UPDATES Ongoing – Dec.
From Farce to Folly to Fronting a Fraud
Robertson Targets “Wife-of” the Journalist
Fly on the Wall – The Catbird Seat
Robertson Chases Provenance
“Just a furniture salesman”
Hearn Sneers – “My Daughter’s Favourite”
“Calling Dr. Jacobs”
Robertson’s Embarrassing Moment
The phone call Old Joe never got
Introducing David Voss
Thank You Rolf Schnieders
Kiss Me, Valentine
A Hug For Gabe
Is your real name really Richard Baker?
Sic the Police on the Goldis
This is Repeating on Me – Police Report
The Sommer Family Unleashed
John Goldi Gentleman
Robertson Reading a Lesson
The Secret is Out
Sommer Trashes the A Team
Sommer Presents his B Team
Baker’s Face Turned to Stone
The NMHS – Beneath Contempt
The Red Lake Incident
Damned if you do; Damned if you don’t
Calling David Voss NOT
World’s Worst Art Authenticators
KRG Manufacturing Provenance
Who’s the Fake
SLAPP Suit or Gag the Reporter
“Fuck off with your Provenance… and Iconography…”
“Fuck off with your provenance” says Tom Hoving, former MOMA Director, one of the 20th century’s top fine art experts and a specialist in fakes, frauds, and fine art forgers.
“Provenance is a laugh, the fact that it came from so and so, and so and so gave it to the prince of so and so. Fuck off! That can all be faked up. Same thing with iconography. All of that stuff is superfluous and of no importance.” (Thomas PF Hoving, longtime Director of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, international expert on art forgery, and called by the NY Times, “probably the most influential museum official of the postwar period” quoted in, The Forger’s Spell, Dolnick, p242)
Internationally, most art – billions of dollars in art – is sold without provenance, of any kind, because it is unknown, due to the centuries old tradition of fine art sellers and auctions – worldwide – to protect privacy, by hiding and refusing to disclose ALL sales data. Noah Charney says the obvious for all of us who are knowledgeable about Canadian fine art and buying at top auction houses. And a very well-known fact, among knowledgeable art collecting professionals, of which Kevin Hearn, and his art advisor, Carmen Robertson, seem to be blissfully unaware…
“No other multi-billion-dollar-a-year legitimate industry has such a reliance on handshakes, cash transactions and purchases without provenance…” says Noah Charney, founder of the Association for Research into Crimes against Art and author of the novelThe Art Thief. (Macleans Mar 17, 2013)
“Since the 1990s – as Curator of the Canadian Anglo-Boer War Museum – I have purchased hundreds of, mostly antique, fine art paintings in oil and acrylic, pastel, tempera, watercolour, gouache, charcoal, and pen and ink, from top Canadian artists; hundreds of rare original antique prints, lithographs, hand-coloured lithos, chromolithographs, photogravures, woodcuts, engravings, posters, sheet music, photos, and postcards; and hundreds of rare, high value Canadian historical artifacts, from all the top auction houses in Canada: Sotheby’s, Ritchie’s, Sotheby’s-Ritchie’s, Joyner’s, Walker’s, Levis, Hodgins, Waddington’s, Joyner-Waddington’s, Bonham’s, Hennock, Gardner’s, Town Hall, Touch of Class, Gordon’s, etc. SAMPLES
“Some of these I have sold, and always without any provenance whatsoever EVER being asked for, or given, to international collectors, and top American and British museums. Including an ultra-rare original 1834 FW Stillman hand-coloured lithograph of an American sugar cane mill “Easily Managed by Negroes” to the Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, MI. (Though the Ford has had an original of this monster machine on display since the 1930s, staff had failed, for years, to locate an original advertising litho anywhere. After numerous exchanges with the Ford curator testing my expertise on what I had, he announced he was super pleased to buy this ultra-rare hc litho he found while surfing my Museum.)
Sharing wall space, at Museum London (ON), from left to right, with Group of Seven artists JEH Macdonald, Fred Varley, and Lawren Harris, are two of the Canadian Anglo-Boer War Museum’s own, fabulous Arthur Hemings: “Canadian Pioneers 1931” and “Shooting the Rapids 1930.” The paintings were on the road for over two years as part of an Arthur Heming show that went from London, to Old Lyme, Connecticut (the Florence Griswold Museum, the Home of American Impressionism) and then to the Confederation Centre for the Arts in Charlottetown, PEI.
A rare Canadian Heritage Treasure, that graced Canadian history books for almost a century, Arthur Heming’s “Shooting the Rapids” aka “The York Boat, 1930.” It is one of my most expensive acquisitions, BUT it came without a smidgen of provenance, even though it was only painted in 1930 by one of Canada’s most famous and esteemed artists and writers. Its chain of title was erased long ago. But word of mouth “provenance,” by sneaky staff told me the last owner was the President of Simpson’s. Verbal hearsay provenance going back one owner, by malfeasant auction staff, is the best you can ever hope to get at any fine art auction. HEMING
“Some of these paintings have gone on international tour and were proudly hung alongside the finest works from the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of History, and the Royal Ontario Museum in top museums and art galleries in Canada and the US. Without a single elite curator, ANYWHERE, EVER, demanding to see a letter of provenance, from me for any of my works.
“Copies of these original artworks have been purchased by Canadian, American, and British book and magazine publishers, university professors, and international governmental heritage ministries, to illustrate their exhibitions, books, brochures, posters, or to hang in their museums. Without a single picture editor, curator, or professor EVER, asking for provenance. EVER… Being informed fine art professionals they NEVER ask because they know it is NEVER provided or available from any international fine art auction houses and so NOT available from fine art curators and dealers like myself.
The Canadian Anglo-Boer War Museum’s own “But mother was too quick for him” visibly dominates wall space shared with two famous and fabulous possessions of the National Gallery of Canada, Arthur Heming’s “How We Travelled 1926,” and “Leaping Caribou 1925.” The curator of Museum London, who organized the international Heming tour, and published a commemorative book of his art, considers “Mother was too quick” one of his most superlative works.
One of the most expensive and valuable paintings in my collection Petocahhanawawin or Poundmaker, is simply the most fabulous portrait of a Canadian Indian chief ever painted (pastel on paper), one of only four “copies” known to exist and each made, with slight differences by Edmund Morris before he died in 1913. Today “his Indian portraits are now considered priceless.” The three other copies are in Archives Canada, Museum London, and in the celebrated “Hall of the Chiefs” in the Saskatchewan Legislature. There was NO provenance or chain of title that came with this fabulous original work. The unhappy, losing, under-bidder, I was quietly informed, by Sotheby’s staff, was the Royal Ontario Museum, also willing to spend big bucks, for a painting with NO PROVENANCE.
“In not a single case, when I originally bought the over 7,500 items in my collection, was I EVER give a letter of “provenance,” of any kind by the auction house, though – as a passionate historian – I often demanded it, quite strongly, without a single success… Ferocious non-disclosure, and aggressively guarding the privacy of the seller – always listed as “Private Collection” in the catalogue, and never identified – is the universal credo for ALL fine art auction houses worldwide. You are buying a painting or artifact AS YOU SEE IT; you are NOT, EVER, buying provenance or chain of title – let alone a document of any kind listing “provenance.” You will never be given the name of the last owner of a painting, let alone a list of all the previous owners before that. Because, due to a long history of universal auction non-disclosure, on previous occasions, the current auction, literally, knows nothing it can pass on.
“And anyone who claims differently is delusional beyond redemption, or malfeasantly acting on behalf of some fraudulent enterprise, or both.”
(John Goldi csc***, since 1999 the Curator and Director of Research and Collections, of the Canadian Anglo-Boer War Museum, which references a bricks and mortar collection of over 7,500 rare, original historical paintings and antique artifacts. Of which, 99.9% have no provenance or “chain of title” back to the original owner. (The CA-BWM is the world’s first internet museum – Honoured and Funded, as “A Canada Millennium Project” by the Government of Canada, in 1999, & the model that Archives Canada copied when it launched its own internet museum, years later). *** John Goldi is an Honorary Life Member, as a “Director of Cinematography” of the “Canadian Society of Cinematography,” the professional association of Canada’s film and television cinematographers, and was granted the Society’s top honour, the “csc,” “for outstanding achievement in the art of cinematography.”) MUSEUM
University of Regina’s Carmen Robertson when challenged in court as to why she called Kevin Hearn’s “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974” a fake, loudly thundered out for her first reason “Because its provenance letter has errors in it.” And for her second reason, another letter that she said had mistakes regarding the art, in it…
Inventing New, Fake Provenance Markers to Promote a Fraud – Begging to differ, with top international art experts, are a few local Canadians, who work together, publicly and secretly, on behalf of a private agenda to advance another entirely different, “alternative set of facts” regarding “provenance” in art. An idea they borrowed from Donald Trump, in order to try to legitimize their claim that there are “thousands of Morrisseau fakes by umpteen forgers” out there.
And that Kevin Hearn’s “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974” is one of those, supposedly damningly exposed as a fake because of errors in its provenance or chain of title letter.
Letters of Provenance that are, of course, ABSOLUTELY NEVER EVER even given, when 99% of art is bought from a fine art auction anywhere in the world.
“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” WC Fields
Bonnie Czegledi, a Toronto lawyer and international stolen art sleuth, is a product of Harvard, Yale, and Osgoode, and a member of the Canadian, American, and International bar associations, thinks the art world has changed for the worse.
“… what the art world is like: scheming, manipulative, and, quite often, downright fraudulent.” (Jack Pollock, Norval Morrisseau’s longest (1962-1981) & most successful (12 shows) dealer, Dear M, 1989, p182)
“Over a period of a few years, I discovered that the business of art is one of the most corrupt, dirtiest industries on the planet. There are no regulations… It’s not pretty. The patina of loveliness that most people associate with art didn’t exist in the reality that I found. It was filled with criminals – and a lot of different kinds.” (Bonnie Czegledi, quoted, Hot Art, Knelman, p25)
Hopeless and Helpless Putty in Their Hands… – Kevin Hearn will eat crow for the rest of his life for allowing himself to be manipulated into calling a genuine Morrisseau a “fake.” But don’t feel sorry for him; feel sorry for the countless Indigenous artists across Canada to whom his fraudulent and malicious lawsuit did Great Irreparable Harm, over many years, and destroyed the valuation of Norval Morrisseau’s art in the tens of millions, of collectors around the world. Including numerous old people I have talked to who lamented that they had counted on selling their Morrisseaus to help pay for their old age, only to be told “Sorry, they’re worthless, because of the doings of Sommer & Hearn.”
“Provenance is very important…” pouts Kevin Hearn, an art collecting neophyte, who bought his first ever painting, or work of art of any kind, with Morrisseau’s “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974,” a painting he now claims, he is advised, is a “fake” because the provenance letter he was given has errors…
And for which, in an astonishing and inexplicable set of mysteries:
– Kevin Hearn has refused, for twelve years, to have a forensic report done on its huge Morrisseau BDP signature,
– his lawyer, Jonathan Sommer, has refused, for 6 years, to have the forensics done, and
– his art expert, art historian Carmen Robertson, has refused, for 4 years, to order the forensics done.
