Friday, November 30, 2018

Norval Morrisseau Masterpiece @ McMaster University's Museum of Art in Hamilton, ON

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


~ Justice Edward M. Morgan, May 24, 2018

"The Family," 6x10 ft, acrylic on canvas, © 1979 Norval Morrisseau

A work by the ‘Picasso of the North’ graces a McMaster hallway

© The Hamilton Spectator, Apr 27, 2017 by Graham Rockingham

Norval Morrisseau's The Family, was recently donated to the McMaster Museum of Art. - McMaster University.

A major work by one of Canada's most important artists is now hanging outside McMaster University's aboriginal studies department.

The colourful 10-by-six-foot painting by Norval Morrisseau is called "The Family" and was recently donated to the McMaster Museum of Art from the personal collection of Jerry and Carol McElroy of Toronto.

Morrisseau, who died in 2007 at the age of 76, was often referred to by admirers as the "Picasso of the North" and founded the Woodlands School of Canadian art, which provided inspiration for three generations of indigenous artists.

A self-taught artist, Morrisseau was born on the Sand Point Ojibway reserve in northern Ontario and was discovered in 1962 by Toronto gallery owner Jack Pollock and his popularity rose through the '60s, '70s and '80s. He was presented with the Order of Canada in 1978.

"The Family," believed to have been painted in 1979, depicts a group of 10 figures with a patriarchal figure at the centre, flanked by family members and wildlife.

"It's an early work, but it has a provenance that traces back to the Pollock Gallery which is pretty exciting in the Morrisseau world," said McMaster Museum of Art director and curator Carol Podedworny. "It's a pretty pivotal and important period for him. By 1979, he was strong and confident in his work."

The McElroy family was directed to McMaster, Podedworny said, through Janet McNaught of the Arctic Experience McNaught Galleries on James Street South, which has a substantial collection of First Nations and Inuit art.

The decision to hang it on the wall of the indigenous studies department was made largely because the museum lacks enough wall space to install a painting the size of "The Family," Podedworny said.
Fortunately the indigenous studies program was in the process of moving to a larger location on the first floor of the newly completed L.R. Wilson Hall Liberal Arts Building.

The public is welcome to view the painting in the lobby of the indigenous studies program during normal business hours.

Podedworny said the acquisition of the Morrisseau work fits in with the "What we're most known for nationally and internationally is our German expressionist collection and our modern impressionist collection," Podedworny said. "But over the past couple of years we've been pretty active in collecting indigenous work, First Nations work in particular,"

Podedworny said "The Family" has a significant cultural value, but refused to put a price on it.

"I don't think our insurance agency would want us to give out that kind of information," she said. 905-526-3331


Curatorial and Appraisal Work for 
McMaster University Museum, Hamilton, Ontario

> 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 (1928-2017) is widely regarded as one of the foremost experts in Canadian 'Woodland Art' and his Maslak McLeod Gallery had built an impressive reputation in the art world for more than 40 years.

He had 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 had 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 had a membership with The Canadian Association of Personal Property Appraisers (CPPA).

>> Mr. Joseph McLeod was 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.


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