found on the reverse of these genuine Norval Morrisseau artworks.

Many forensic reports and their conclusive findings have been presented on this platform. These reports were prepared by the three top internationally recognized Forensic Document Examiners and Handwriting Experts (click HERE).

NOTE: The first ever Forensic Document Examination analysis on Norval Morrisseau signature had been completed on January 24th, 2002 for Mr. Joseph McLeod of Maslak McLeod Gallery by Mr. Brian Lindblom of 'The Document Examination Consultants Inc.' (click HERE).


After three years of investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Thunder Bay Police Service and after six court cases over the period of seven years nobody has ever been successful in pointing out one case where it was proven that someone made, sold, distributed or even marketed one "fake" Norval Morrisseau painting.

1.1 - Otavnik vs. Vadas SC 07-51428-00,
2.1 - Michael Moniz vs. CTV Globemedia Publishing Inc.,
3.1 - Drs. Browne and Witmer vs. Bearclaw Gallery,
4.1 - Otavnik vs. Sinclair SC 09-00082782-0000,
4.2 - CASE SUMMARY: Otavnik vs. Sinclair SC 09-00082782-0000,
5.1 - Hatfield  vs. Child SC-09-087264-0000 &
6.1.- Kinsman Robinson Galleries vs. Ugo Matulic CV-10-417123.

~ In all of these court cases Forensic science have been used proving that paintings in question were signed by Norval Morrisseau and nobody else (click HERE).

Ugo Matulić a.k.a. Spirit Walker

- "Famed tenor drops suit alleging art dealer sold him fake Morrisseau paintings" by James Adams.


>>> Other References:
- Forensic Document Examination (Part I), - Experts in Norval Morrisseau's Art (Part I) /Ref.: Mr. Joseph McLeod/, - "Norval Morrisseau: The Development of the Woodland School of Art", 2002, - Genuine Morrisseau paintings: Appraised, Authenticated and Forensically Analyzed...,  - Norval Morrisseau authenticating his artworks, - Endorsement by Thunder Bay Art Gallery of genuine Morrisseau paintings from 1970's, - Authenticity Statement by Mr. Goyce Kakegamic, - Statutory Declaration by Mr. Robert Scott, - Statutory Declaration by Mr. Deiter John Voss, - Norval Morrisseau Declarations Are A Hoax /Michele and Gabor Vadas Exposed/ (Part I),Norval Morrisseau Declarations Are A Hoax /Michele and Gabor Vadas Exposed/ (Part II),Ugo Matulic wins $1,000,000 SLAPP suit against Kinsman Robinson Galleries (Part I),
- 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) &
- Hatfield, Margaret Lorraine vs. Child, Donna and Artworld of Sherway (Part IV).

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