Is this a possible reason? When, outraged by what I consider curatorial malfeasance of the highest order by this trio of plotters, I arranged to have the forensics done and paid for, by a public benefactor, the independent professional handwriting expert authenticated the BDP signature as Norval’s, with the highest level of DNA certainty he was able to give it. Forensics
“It is my professional opinion, as an art historian, that Kevin’s painting is a fake because the provenance document has errors…” thundered Canadian Art Historian Carmen Robertson across a Toronto court room, in responding with the first and primary reason, she gave when asked, as to why she claims “Spirit Energy” is fake. Expert
For those of you who have never bought art before, look at it her way – the Kevin Hearn, the Jonathan Sommer, and the Carmen Robertson way.
Please Explain to Me Their Take on “Provenance”
OK… say Kevin had bought a 10 seater Mercedes limo (instead of a painting) to ferry around the Barenaked Ladies and their groupies, and was given an ownership for the limo (read letter of provenance here for the artwork). Then he discovered that the dealership, had, alas, misspelled his name, got his address wrong, and mistakenly put another client’s name in the Bill of Sale, from which he would draw the obvious conclusions, and sue their ass off, claiming – with suitably over-the-top outrage – that these Bill of Sale errors prove that: the vehicle has only 6 seats, is a Chevy, not a Merc, and is not a limo at all, but a dump truck… In other words, a fake… We wish the Barenaked Ladies well, with their limo lawsuit…
“Whatever” for sale inside Kinsman Robinson Galleries, where I photographed it. A bargain; it comes with complete provenance, fully assured by KRG. Will you be the lucky buyer?
And yes the Canadian art world is full of surreal idiocies like this, involving people who have either deluded themselves into believing it’s true, or have been manipulated by others, also similarly deluded.
“Provenance is everything in the art world!”*** snorts art fraud founder Donald Robinson, who then makes sure his loyal clients get all the provenance they want by custom manufacturing it in the basement of Toronto’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries.(***KRG Principal Morrisseau Dealer Blog May 8, 2008)
Alas, I would submit to you, that Donald Robinson’s record as an art expert and “provenance” provider is NOT all that reliable.
Providence or Provenance?
The concept of “provenance” is so little used in conversation in art auction circles, that people routinely confuse the words because they don’t know any better, about the meaning and use of this unfamiliar term or concept. “Providence” is the hand of God, Divine Intervention, or Fate; “Provenance” is chain of title, or a chronological list of previous owners of a painting, etc.
There is no relationship, whatsoever, between the two words other than that “Even God won’t be able to help you if you try to track down the Chain of Title of your auction-bought fine art painting.” But it certainly exposes uninformed amateurs, or malicious and/or deluded self-proclaimed “experts,” as impostors, when they open their mouth, or try to ascribe magical powers regarding authenticity about paintings to the term.
The Lowdown on “Providence” and Nazi Gold
I well remember, in November 1950, my father and I – I was ten – coming out of the huge main door at the far left end of the central train station in Zurich, CH (the city where I was born) and crossing the most famous street intersection in all Switzerland, the Bahnhofplatz. We were heading for the Bahnhofstrasse (Railway Station Street) on the right.
1950 – They walked over Nazi gold. These photos were taken by famed Swiss pioneering photo journalist and military photographer Hans Staub (1894-1990) who was our next door neighbour, where we all lived near the entrance to Switzerland’s biggest military airbase in Dübendorf in the late 1940s. Staub, considered the dean of Swiss photojournalism, took our last family photos before we left for Canada in Dec. 1950.
The Swiss were neutral in World War I and II, playing their usual role of staying out of wars in the 19th and 20th centuries, that destroyed over 100 million lives and trillions in property of other war consumed peoples in the world.
So for centuries, Switzerland has been a safe haven for political refugees from other countries, like many Russian Bolsheviks including Lenin, who stayed in Zurich before they returned to Russia to overthrow the Tzar. And countless Jews fleeing from Germany and Austria.
(My father, who like every Swiss male, was mobilized for the entire war, ran internment camps housing many Jewish refugees during World War II. When he married, in 1940, a Jewish refugee artist painted a portrait in oil of my mother, as a wedding present. It’s – next to our photo archives – our family’s most prized possession.)
The Making of a Master Cadet
Postcards from World War I show the traditional Swiss determination to avoid the bloodletting of war that ultimately killed some 25 million non-Swiss people, all thanks to the elite establishment associates of the Royal Houses of Russia, Austro-Hungary, Germany, and the United Kingdom, fighting it out to see who was top dog in the world. The Swiss military had its guns poised against any intruder – German, Austrian, or Allied – as the Dogs of War piled up the bodies, and put the torch to civilization outside its borders.
My Dad Was There – When War Games are Deadly Serious – The most famous war games in history took place in 1912 – two years before World War I broke out – when the Swiss invited German Emperor Wilhelm II (in grey above) and his top generals (in grey on the left) to watch the Swiss Army “at play…” The men in black are Swiss. The Kaiser is talking to President Forrer, of the Swiss Republic, founded in 1291. On the right is Swiss Commander-in-Chief “Major” Wille – the Swiss don’t like generals or military poseurs (no men or officers ever wear even single medals) – who was married to German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s daughter. Wille is credited with saving countless Swiss military and civilian lives, by staging these games, and so convincing the German General Staff that any attack on, or through Switzerland, was foolhardy and would be a long drawn-out war of attrition that would drain German military resources needed elsewhere. Beyond are the civilians watching it all. My father, as a seven year old, is among them. This postcard is NOT a DUPE, printed in 1995 or 2015, but an ultra-rare original from 1912. By acquiring this historical document, I was able to examine the back, and can confirm its authenticity, and age. It is postmarked on the day, and was bought by someone who was – like my father – at the scene, and who proudly wrote home “I saw the Kaiser up real close.” There are many blank-backed postcards like this, but no others carry so much corroborative information, and emotional punch, about the people, place and event, on the back, as this one does. With all historical documents – of which this postcard is a superb example – to gauge authenticity, you MUST see and examine the original, in hand, front and back, and not some lowlife DUPE seen in some picture book. DUPES from which you can deduce nothing reliable or credible WHATSOEVER.
Historical or Hysterical? – And for those who think I am overstating, read this backgrounder referencing events only two months after the Swiss Army Games.
“The German Imperial War Council of 8 December 1912 was an informal conference of some of the highest military leaders of the German Empire. Meeting at the Stadtschloss in Berlin, they discussed and debated the tense military and diplomatic situation in Europe at the time. As a result of the Russian Great Military Program announced in November, Austria-Hungary’s concerns about Serbian successes the First Balkan War, and certain British communications, the possibility of war was a prime topic of the meeting.
“In the continuing debate on the causes of World War I, historians like Fritz Fischer and John C. G. Röhl consider the conference a decisive step to war, long before the July Crisis.” (Wikipedia)
The Swiss Army Games they all had seen two months before convinced the German High Command that it could greatly improve the odds in their favour against the Allies, by ruling out any invasion of Switzerland. The games had convinced them a German-Austrian attack on the Swiss would be prohibitively damaging to the German military’s quest for victory on the western front.
(Germans, Austrians, and Swiss share the same written language – German. It’s the language of education in the Swiss/German parts of Switzerland. But the Swiss/Germans have their own “Swiss” language, the speech of everyday communication that only they – not Germans or Austrians – can understand. French is the next major language group. In school I was educated in German; at home we spoke Swiss. My father was fluent in German, Swiss, and French – he was an unabashed Francophile, and had for years, in the 1920s lived in the French part of Switzerland, then spent the 1930s as a businessman in Marseilles, and Paris. The most revered general in Swiss history, because he prevented the Nazis from invading Switzerland, was Guisan, from the French part of Switzerland. He presented Dad with his athletic tropies.)
The 1912 Dupe “Back” That Makes All the Difference in Authentication of Any Historical Document or Work of Art – A DUPE with no back, an unpublished back, a Blank back, or a picture book, could have been fabricated in 1918 or 2018. It is valueless for any kind of authentication, of any kind, about the original it supposedly represents. The postmark stamped Sept. 11, 1912, locks this postcard into a corroborated time frame six days after the Swiss military maneuvers took place (Sep. 4-5, 1912). The postmark is Müselbach, CH, close to where the maneuvers took place. The stamp is from the period. “I saw him up close,” is part of a period letter. I will NOT translate the letter for you. Like every other legitimate expert, I am a professional – as a historian, a museum curator, a visual artist, and an investigative journalist – and value my work. I expect to be paid for my services. Exactly like forensic expert Dr. Singla, was paid to show up in Hatfield v Child to give expert testimony on “Wheel of Life.” I have also paid Dr. Singla twice to appear in court. He has done it over 500 times. I cannot understand how Professor Robertson would NOT also, value her services, and instead, show up in court claiming to be an “expert” and doing it – she claims – for free as a volunteer, for altruism. I know no one, in this world, or the next, who would believe her. She is, of course, exactly following the same model of her mentor, Donald Robinson, who also volunteered “for free out of altruism” to write huge fraudulent reports slanging Morrisseau art for Ritchie Sinclair, before multiple judges discredited his reports, testimony, credentials, and claims, and even lawyer Jonathan Sommer suddenly dumped him as his expert on Oct. 2, 2017. What is her game? What is her aim? For Free? Did she really pay for her expensive plane fare to Toronto to testify, her high priced hotel bills, and fancy meals, out of her own pocket? Or out of the University of Regina’s Visual Arts Department? We shall never know because she is so deceptive and covert about so much of what she has done in the fabrication and promotion of her “expert” report. A report which is ALL based on Dupes and for which she publishes NOT a single Back of her database of paintings which she claims are legitimate. And about which, she was – in court – over-the-top, inexplicably loud, and vituperatively angry that it has been published, and wildly sexist in accusing my “wife of” the journalist, of being involved in doing it. Clearly Professor Robertson, from remote and distant Wascana Creek, SK, has never heard that Ontario guarantees the rights of ANY member of the public complete freedom to obtain ANY court document and to make copies, and to publish anything that is “in the public interest.” She also seems unaware that Ontario’s Protection of Public Participation Act of 2015, protects people who do it, like myself, from malicious prosecution with SLAPP suits or a Gag Order to shut me up. Alas, it makes no provisions to prevent vile, unsubstantiated attacks by gender bigots on “wives-of…”
The Painting & the BDP Back the Professor’s Report Denigrates – “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974” – A typical 1970s BDP which Judge Martial found that there was “overwhelming evidence” that Norval signed thousands of these in this way. And, in fact, years later, it shows just how wise Judge Martial was, when, on Sep. 25, 2017, I got confirmation from an independent scientist that in fact this BDP was forensically authenticated as a genuine Morrisseau. And yet in a stunning and damning omission, the BDP Backs of the five paintings Robertson does show in her report, and uses, intending to slang a decent man – for years a target of fraudsters – she has NOT ordered a single painting, including this one, forensically tested for authenticity by an independent forensic expert, though she had FOUR YEARS TO DO IT. Forensics be damned – ignore the blood, the fingerprints, and the DNA on the murder weapon – she clearly seems to say, preferring to follow an “alternative set of facts,” instead, full steam ahead, in following a script and an agenda someone else seems to have provided for an academic I consider a loose cannon.
By holding firm to neutrality, as vicious wars destroyed civilization outside its borders, Switzerland became seen as a safe place for all kinds of countries, politicians, celebrities, and corporate operatives, including the Pope, to stash countless trillions in gold, in times of war and peace, with totally assured anonymity.
Looking up the Bahnhofstrasse the main street in Zurich, from the roof over the door of the train station. My father led me to the travel agency on the corner. I remember the large Cunard White Star ocean liner model in the window. We were buying White Star Line tickets that, weeks later, in December 1950, would take our family to Canada. (Historic photo postcards are all from late 1940s showing how it looked when we were there. These are NOT picture dupes; I own the originals that I have examined in hand in person. As a museum and art curator, and historian I will NOT embark on what I consider a fool’s errand, to pomposit about the authenticity of this or that, based on lowlife copies – or patches of memory – of originals, if I have not IMMEDIATELY seen them in hand. Though I am aware that some art historians eagerly do this. I consider their practice just as valid, as an authentication methodology, as the “Driving while Black” tool is helpful to many police forces for detecting diabolically guilty criminals.)
I learned only 67 years later, that my father and I had been literally walking on top of rooms full of Nazi gold. In 2017 UK historian James Holland (“Hunting for Nazi Treasure”) stood on the rooftop on the middle top left, as an expert pointed out that all the Swiss banks had underground rooms full of gold, under the entire length of the Bahnhofstrasse. Holland’s expert told him she had seen them, but that NO banking official would ever admit to any of it to anyone. EVEN THE EXISTENCE, LET ALONE THE PROVENANCE, OF THE NAZI GOLD, WAS AS JEALOUSLY GUARDED A SECRET AS TO WHO THE PREVIOUS OWNERS OF YOUR AUCTION-BOUGHT FINE ART PAINTING ARE… JUST NOT AVAILABLE, THANK YOU… It makes for a long television series, as Holland and his fellow sleuths try to track down art ownership documented only on shipping lists. And rarely finding anything. IT IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU WILL FIND IF YOU TRY TO TRACK DOWN THE “PROVENANCE” OF YOUR PAINTING. Thanks to the policy of fine art galleries, and auctions, not only in refusing to disclose it, but often giving their art a total make-over, like Toronto’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries does, to foil internet sleuths trying to track down its previous history, so preventing clients from discovering any of it.
Using “Providence” in “Hunting for Nazi Treasure”
The nightmare of tracing the provenance of lost and plundered billions of dollars in art is writ large in hour after hour of programming trying to track down missing art looted by the Nazis in World War II.
This international television series, featured on the History Channel had the pick of historians and ended up with the UK’s James Holland, who is listed as having some unspecified “history degree.” He is part of the “Gee whiz, golly gee, Wow, boy that’s unbelievable, you don’t say, I would never have guessed it!” mindless and breathless school of historian commentator too much in evidence on Television.
In one long and vigorous on-camera presentation, Holland kept strongly, repeatedly, and definitively talking about “providence” in tracking down the missing art. It is astonishing, that a historian, claiming to be an art expert, makes such a colossal boner on a prepared camera presentation on an internationally broadcast television series.
It is even more damning that NO ONE at the executive level, with vetting responsibility, on a major international series on fine art, caught and corrected this giant boner during all the stages of writing, shooting, and editing, so they could obliterate this colossally embarrassing mistake by a clearly amateur historian who was out of his depth doing a fine art story.
It does show, in the strongest terms, how unfamiliar and irrelevant this concept is among fine art experts, that they can’t even get the name – let alone what lies behind it – correct.
I believe Holland and his crew would have found a lot more Nazi art if they had used “provenance” – regardless of how useless it is – rather than “providence,” as their chief research tool.
It is damningly telling that the series is a HOAX, because whether Holland and his crew are on the “providence” or “provenance” trail, they find NOTHING themselves, no matter how many holes they drill in walls, bricks they remove, pits they dig, or caves they crawl into. All the art they “find” was ALL previously found by others, mostly by accident, or by families disclosing war trophies, from an estate when someone dies, or by cops chasing crooks. Or by some scientific methodology like metal detectors, NOT the mindless blathering of some windbag wannabe art historian supposedly tracking “providence.”
The series proves in spades, that chasing “provenance” and “providence” are both equally useless in tracking and finding lost art, and ALWAYS lead to dead ends. Like the Freeport in Geneva, CH, where possibly billions in art treasures have been stored in totally enforced anonymity for decades. Nobody, but nobody, handling art anywhere in the world wants to leave a paper trail of any kind.
Holland and his crew, posing as hunters for Nazi art treasures, would have far more success if they turned to hunting bedbugs in downtown Toronto hotels.
“Dupe Test for Dummies” – Here is a test, for all those of you, who like to make authoritative judgments about iconography, colour, palette, or the authenticity of original art, pictures, or photos, based on looking at DUPES or pictures in books – which is the preferred research methodology that Carmen Robertson used to research data for her “expert” report on Morrisseau art. Pretend you’re doing research on a history of zeppelins, and tell me, authoritatively, what’s going on, in this fabulous photo of a great historic occasion? For those of you who don’t read German I’ll translate – “First Trip of the Zeppelin to Zurich, July 1, 1908.” It’s over the main door of the train station.
Sorry But You Fail… Miserably – The Zeppelin photo is a total FAKE. Here is the original photo which clearly is from before 1908, and into which the zeppelin was fraudulently pasted to create a forged document to fool the unwise who are dumb enough to pomposit based on photo dupes in books or digital jpegs of originals. So your claims about iconography are shot. So is anything about the year it/they were printed, sometime between 1900 and 2017. (Until you see the originals and the backs.) And NO you cannot make any evaluations of colour and palette either. They were all totally made up by the artist who mocked up the DUPE. There is NO relationship between what he dreamed up, to please the potential buyer, and the actual colour, let alone the hue, of any of the buildings, or trams. Even the clouds are fakes… So this photo – with or without the zeppelin – is also a fake. In fact based on my research of over 1 million antique postcards – of which I acquired over 900 to examine the originals in hand – I can safely say without fear of contradiction that 99% of supposed “real photo” postcards produced – worldwide – from 1895-1940, are FAKEOGRAPHS – a term I coined to describe real photographs that have been Faked in a major way. (Fakeographs predate Photoshop which was only invented in 1988.)
My undercover Nazi party infiltration in 1965 lasted only two days. Having John Beattie, surrounded by his thugs, shout at me, from three feet away, and threatening me, at midnight behind a curtained storefront, on a back street in downtown Toronto, was enough to convince me to abort my investigative journalism. These days, I’m not so cowed or timid when confronted by evil.
The “Providence/Provenance” Follies Continued…
Donald Robinson, who has styled himself as the Principal Morrisseau Dealer, and promoted himself as a knowledgeable art dealer, for many decades in the tony Yorkville area of Toronto, is one of the worst offenders, proving he has no clue what the hell he’s talking about.
Hatfield Defence lawyer Robert Dowhan (Hatfield v Child) also repeatedly, used the wrong word “providence,” himself, over and over again. His excuse is that he is only a lawyer. He was fired, shortly after, and replaced by Brian Shiller.
But Dowhan still allowed Robinson all the rope he needed to hang himself, and display for the Ages, this leading Toronto art dealer’s colossal ignorance on the topic of “provenance,” or “providence” as he preferred, repeatedly, to call it. And a man who also claims to be a fine art and Morrisseau expert…
And Robinson’s was NOT a slip of the tongue; Robinson hugely mispronounced and confused the terms, in clear language caught by the transcriber, on one occasion, three times in a row in his emphatic and pompositing style – I heard him; I saw him; I read the transcripts – of his cross-examination on Sep. 1, 2011.
Donald Robinson – “… it was a massive scale of acquisitions and it’s incredible. For example my gallery currently specializes in just these types of paintings, older historical, older paintings with a good providence, and we – routinely when we get paintings consigned to us from private people, a lot of them from Thunder Bay area and from northern Ontario – it’s routine that we would receive a letter with it, a gallery invoice, other documentation, that if it didn’t come from Norval it came from someone else, but some sort of trail and record and providence is so important. None of these paintings have any providence whatsoever.” (Transcripts, Hatfield v Child, Sep 1, 2011, p19)
In fact, to my mind he gave the best backing for them being genuine Morrisseaus, exactly because they DID NOT have a list of previous owners. That NO ONE was huckstering them as having a chain of title back to Norval, in the mists of time, some decades before. In international sales Tom Hoving (longtime MOMA director) says provenance is almost always faked.
Chain of title is impossible to get, or research, for 99% of Canada’s – or for internationally sold – fine art works. In a recent wasted one-hour, History Television “Hunting for Nazi Treasure” crew, supposedly on the look-out, by “provenance,” for hundreds of thousands pieces of missing works of art, discovered not a single one, nor a huge repository of a reported stash of a million secret works of art with NO names, NO provenance, NO owners, NO representative pictures, secreted behind a giant wall of concrete, barbed wire, and security guards, who told them to leave or else.
And with no other Canadian artist, is the chain of title more elusive than for Morrisseau, a notoriously fanatic street vendor and door-to-door hawker of his own art, trading it for cash, goods, or services, in countless remote towns and villages across northern Ontario, and everywhere else he had lived, over a period of forty years. Making it totally impossible to trace or confirm any of the more than 10,000 paintings Donald Robinson estimated – in (Hatfield v Child) testimony – Norval painted.
The problem is far worse.
I believe 10,000 is a very low figure for Norval, who is reported as painting 40, 50, or 60 works at a time, and was certainly capable of painting many in one day alone. In one painting (not forensically authenticated) Morrisseau claims, on the back, he painted some 23,000 as of 1991.
Compare: Doris McCarthy probably painted some 35,000 works (she claimed one a day). Picasso is credited with 50,000 works of art (some say double that). So…
From Farce to Folly to Fronting a Fraud: Lawyer Richard Baker, is on the record now, in court, as claiming that Norval’s lifetime output is “down to 5,000” – that’s 5,000 folks! – or one every three days over a 40 year period, says the lawyer for the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society (NMHS).
And his NMHS colleague, art historian Carmen Robertson, with a straight face, says it is “over 1,000.”*** Or to put it another way, by her count, 25 paintings a year, or one every two weeks, over 40 years… When selling them for $20, $30, or $50 bucks a piece wouldn’t keep him in booze, let alone, food, shelter, or clothing for any time. On an annual income say, of $750 a year… (Well Robertson did admit on the stand her daughter is the math whiz in the family, not her.)
*** “Prolific, in his output, paintings and drawings by Morrisseau amount to well over 1,000 works.” (Carmen Robertson report p 10, based on no footnotes or references)
It’s pretty clear that if Robertson calls an artist “prolific, in his output” over 40 to 50 years, and comes up with “over 1,000 works,” something is hugely out of whack in her math computation, AND her use of the English lanquage, and knowledge of the fine art world. (To go along with her spelling, grammar, and other publishing negligences.) But even a misplaced decimal point, for starters, at 10,000 pieces, is very low by any McCarthy or Picasso “prolific” standard. Or is she just being directed by someone to be deliberately malicious.
Of an artist called uncommonly prolific, and who often painted 30, 40 or 50 paintings at a time… And could easily paint many in a day. And had a painting life of some 45 years.
Will someone tell me what the hell is going on with these two longtime collaborating cronies and members of the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society? Spouting such absolute nonsense…
Both clearly appear to have a one-track agenda: to boost the value of Baker’s Morrisseaus – she’s his art consultant (evaluator & authenticator) – it’s in her report*** – and probably one of the things she didn’t want publicly disclosed before they testified together.
*** “I observed this work first hand while documenting the (private Richard Baker) collection in 2012.” (Carmen Robertson report, page 6, and page 63.)
Baker clearly appreciates his longtime art colleague, as he apparently angles for someone to give him elevated Canadian tax credits for his Morrisseau “Donations,” (or simply to up the sales value of his art) while they collaborate in and out of court, to destroy the value of everyone else’s art, in order to boost his.
Out of Control Attack on the “Wife-of” a Blogger
BAKER AND ROBERTSON ALSO WORKED TOGETHER, WITH KEVIN HEARN, TO TRY TO PUT A SLAPP SUIT, AND A GAG ORDER ON THE JOURNALIST WHO HAS FOR FIVE LONG YEARS, LEGALLY, BEEN EXPOSING IT ALL TO THE PUBLIC, work that is now protected under the terms of the Ontario Protection of Public Participation Act (PPPA) of 2015.
THEY WERE ALSO TARGETING THE SOLE WRITER’S “WIFE OF,”*** JOAN GOLDI, BY MAKING TOTALLY AND WILDLY ABSURD AND FALSE CLAIMS, BECAUSE THEY CAN – conveniently Protected from a Libel and Defamation lawsuit, by Court Privilege.
***Robertson seems to be totally unaware that it is sexist, misogynist, and gender bigotry run amok, to blame, attack, and vilify the “wife-of” the only person who is listed – and has been listed for five years – with a writer credit on my personal Blog, John Goldi. My wife is NOT a credentialed historian, NOT a longtime recognized and honoured museum curator, and NOT a credentialed visual artist like I am, which is my backgrounder for authoring the Blog. So for Robertson, out of pique, to go on to accuse the “wife-of” – who has nothing to do with my personal Blog – of all kinds of drivel she makes up in her mind is beneath contempt. Would she vilify Graeme Gibson because she considers Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tail” crap? Probably.
And for her to fail to recognize that professional women can be separate persons, and have separate identities, in their own right, from their husbands is at best, antediluvian.
An angry sexist, misogynist, and gender bigotry rant from Wascana Creek, against the “wife-of” the Blogger… People can read my Blog and make up their own minds, whether I have documented what I write about, and whether Robertson has written a credible professional, academic report, and proven her claim that “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974” is the fake she says. I note that an independent forensic scientist – whom I do not know and did not pay – supports ME IN MY VIEW, in a sworn affidavit, that the painting the angry professor says is “fake,” is NOT FAKE at all. Furthermore, that the painting is, in fact, GENUINE. And so roundly dismisses her claim to having any kind of credible, believable, or trustworthy Morrisseau expertise in authenticating real Morrisseau art. But then you already knew that… And I can “unequivocally” say, that after listening to ALL the evidence put forward by her and the other eight Plaintiff’s witnesses (NONE of whom she heard), I saw or heard NOTHING that I believe could endanger that forensic report’s validity, in any way, and IN FACT, a hell of a lot that supports it… And I can also say, “unequivocally,” I heard a hell of a lot more evidence than she did, during the 3 1/2 days she was NOT in court. My highly informed opinion, from digesting it all, is in effect, that Joe McLeod was not deceptive, was never a crook, had nothing to hide, and the painting he sold, was by every accepted standard, and Due Diligent procedure he tried to pursue to authenticate it – once it was challenged, without evidence I might add – NOT PROVEN AS A FAKE. And so remains confirmed as the genuine work by Norval Morrisseau that McLeod told Kevin Hearn it was when he sold it to him. I have NOT seen a single document presented that supports what Carmen Robertson claims, and NOT EVEN A SINGLE SO-CALLED FAKE PAINTING BY ANYONE to illustrate their/her claim. Or to prove that the 150 authenticated BDPs are all “fakes.” From her all we heard was loud reading lessons full of Bluff, Bluster, and Blow. Which is her right; but there is nothing behind it but some prairie wind. And certainly nothing scientific, let alone evidentiary. I, along with the forensic scientists affirming some 150 BDPs as authentic, am in good company, as the target of Robertson’s notoriously Sneering and Dismissive Attitude. In her “expert report” she also famously, and deceptively sneered off both the Trial Judge and the Appeal Justice, who BOTH handed down landmark decisions that any reputable academic in her place would have read, digested, and disclosed. She did not; instead she deliberately hid them, and their absolute conclusion that the BDP paintings she sneers at as “fakes,” were 100% genuine, on the front and back. And hid their conclusion that there was “overwhelming evidence” that Norval signed thousands of BDPs, of which she says – and Sommer’s case claims – there are NONE. Her fabricated report has ALL the appearance of a collaboration, we learned in court, started with Hearn and lawyer Sommer, in 2012, to try to fabricate a secret report and a deceptive report, to fool a trial judge in an attempt to cover up the disastrously discrediting Martial and Sanderson judgments of the same discredited claims already previously made by Sommer in Hatfield v Child. (in 2013). But fear not; her sneering attitude that attacks anyone who has superior knowledge to hers, cannot make the evidence, from multiple credentialed independent experts, and learned judges, go away just to please her and her handlers.
Regina art historian Carmen Robertson noted ALL her Awards & Distinctions in her enormously long, seven page report Bio. I note with interest that TWO of the four distinctions are merely “Nominations” for Awards she had hoped to get. Her two “Nominations” are actually “Awards I tried for, but failed to get.” Better candidates with better work, actually won those two local (Regina, and Saskatchewan) awards.
Where thousands of copies of “wife-of” Joan Goldi’s internationally-honoured, film, television, and educational programs can be found in libraries, schools, universities, corporate and government offices, in every Canadian province, and every US state. HER OWN NAME “Joan Goldi” IS CREDITED ON ALL OF THEM. But, NOT so strangely, she has NO CREDIT on my personal Blog.
And for a woman who lists her own Awards as a few local things in Regina, from the “home town” crowd, to flail and sneer wildly at Joan Goldi, whose 130 plus international awards (PLATINUM, GOLD, SILVER, BRONZE, & FINALISTS) at ALL the top American film and TV festivals, for Canada-specific documentaries which she has crafted, written, and produced, and top those of any other Canadian producer I know of, beggars common sense, let alone professional standards of modern civility.
I know of no other Canadian who won “Double Golds” in international television competition, and Joan Goldi did it THREE times with different Canada-specific documentaries at three different US international festivals in competition with the best programs from producers around the world.
Joan Goldi walked off with the heavy and prestigious “Golden Sheaf,” Saskatchewan’s top international film and television award.
At Canada’s top Science Television Documentary showcase Joan Goldi was the only English-language producer – out of 27 from around the world – to have TWO of her programs Selected for Show at Télé-Science, hosted in Montreal by Radio-Canada.
(The CBC’s David Suzuki had only ONE selected, and the CBC’s Mark Starowicz also had only ONE, both from multi-million dollar budget CBC series. Joan Goldi’s documentaries came from a low budget cable series.)
Her very first film on a First Nations family, funded by turning in her teacher’s pension, won Best Film, at the North American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco.
As a television writer she won international Gold at Houston Worldfest. She also won Saskatchewan’s top Gold Award, the Golden Sheaf, for a First Nations feature documentary that also premiered on Parliament Hill.
As an investigative journalist in her own right, she won the PLATINUM super prize for Investigative Journalism, for another First Nations documentary, at the world’s top film and TV festival. No other Canadian has ever won it.
Her creative work and her art, was installed as masterpiece showcases, in top British, American, and Canadian Museums. Her long record of film, television, and website promotion of Indigenous human rights, culture, and history, is unsurpassed and internationally recognized and honoured.
That’s a start for the lowlife “wife-of” the Blogger.
CREATING A HATE DOCUMENT
THE RAGING TRIO CLAIMED – as loony as it gets – that My “WIFE-OF,” AND I:
– HAD ILLEGALLY HACKED INTO ROBERTSON’S COMPUTER and that,
– WE WERE TRYING TO SABOTAGE HER JOB APPLICATION TO CARLETON UNIVERSITY,
and NO I’m NOT making this vile crap up. They therefore demanded that we, the journalist and the “wife-of,”
– BE BARRED FROM THE COURTROOM DURING THE TRIAL (Dec 2017)
– THAT I BE BARRED FROM FURTHER PUBLISHING,
– THAT MY BLOG BE SHUT DOWN AND BANNED,
– THAT WE BE HUGELY FINANCIALLY PENALIZED,
– THAT WE BE INCARCERATED FOR AN INDETERMINATE PERIOD OF TIME.
The only threat missing from this trio of plotters is that WE BE SHOT AT DAWN!!! Though that might be in the mail… (So we have notified our next of kin, and are working on our wills, and arranging that our Labrador, Fanny, be taken care of in our absence.)
Yes the world of Canadian fine art fraud is full of total surreal idiocies like this. And the courts are plugged up with this vile stuff…
As Toronto lawyer, and international fake art sleuth Bonnie Czegledi said:
“Over a period of a few years, I discovered that the business of art is one of the most corrupt, dirtiest industries on the planet. There are no regulations… It’s not pretty. The patina of loveliness that most people associate with art didn’t exist in the reality that I found. It was filled with criminals – and a lot of different kinds.” (Bonnie Czegledi, quoted, Hot Art, Knelman, p25)
I believe, by Robertson launching this hugely vitriolic, and totally unsubstantiated partisan attack – under the cover of court privilege – and making common cause with the Plaintiff and litigating lawyer Sommer, to claim that John Goldi and his “wife-of,” criminally hacked into her computer etc., is vile beyond all compare.
And, is in fact, just as unsubstantiated and inaccurate as her vile attack on Joe McLeod.
(She says she called the cops; they could have told her in an instant, that nothing of the sort could be traced to any of our IP addresses. And I’m sure they did. But like in Joe’s case, evidence be damned; she was determined to get her pound of flesh, by hook or crook. And was NOT going to let TRUTH get in the way. Exactly as in fabricating her malfeasant “expert” report and vitriolic attack on the universally well-respected Joe McLeod and the well-documented provenance of “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974.”)
Her charges and claims are ASININE to put it politely.
IN FACT, as anyone with single digit IQs could confirm, I COULD CARE LESS WHAT SECRETS ARE ON HER COMPUTER. WHAT IS DAMNING BEYOND ALL COMPARE, IS WHAT SHE HAS PUBLISHED, NOT WHAT SHE IS HIDING. And it’s confirmed by all her angry outbursts about my “publishing” her work, NOT my “criticizing” it. Because, people she did not want to see it, whom she referred to as “my colleagues,” can now read it and form their own conclusions.
Nothing she is hiding can possibly be worse than what her report betrays about her lack of credible research, scholarship, and publishing integrity. AND IS EXACTLY WHY I WELCOMED HER APPEARANCE IN COURT because she elaborates further, by providing MORE information about her research, her opinions, her methodology, her databases, her preconceptions regarding art, the market, Morrisseau etc. That further just hugely illustrates how, why. and where, she went so totally wildly wrong about Joe McLeod and the art he sold.
By showing up in court, I knew she would just dig the hole deeper and darker…
NOTE: Which is why – though most court journalists even tweet from the courtroom and/or publish almost instantaneously I did NOT. I had the right to Blog instantly but chose NOT to exercise my right, for the week. I did NOT want to become a distraction. I had waited for years to hear these witnesses. And believe me, I heard plenty, and SAW plenty in the court, and in the foyer, from ALL of them.
So get over it. A conscientious and professional journalist always, wants MORE, not less information. It is only fraudsters who, have something – or a LOT – to hide, who try to crush information, reporters, and disclosing information to the public.
For Robertson to aggressively join a campaign in order to kill the journalist, and “his wife-of,” WITHOUT A SMIDGEN OF EVIDENCE, SHOULD HAVE INSTANTLY DEMOLISHED HER SO CALLED CLAIM TO BEING CONSIDERED AS AN “ARM’S LENGTH” expert or “FRIEND OF THE COURT.”
Justice Ed. M. Morgan denied ALL their Gag Order demands. I was able to attend court and hear all the testimony. I was again, now since 2010, the only journalist*** to cover a Morrisseau-related trial in its entirety.
One angry jealous man, whose business office, as reported by the Barreau du Québec (Law Society of Quebec) is in remote, rural, Sutton, Quebec.
***Jonathan Sommer keeps angrily and wildly shouting out “he’s not a journalist; he doesn’t work for any newspaper,” as he has loudly done in multiple courtrooms.
He seems terminally incapable of understanding that the Hon. Beverley McLachlin, and her colleagues on the Supreme Court of Canada, deliberately threw out the term “journalist” in 2009, as outdated, and irrelevant in modern communication, and replaced it with “anyone who communicates on a matter of public interest.”
Mr. Sommer seems angry over the fact that I have earned what is probably North America’s – perhaps the world’s – top television journalism award. In 2005, my 1 1/2 hour feature television documentary, “Ipperwash: A Canadian Tragedy,” won the PLATINUM super prize, for “Investigative Journalism” at Worldfest Houston – the world’s largest film and television festival – in international competition, with programs submitted by the best television producers from around the world.
Winner of over 130 international film and television documentary awards, longtime Canadian historian, investigative journalist, cinematographer, and film and television editor John Goldi csc.
That documentary feature was also honoured in Canada, by being featured as the Season Premiere, on CBC’s top signature, prime time documentary series, “The Passionate Eye.”
It was also a Finalist in the New York Festivals, and a Finalist, at the North American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco. It is also being used by Amnesty International, to teach audiences around the world, about human rights abuses carried out against Indigenous populations in Canada.
Fortunately, in Canada, we have the Defence of Fair Comment, and the Defence of Responsible Communication, (both from the Supreme Court of Canada 2009). In Ontario we also have the Protection of Public Participation Act (PPPA) of 2015, as anti-Gag Order legislation, to prevent vicious SLAPP suit attacks by vengeful interests seeking to harass and scare public communicators from exposing their fraudulent machinations on issues of “public interest” and “national importance.”
Federal and Ontario provincial legislation that art historian Robertson, in far off Wascana Creek, apparently has either never heard of, or does not like, and thinks she can ignore, and that her attorney, Mr. Sommer, is either totally ignorant about, or has deliberately withheld the information from her.
And then it gets worse…
“Fly on the Wall” – Richard Baker – the NMHS lawyer, and Robertson’s longtime colleague there, her Morrisseau art consultant, and her fellow slanger of “wife-of” on this lawsuit – before he testified, was also Robertson’s “fly-on-the-wall” in court. I saw him every day, sitting in rapt attention in the front row of the public gallery during ALL the testimony of her fellow witnesses in the days that preceded her appearance. ALL the other witnesses for both sides were forbidden – as is the standard practice – from being in court to hear others testify, for obvious reasons – they will prep each other and change their testimony when their turn comes to “speak the truth under oath.”
How Mr. Baker being in court full-time, even though he was to be a witness, was arranged by lawyer Sommer is beyond me.
It’s very, very difficult to hear at the back of the courtroom – a chronic problem in countless courtrooms where I have gone to witness trials – and where the public is forced to sit, far behind where the lawyers are talking quietly, and away from you, at the front. Very often it’s even impossible to hear the judge talk.
And Mr. Sommer talks especially quietly when he doesn’t want the public – especially John Goldi – to hear what he is saying. I could not hear what he said regarding “exemption status” from the witness ban, for Baker, and at other times when he mentioned “the Goldis.” So I had no way of knowing, or recourse to find out, if he was accusing me of pedophilia, shaking down parking meters, or beating my invalid grandmother.
I only knew it was nothing commendable about either me, or my “wife-of.”
“The Catbird Seat” – NMHS Lawyer Richard Baker’s job seemed to be to sop up all that his fellow witnesses said, and the Defence’s cross-examination of them, for three and a half days, before he gave his own testimony (he was prepped by hearing the Sommer preamble, Kevin Hearn’s lengthy testimony, as well as Robert Fox, and John Vincett)… So Baker could tailor his own testimony, fully prepped by all these who had gone before.
More damningly yet he was now, also, in the catbird’s seat to coach Robertson before she came on the stand, fully forewarned and prearmed, as the very last witness on Day 4 with complete reports on what ALL the witnesses had said and what had been their weaknesses. Baker was the ONLY witness in court with that catbird seat vantage point. No doubt he learned lots with which to coach Robertson before she had to appear as the last witness.
I don’t believe anyone else in court – besides me – realized that Robertson was Baker’s “art consultant,” since at least 2012, personally “first hand” “documenting” – she says in her report – and authenticating his private collection. And neither of them openly disclosed this other close previous relationship of the “fly on the wall lawyer” with the “expert,” to Justice Morgan.
Introducing Robertson’s Take on Provenance & A Question of Credentials
I had watched, and listened, as art historian Carmen Robertson, for over three hours, on the stand – mostly loudly reading her prepared report – explained how she “documents” a painting, to decide if it is fake or real.
And then I realized she lists NO credentials at all, anywhere in any of her bios, as an art auctioneer, art assessor, art evaluator, art valuator, art appraiser, forensic expert, handwriting expert, or document examiner. And lacks antique art or artifacts assessing or evaluating credentials, certificates, diplomas, or degrees of any kind. She shows no expertise as an art collector.
And she shows NO expertise or experience with the fine art auction, or private gallery market, where over 99% of Canadian fine art and antiques change hands.
Rather than casting her net wide – like reputable academics do when starting a research project, or police investigators do in launching a criminal probe – she likes to restrict – out the gate – her database, by sticking to a few small collections of a few close colleagues in a few public galleries.
And unlike in other investigations, where EVERYONE, out the gate, is considered a suspect, Robertson clearly set out, from the beginning, to target one Joe McLeod with all the dirt she could fabricate. It does NOT make for a very credible “expert report” of her so-called “investigation.” And explains, hugely, why Robertson so explosively blew up in court and in legal documents, because a so-called “expert report,” that she had been assured WOULD STAY TOTALLY PRIVATE, had been made public and available to be seen by her fellow academics and university colleagues as well as ALL Canadians.
And since you asked – yes ALL OF IT done legally under the Ontario laws that govern such things, but apparently unknown to the prof from far off Wascana Creek. But then, as her report, and her testimony, make clear to me, there is so much else she doesn’t know, or pretends she doesn’t know. Luckily the document is now public and you can see for yourself the many absurdities about Morrisseau, and Morrisseau art, it contains.
AKA Paul Bremner CPPA, AIA
“A Mahogany Secretaire to Die For” – A 1780s Georgian Secretaire that once belonged to the Smallman family of London, ON, that founded Imperial Oil in 1880. It was already over 100 years old when Eleanor Smallman brought it into the Waverley Mansion, one of the largest private residences ever built in western Ontario. She had local craftsmen cover the entire surface with extravagant wood inlays. It was the feature item inside the Mansion when the estate was put up for auction in 1948, in what was – after the Casa Loma sale – the biggest auction ever held in Ontario, lasting 11 days and featuring a 124 page catalogue. Becoming an expert in furniture appraisal – to separate the real from the fakes – demands professional training, learning, expertise, and certification far beyond what is required of an art historian or teacher. SECRETAIRE WOW
“He’s just a furniture salesman” loudly and laughingly slanged the Plaintiff’s lawyer Jonathan Sommer in court, trying to denigrate the “expert” for the Defence, Paul Bremner CPPA, AIA.
I thought it was unkind and unbecoming of a lawyer, but what the hell do I know…?
In fact being an antique furniture and art appraiser or assessor demands hands-on skills, expertise, and learning in material culture that is far beyond those required of a teacher or your basic sneering lawyer.
And I sure as hell know all about it because I was once a high school teacher, and adult educator, and for the past 25 plus years, as an antiques material culture curator, with thousands of museum purchases from countless hundreds of antique and fine art auctions, under my belt, sure as hell know the difference in the skill sets involved. And sneering isn’t one of them.
And Paul Bremner, whose expertise and credentials go back 40 years, was certainly more learned than Jonathan Jerome Sommer, even in Morrisseau art – let alone in assessing, and authenticating fine antique “furniture” like the 1780s SMALLMAN SECRETAIRE and the
1820s Caron/Fitzpatric/Kernan/Sevigny/Russell/Goldi desk.
Paul Bremner CPPA, AIA, was in fact, one of two experts – the other was Joe McLeod – who certified “Wheel of Life 1979,” as a genuine Morrisseau, before “Wheel” was subject of the landmark Hatfield v Child trial and appeal, and a painting Sommer loudly called a “fake.”
Paul Bremner CPPA, AIA, was “preferred” as an expert on Morrisseau, by BOTH the trial Judge Paul J Martial and the Appeal Judge, the Hon. Madam Justice Mary Anne Sanderson, over lawyer Jonathan Sommer and his supposed “experts,” reports, and witnesses, ALL of whom they “rejected.” Behind Bremner is “Wheel of Life 1979,” forensically authenticated with a rating of 100% by Dr. Atul K Singla, PhD (Forensics), and two judges. And wot the hell is that??? Why it looks like a “Wascana Floater” – AND A DECORATIVE ONE AT THAT – that Professor Robertson claims is s sure DOUBLE sign of a fake – like in “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974” – and something only a forger – never Norval – she claims, would have ever painted…
Judge Martial and Justice Sanderson BOTH confirmed that Bremner and McLeod were right, and the preferred “experts” that should be heeded, and that the lawyer, Sommer, and his “experts” didn’t have a clue what they were talking about.
In fact judge Martial pointedly told Ms. Hatfield she should have gone to Bremner and McLeod, as well as just sneering them off – I heard her; I saw her; I read her transcripts – and only listening to Robinson and Sinclair.
Now consider Sommer’s replacement expert for the multiply-discredited Donald Robinson. Her opening broadside, on Dec. 7, 2017, was against errors in the “chain of title” aka “provenance” related to “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth.” As it was in her “expert” report. A day later, asked to sum up her proof of why “Spirit Energy” was a fake, her concluding summary was again, headed by a closing broadside against “errors in its letter of provenance.”
GOTCHA Joe! – Her opening pitch was an attack on the alleged “provenance letter” Joe McLeod had given to Kevin Hearn in July 2010, regarding the chain of title for a painting Joe had sold him some five years before. Joe, knowing nothing of the sort (a “provenance letter”) is ever given out in the fine art world, tried to cadge a helpful memo together, from patches of his memory, to make Kevin feel better about his art. McLeod very well knew that Kevin was becoming a gullible victim of malicious voices, the source and identity of which Joe McLeod very well knew.
In her “expert report” Robertson had ripped, with a vengeance, virtually “out the gate” into the names on that so-called provenance list, as damning proof the painting was a “fake.” It was her totally farcical opening broadside in her testimony on Dec. 7, 2017 and her closing broadside when asked to sum up her claims on Dec. 8, 2017.
As if three or four names, hastily jotted on a memo have anything real to do about whether the actual painting was painted by Norval Morrisseau, or becomes something different than it is.
“It is what it is; not what someone says it is!” – And no expert, can say anything, no matter how sage, or how silly, about a work of art and change it to something it isn’t.
Anymore than the Eaton family matron’s visceral diatribe, “I wouldn’t hang that shit in my house,” caused a change in the value of the Indigenous art she was discrediting…
Or anymore than a child, saying “Presto,” can hope to change a VW Beetle, into a Cadillac convertible…
And hopefully, someday, word will get out to Wascana Creek…
From Farce to Folly and Beyond… – Robertson claimed she had, literally, out of the blue – if you can believe this – called private Morrisseau collectors and dealers***, demanding disclosure of private art sales business information, regarding “Spirit Energy,” and who responded, quite understandably, as if they were being ambushed and investigated by Revenue Canada, for art sales they had illegally made via the underground Cash Economy without paying taxes…
“Calling Dr. Jacobs…”
“Nope, never seen or heard of hide nor hair of that painting” was their predictable reply, of course. Or, doing the smart thing, they would only speak through a lawyer, like Dr. Irving Jacobs did.
Since You Asked – LAWYER? Why would Dr. Jacobs call a lawyer? Lawyers are for intimidation; lawyers are to protect oneself from accusations of wrongdoing when the cops or government investigators are on your ass!!! Maybe about something you have a bad conscience about… About where someone smells smoke, and wants to look for the fire… Like maybe illegal, Cash Economy sales?
Why didn’t Dr. Jacobs grab, instead for his Accountant? Doctors have both lawyers and accountants. If Jacobs was interested in being forthcoming and seeking data on paintings and on dates listing their relevant financial transactions, only his Accountant would have that information. Why didn’t Jacobs have his Accountant call Ms. Robertson?
Carmen Robertson BS – Robertson is trying to say that Dr. Jacobs, with his LAWYER’S response, that he has NO INFORMATION ABOUT A PAINTING SHE IS ASKING ABOUT, is actually calling Joe McLeod a liar, WITH CAUSE.
Utterly false, of course.
In fact anyone with common sense, or a single digit IQ – considering all the other documentation that is available regarding Joe McLeod on this subject – is that Dr. Jacobs is NOT running from, or distancing himself, from Joe McLeod at all – let alone impugning Joe’s honesty – BUT IS RUNNING FROM HIS OWN ACCOUNTANT AND FROM SOMEONE ON THE PHONE – A STRANGER – APPARENTLY PROBING HIS PAST CASH ECONOMY DEALINGS and targeting a certain – and who knows how many other, paintings from his past business dealings…
Scary stuff, for anyone, let alone a highly reputable doctor. Especially in the huge climate of fear that has ballooned due to thousands of such CRA attacks on thousands, probably millions, of Canadians, as publicized in the media in the last few years. Better call my lawyer, fast.
In fact Jacobs is reported by auctioneer Randy Potter “to have bought Morrisseau BDPs at his auction,” along with some 200 other Morrisseau collectors. McLeod also mentioned Jacobs as a consigner of Morrisseaus at his Maslak McLeod gallery. Jacobs, like most tailgate sellers has no personal art gallery, so he. like they consign art to those – like McLeod – who do. This way their art gets exposed, full-time, to buyers. Most of McLeod’s art at his shop was consigned like this. Joe couldn’t afford to have personally bought all the art he sold.
Joe just mixed up which paintings involved Jacobs. And Jacobs, probably suspecting he was being investigated for Tax Fraud, just reached for his lawyer to put as much distance between himself, Potter and McLeod as he could.
*** Note the aggressivity of Robertson in seeking out private collectors, only when she’s on a mission to slang Joe McLeod. In fact private collectors are an enormously large and reputable group of Morrisseau owners, whom she never approaches when she amasses and inexplicably restricts her very tiny database of Morrisseaus to only a few public art galleries.
How Representative a Database Sample is This? – Only 12 out of 18 public galleries Robertson solicited, responded. Six refused, so her own database validity is already degraded by 33%. And worse, she ignored some 40 art galleries across Canada that specialize in First Nations/Morrisseau art. Let alone thousands of collectors, many with substantial holdings.
And six of even those few public galleries Robertson asked to send data, refused to cooperate with her, and send her materials. Only 12 agreed to send lowlife dupe images. And the public galleries – contrary to what Robertson claims – have mostly inferior, unwanted, cast-off Morrisseaus.
As everyone who knows anything about Morrisseau art knows, the leading public galleries – especially the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) – racially shunned Norval and his art during his entire 40 year plus, painting life. IN FACT ALL INDIGENOUS ART AND ARTISTS. Norval had long been unable to paint when the NGC finally allowed in his first work of art.
The first Morrisseau accepted by the National Gallery of Canada. The NGC bosses did not even have to “waste” their acquisitions budget to buy it. It was donated… I don’t think it’s among Norval’s best… Do you?
And contrary to what Robertson claims, that the public galleries have the best quality Morrisseaus, it is just NOT true.
The NGC is a good case in point. It sneered off ALL INDIGENOUS ART AND ARTISTS till 2006 when Norval became the first Indigenous artist to win acceptance by an all white cabal of gate-keepers at the Nations’s premiere art gallery. At a time that 99.999% of ALL Norval’s art was in private hands.
So firstly, as a matter of national NGC policy for 150 years, it did NOT buy, accept, or even want his art, let alone his “best stuff’ as Robertson claims.
Secondly the first Morrisseau art the NGC acquired, were “donations,” two minimal Morrisseau paintings from well-meaning donors embarrassed about the racist exclusion of Canada’s Indigenous art and artists from the NGC.
And the “best works.” Not on your life. And yes, I have seen both donated originals, the first Morrisseau paintings accepted by the NGC, up close and personal. And NO, I would NOT buy either, or hang either in my house.
There are far, far better Morrisseaus competing for wall space out there. And yes, they’re all in private hands, not in the puny public collections run by Robertson’s conniving cronies and colleagues.
To sum up: all real Morrisseau experts know that the vast overwhelming thousands of Morrisseau paintings, by far, are in private hands. And this is certainly the case with the finest Morrisseaus, like my own 4.3′ x 6.4 foot “Tears of My Grandmother 1976” which I would NOT EVER exchange with any other Morrisseau work in any other private or public gallery.
“Tears of My Grandmother 1976” – I believe this huge (128 x 198 cm – 4.3′ x 6.4′) acrylic on canvas BDP, is the finest Morrisseau painting I have ever seen – anywhere. It soars far above, even his best representational art, by tackling better than any other artist has ever done, the cultural genocide carried out by a colonial white society against a helpless minority population. It is this unique form of artistic expression, which never existed anywhere in the world before, that Norval invented and contributed to the art of mankind. And need I add, there, sitting totally ignored, are a couple of Professor Carmen Robertson’s damnable “Wascana Floaters.” And I bought it – you won’t believe this – from a man Kinsman Robinson Galleries and its enforcer Ritchie Sinclair, long said DID NOT EXIST, and was a fictional invention of Randy Potter. And so a man Professor Robertson also did NOT bother to seek out, or interview, before writing her “expert” report. That man is David Voss, who is an utterly key witness regarding the source of the Hearn painting and the flood of other genuine Morrisseaus that arrived in the Toronto area from 1999-2009. For some reason I had no trouble at all in finding and talking to Voss…
Nor would I exchange my spectacular “Medicine Being from Sacred Fish Stomach 1976,” BDP (92 cm x 162 cm) which is the largest and most magnificent fish Norval Morrisseau ever painted. (No wonder Donald Robinson, the self-styled Principal Morrisseau Dealer, was the under bidder on this spectacular Morrisseau BDP canvas, on Jan. 26, 2000. Its BDP signature has been forensically authenticated through a public benefactor – not by me.)
Just one of many black, drybrush signed, titled, and dated paintings (BDPs) authenticated by Morrisseau, Robinson, and in this case, also by a top forensic scientist. So ask yourself: why would Robert Fox testify that Norval “didn’t paint green” like in “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth,” and OOOPS…. here. That Norval had a rule, “only earth colours.” Based on Fox, once upon a time, having seen Norval complete one painting – on brown paper not canvas. (Oh, did I mention, that a very green “Spirit Energy” is – unlike Fox – also forensically authenticated, like Fish.)
And this is from the stash of only one of thousands of private Morrisseau collectors. Which Robertson uniformly ignored when she cadged together her tiny database.
Introducing David Voss – BOTH spectacular Morrisseaus were bought from David Voss, one directly from him, and one through Randy Potter.
Exactly the same consignor who provided Potter with Hearn’s painting, “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974.” The same source which Brian Shiller’s Defence, written for Joe McLeod, references the painting through to and through Kahn Auctions.
And another key Morrisseau art expert whom Robertson NEVER TALKED TO, OR SOUGHT OUT. David inherited a huge Morrisseau collection from his father John Voss, who had been gathering the paintings over many years, and who had often given Norval a place to paint.
One of the Robertson provenance names was an elementary first name error, a mix-up of “Robert” for “David.” This was Robertson’s favourite proof of a fraud by old Joe. It is also the silliest.
In fact the documentary record made that clear, that the frail and ailing 82 year-old Joe had absent-mindedly slipped in “Robert” instead of “David” Voss, who is the actual name documented as the consigner on the Feb. 14, 2004, auction record when McLeod bought “Spirit Energy” at Potter auctions. So sorry, Carmen, no fraud there. Your research is slipshod again.
If she had only bothered to read the Defence filed by Brian Shiller, she would have known that Joe McLeod clearly says the provenance of the painting is from Kahn Auction, run by Randy Potter. Potter says ALL his Morrisseaus came from David Voss. It’s on his corporate paperwork. And it’s also in court testimony (Mar. 18, 2010) by Donna Shea, Randy’s wife and auction manager.
Why would any duly diligent researcher so wrong-headedly ignore all this published documentation, in favour of so aggressively pursuing a private vendetta of a name no one has ever heard of? Including, as the public record makes clear, neither had Joe McLeod.
A simple research phone call to either McLeod or Potter would have cleared up that “Robert” Voss canard. And would have prevented Carmen Robertson from embarrassing herself as she did by chasing a man only she – in the whole world – believed existed.
Is it any wonder that Robertson’s research found “Robert” Voss had never owned “Spirit Energy?”
And in fact, in spite of all the predictable tactical evasiveness of Jacobs, Voss, and Schnieders, to a probing mystery phone call out of the blue, Joe McLeod had had previous business relationships regarding Morrisseau art with all of them – Voss the father; Voss the son; and Dr. Jacobs – acting as a consignee at his Maslak McLeod Gallery for Morrisseau art directly or indirectly.
So sorry, but nothing sneaky or deceptive or dishonest about Joe in the slightest, or Randy Potter, both of whom have run, either a legitimate Art Gallery or an Auction House for decades. Their records have to please Revenue Canada. They wouldn’t dare risk their businesses, by doing undocumented shady dealings. Unlike many car tailgate dealers.
And Randy Potter, also, has ALWAYS been totally above board in providing his official business invoices of ALL his sales when asked. Which is why I know he sold “Spirit Energy” and I know the consigner was David Voss. And I know it was sold on Feb. 14, 2004, and to Joe McLeod. End of story of the provenance on this much maligned painting.
If anyone is going to be sneaky, regarding their auction dealings in paintings, better look to the part-time dealers in Morrisseaus, selling out of their garages, or off their car’s tailgate… like Schnieders, Voss, and Jacobs, and countless thousands like them.
In my decades of attending countless hundreds of antique and fine art auctions, I have encountered many hundreds of antique dealers in paintings and artifacts – ALL of whom have dealt in the Cash Economy, on a continuing basis.
And you know exactly what their response would be if some unknown idiot calls them up out of the blue, demanding they disclose private business information regarding their past art sales…
I happen to know, for a fact, that Rolf Schnieders kept
two sets of books – I meant to say one “official” set of books. In fact, I have testimony from his buyers that proves he sold many Morrisseaus privately without reporting sales to Revenue Canada.
Rolf Schnieders (1928-2015) like many Canadian immigrants immersed himself in the culture of his adopted country and reveled in its business practices. Rolf recognized genius in Canadian Indigenous art and artists, decades before the “suited curatorial snoots” in Canadian government circles did. And Canadian Morrisseau collectors, worldwide, are grateful that he collected, preserved, and distributed their art.
And I have information from reliable sources, that can document that he often gave away his record photos of paintings, AND his purchase logs of them, ALONG WITH THE PAINTING WHEN HE SOLD THEM, IN ORDER TO REMOVE ALL TRACES THAT COULD BE TRACKED BACK TO HIM. On paintings for which he had NOT remitted taxes to Revenue Canada. A practice done by thousands of Cash Economy dealers all over Canada, every day of the week. None of them are stupid enough to keep records of cash sales…
So Schnieders could say, in all honesty, “Yes, Ms. Robertson. Have just checked my Canada Revenue records, and there is no record of “Spirit Energy” in any of them.”
The Globe estimates that 2.3% of Canada’s business is underground and amounts to some $42 billion a year. This huge underground Cash Economy is a fact of Canadian fine art commercial sales as well, but of which art historian Carmen Robertson, in the splendid isolation of her ivory tower above Wascana Creek, seems blissfully, or conveniently, unaware.
Just more slip-shod research and execrable reporting, before the Professor speaks out publicly with totally fabricated and undigested crap, slanging a decent guy, Joe McLeod, and his genuine Morrisseau art.
And then it gets worse…
GOTCHA Carmen! – Robertson who ruthlessly scorches a frail, 82 year old man, awaiting heart surgery, for memory lapses, has some of her own, when she repeatedly misspells the name of Rolf “Schnieders” in her own academically researched, and prepared report, as “Schnieder.” Of a man she claims, no less, to have talked to in person on the phone… Yet didn’t learn how to even spell his name properly.
Worse yet, on the stand the learned professor repeatedly mispronounced Rolf’s name as “Schn-eye-ders,” when it is properly pronounced Schn-ee-ders. Even her lawyer Sommer was embarrassed enough to correct her repeated mistake, rather than let her go on, as it clearly became apparent to everyone in the court that it was NO single slip of the tongue. Just more inept research and bad reporting.
And who’s he to correct anyone? I once heard Sommer, mistakenly refer from memory to someone as “Karla Homolka.” No one took him to court about it or made a federal case out of it, or slanged him as a devious liar.
And Robertson also, just giggled her repeated mispronunciation off as just a silly thing girls do.
But good old Joe got no giggle from her. She ran over him with the KRG NMHS Wanker Express…
Sinclair tried for years to win a place among the passengers of the KRG & NMHS “Wanker Line” Express. Now Robertson is trying her damndest to prove she’s worthy of a window seat, instead of being stuck inside…
In fact, not even a simple “clarification” phone call by Robertson to Joe in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, which could have instantly cleared up the errors in the provenance list. Had she only bothered to ask and do it as part of Due Diligence.
After all, Joe McLeod – unlike Carmen Robertson – had nothing he even wanted to or needed to hide from anybody. Everything he said, or documented, was easily and simply explainable, and verifiable from other documentation. In fact the exonerating evidence for Joe – all of it – is in the Sommer filed evidence he put in the court record himself.
GOTCHA Joe! – Robertson testified – admitting publicly at last – that she started her provenance names investigation in 2014. When Joe was still alive. So, why didn’t she call Joe, in 2014, 2015, or 2016 to get an explanation or clarification? Before he died. Wouldn’t that be the common sense thing, for a reputable academic or journalist to do? Before going loudly public in print?
I consider it totally unforgivable that, when Robertson found the anomalies with the four names, that she didn’t instantly get on the plane to Toronto, to speak to Joe and bring her “research” to his attention. It’s exactly what I, as an academic researcher, and investigative journalist would have done. (In fact Robertson had even been in Toronto before Joe died (May 2017), but didn’t bother to follow up with him even then…) Why not?
But she did, with unseemly eagerness, climb on a plane in December 2017, to go Toronto to slang Joe and his art in court. She claims she came at her own expense, to testify, that no one paid her to come. So why not have taken an earlier flight and hopefully catch Joe alive before he died? Or at least make a phone call? And get his take, before slanging the old Coot as some kind of deliberate creep or crook?
No need to, Robertson seems to say, “I got all the tar and feathers I wanted without all that nonsense.”
So that’s how they do it on Wascana Creek?
In fact her malfeasant actions are TOTALLY against, and in violation, of the Defence of Responsible Communication as demanded by the Supreme Court of Canada for all those who publish, in order to avoid being accused of Libel and Defamation. The Defence demands that any writer must have tried everything possible BEFOREHAND, to contact the people about whom they are publishing, NOT just wildly and deliberately targeting a person, as Carmen Robertson has infamously done with Joe McLeod.
Robertson has NO SUCH DEFENCE. No wonder she sounds so angry, all the time, that her unsubstantiated report has been published. And even though the deceased Joe McLeod is unlikely to sue her for Libel and Defamation.
And then there’s this:
IN FACT THE REAL DAVID VOSS – whom Carmen Robertson also chose NOT to seek out, to keep her pet theory alive – regarding Robert Voss, Schnieder (sic), and Dr. Jacobs as NEVER HAVING HANDLED “Spirit Energy,” and so exposing a forged painting, and lying by Joe McLeod – instead exposes the Professor as a deceptive and wilfully dishonest researcher and reporter.
In November 2017 David Voss confirmed to me on the phone – after first hanging up to consult HIS records – that indeed HE had owned Kevin Hearn’s “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974.” His records show it as having passed ONLY through his hands, to Randy Potter, from whose auction Joe McLeod had bought it.
I may also say that of all the leading Canadian fine art auctions houses I bought art from, over the last twenty years – attending hundreds of auctions to buy over 7,500 paintings and antiques – NONE BUT NONE are as open, honest, and disclosing about exactly from whom – the provenance – he got the paintings. NONE OF THE OTHER AUCTIONEERS OR AUCTION HOUSES WILL EVER TELL YOU.
It’s about protecting privacy, stupid… deadbeat dads escaping alimony payments, runaway fathers avoiding child support, children looting Mom’s estate, siblings secretly selling family treasure, the Mafia laundering money, employees looting corporate art, museum staff fencing stored art, etc., make your own damn list. And the art auctions protect these sources with a passion, so they’ll come back with more…
POTTER – ALONE – DISCLOSED IT ALL, AND ALWAYS HAS, FROM THE BEGINNING, providing documentation that shows it all. That is why the evidence chain of title trail of “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974,” is so totally unassailable, even for people with single digit IQs.
And why the Robertson “provenance” attack is so ludicrous and specious, and fraudulent.
And guess who was in the auction hall on the day, Feb. 14, 2004, when “Spirit Energy” passed from David Voss, to Randy Potter, to Joe McLeod? I know this from the provenance and sales records meticulously kept by Potter for Revenue Canada.
Ritchie Sinclair on Valentine’s Day
Why, none other than Ritchie Sinclair, one of Robertson’s collaborators, and to whom she pays homage in a footnote of her “Mythologizing Norval Morrisseau” book.
On St. Valentine’s Day, in his only trip, ever, to Potter’s auction, trying to buy back his own Faux-nishinaabe art that the Sheriff had seized for Sinclair’s non-payment of storage fees. Sinclair clearly saw “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974,” on that occasion, hanging on the wall, and was clearly speaking about it, when he told auction manager Donna Shea, what wonderful Morrisseaus they all were, but that he could never afford to buy one.***
***Testimony in Otavnik v Sinclair (Mar. 18, 2010). For a decade, Randy Potter’s was the best place in Canada to see hundreds of genuine Morrisseau BDPs up close and personal, and handle and examine them to your heart’s content. Some 200 of Canada’s top dealers and collectors snapped them up, and of the 2,000 – almost all were Morrisseau BDPs – Randy ultimately sold, NOT A SINGLE ONE WAS EVER RETURNED AS A FAKE BY ANYONE DEMANDING A REFUND.
Not even Donald Robinson returned one or complained about the 31 BDPs, he bought for $54,000 from Sep. 1999-Mar. 2000. In fact his own son kept authenticating these Potter BDPs as genuine, for a hefty appraisal fee, of course, for years to come. In fact Paul Robinson was doing so (Oct. 30, 2001), very privately of course, long after his own father was publicly calling them ALL fakes (May 18, 2001). It was all about trying to corner the lucrative market in Morrisseau art. And doing it by Hook or by Crook.
The Potter showcase was a hugely enriching Morrisseau education, sadly missed by Carmen Robertson, and Ritchie Sinclair, among others.
Damning Proof – The David Voss disclosure explains why “Spirit Energy” was totally missing from the sales records of Robert Voss, Rolf Schnieder (sic), and Dr. Irving Jacobs. NOT BECAUSE IT CAME FROM A FORGERY RING, OR BECAUSE JOE MCLEOD WAS LYING THROUGH HIS TEETH – as Robertson tries to claim – but because it came from the legitimate Morrisseau collection of DAVID VOSS, a man, even Robertson acknowledges as a long time art dealer in genuine Morrisseaus – a passion and a collection he inherited from his father, variously known as Deiter, Dieter, or John Voss.
(As a fellow immigrant myself, I know how our names are garbled by culturally stunted Canadians. My father was born Werner but died as John, because he grew tired of being called “Wiener” wherever he went. So he took my name, John, which was also a self-defence replacement for Hans. Neither of us will die with the names gifted to us at birth by loving parents. And Göldi – an ancient Swiss name whose arms can still be seen on the walls of medieval castles in the Rhine Valley, became Goldi.)
David Voss was not only a vital source whom she mysteriously failed to seek out and talk to by phone. IN FACT HE WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT SOURCE for exactly the painting at issue in the Hearn v McLeod trial. And his contact information was available from multiple sources.
Are the phone lines down in Wascana Creek?
To my mind, it totally destroys what Professor Robertson calls her primary proof that “Spirit Energy” is a fake because she claims the provenance chain of title for the painting is incorrect – she says deliberately faked… And that her audience should believe her wrong-headed and misinformed bumpf.
NOT AT ALL Dr. Robertson, as my investigation has confirmed. The evidence for “Spirit Energy’s” provenance was there all along, with David Voss and Randy Potter, both. And was right there, in Joe McLeod’s Defence, which was filed only after a lawsuit was filed in June 2012, a full two years after Joe McLeod wrote that hurried memo for Kevin Hearn.
But for some reason Robertson didn’t want to find it, when a single phone call or two would have told her that she was on a wild goose chase. Why was she so hell-bent on targeting genuine paintings as fakes, and Joe McLeod as a crook, for her handlers?
In fact, for once some form of provenance was accessible because of Randy Potter’s honesty. Elsewhere, the utterly stringent privacy laws prevent auctioneers, and galleries from disclosing the previous owners of paintings or antiques. So, on that basis alone, making it beyond impossible for anyone even to try to – ever – put together an accurate chain of title or trustworthy list of provenance on any art work or antique.
A Big Hug for Gabe
The Expert Hugs the Fraudster
To me that speaks – once again – of one of the many instances of collusion and collaboration of the so-called “arm’s length, unbiased, friend of the court” with the Plaintiff’s lawyer, that should have disqualified her being affirmed as an expert based on Court Rule 4.1, that defines the duty and protocols, to “be fair, objective and non-partisan” and binding on those claiming to make statements as “experts” in Ontario.
But the Defence lawyer hugely failed to bring out any of obvious objections to Robertson’s many violations of the Duty of an Expert as laid out in Rule 4.1, to Justice Morgan in the Voir Dire.
Carmen, How Could You? – And of course Justice Morgan also was not able to see Robertson laughing and joking intimately, and sitting with, and joshing about with all the Sommer witnesses. And I watched her giving the longest affectionate hug I’ve ever seen, ten feet in front of me, to Gabor Vadas, the multiply disgraced fraudster and document forger. I considered it completely unseemly – for a start.
It was the first time I had ever seen Gabe Vadas, but I know him better than he knows himself. On the stand he seemed to be forgetful over and over, when I could easily have helped him if someone had just asked me to fill in his memory lapses.
The Defence attorney – flown in at the last minute, and new to the Morrisseau file – went easy, during cross-examination, on a grateful Gabe, whom I would have roasted on a long and slow cooker, mercilessly, for his many documented fraudulent activities.
Gabe was, understandably, eternally grateful he didn’t have to face my probing questions. No wonder he deliberately went over to the Defence attorney afterwards, and warmly shook his hand. Believe me, Gabe would never have shaken Brian Shiller’s hand…
On the way to testify Gabe had to walk the entire width of the courtroom, directly towards me. Our eyes locked immediately. In fifty years I have never seen such a look of pure hatred staring at me, as he took the long walk directly towards me. My smiling gaze just intensified his glare. I did NOT blink. Gabe knows, I know where the bodies are buried.
– In Otavnik v Vadas in 2008, where Vadas had to pay off Otavnik $11,000 for Libeling and Slandering his forensically authenticated Morrisseau BDPs; and
– in Moniz v CTVglobemedia, where the Globe, believing Vadas’ and Milrad’s fraudulent claims, had to pay off Moniz $25,000 (in 2009) for Libeling and Slandering his forensically authenticated Morrisseaus, in 2007,
– in fabricating seven false Affidavits (alleging Norval says so) claiming forgeries belonging to leading KRG business competitors, in 2003-2005, when Norval had, long ago, left the planet. Judge Martial found these Affidavits totally “unreliable” because of all the ludicrous anomalies. A forensic expert said they looked like fabricated “scissors and paste” fakes.
AND FOLKS, THESE WERE NOTARIZED AFFIDAVITS. As those of you, who have had documents notarized, very well know, this is often just a quickly done, pro forma rubber-stamping procedure, without much attendant fuss or examination.
– in fabricating a last Will and Testimony, leaving all Norval’s stuff to him, only weeks before he died, totally disinheriting all his Indigenous children, and sporting a signature that was smoother and more steady than anything Norval had signed in over ten to fifteen years before. Proving that advancing Parkinson’s and Dementia can do wonders for your handwriting, and motor control of your limbs, even for someone who’s been wheelchair bound for twelve years, and in terminal care for six.
Called a “Fake” on the Vadas/Morrisseau Affidavit of Forgery issued to Randy Potter, it was later forensically authenticated as a genuine Morrisseau, so proving the entire notarized Affidavit is fraudulent.
In fact subsequent research has proven that in EACH of the seven notarized Affidavits of Forgery, there is AT LEAST ONE, SOMETIMES SEVERAL, forensically authenticated Morrisseaus – done by independent handwriting experts – included among the so-called “fakes.”
Which means that if a few randomly selected samples from each notarized Affidavit of Forgery turn out to be authentic, what does that say about the rest being “fakes?” And what about the integrity of the Affidavit? And the integrity of the notarization? And what does that say about Gabe Vadas?
Is he really worth a hug from the expert?
Amazingly Robertson had apparently signed the document binding “experts;” apparently she had just not read it, and her lawyer apparently had not either and failed to forewarn her. Resulting in her embarrassingly open chumminess with the Sommer witnesses. Well it was her first time… and she was clearly besotted with the increase in her status among her many friends in the courtroom foyer.
A night and day departure from professional expert Dr. Singla whose deportment and behaviour I’ve seen three times in court and in courtroom foyers. (He has been an expert some 500 times.)
Singla, a PhD in Forensics, is, to the contrary, always resolutely rigorous in keeping his distance in the foyer, in breaks, etc. from any sign of partisanship with anyone. He does not laugh and joke with his client, or sit, or josh about with them or their witnesses. He does NOT discuss the case or witnesses, etc. He keeps his “expert” status unsullied from his “arm’s length status as an unbiased friend of the court,” refusing utterly, to show his glee, partisanship, and enthusiasm for the Plaintiff’s lawyer, and his witnesses and boosters.
Dr. Singla sits stonily apart. He’s an expert, and a professional, you – and the court – can trust.
“Is your real name really Richard Baker?”
There was one other time that Robertson covered up her Baker connection from the judge, in fobbing off a telling question, during cross-examination. She was asked, by the Defence lawyer, if she ever researched any other name on any other provenance list to check its authenticity or accuracy.
She aggressively replied she was indeed, doing exactly that, “researching” a name – which she refused to disclose – on another provenance list, from a public gallery, to check its validity. Of a painting she called “The Land.”
I was the only one in court who knew, instantly, what a total farce that was, and what name she was talking about. I immediately swiveled in my chair, in time to watch Richard Baker squirming uncomfortably in his seat. He clearly did not think it would be helpful if his name came up just then, to illustrate the supposed integrity of her in-depth research skills… Or the supposed transparency of her reporting under oath.
He needn’t have feared. Robertson thought likewise, that disclosing that her so-called academic research of a name, amounted to no more than asking Richard Baker, if he was real? Because – it’s beyond farce – Baker was the only person whose name was on that provenance list.
“The Land (Land Rights) 1976” was a painting, I believe, Baker acquired from Norval during the period he testified in court, he represented him, 1975-1982. Mr. and Mrs. Baker “donated” “The Land” to the McMichael Gallery in 1982. (I have no way of knowing what a whopping tax deduction they got for “donating” or “gifting” it.)
So much for her parallel “research” into other unknown names on a provenance list, she pretended to have done like Voss, Schnieders, and Jacobs. When in fact she had just talked to an old “buddy” for her “research.”
What kind of research of unknown provenance listed names is that, of a single name, or a single owner, who is a friend and lawyer who has been:
– her nine year long colleague on the NMHS, who was
– the very guy she was doing “first hand” art consulting for (“documenting” – aka evaluating, appraising, authenticating, etc) as early as 2012 (see her report) and
– who was her quid pro quo, “fly on the wall” in court, for days before she testified, and
– with whom she joined to demand an unsubstantiated, slanging, multi-level GAG ORDER, against a journalist and his “wife-of,” in Dec. 2017?
Neither the squirming Baker or the non-disclosing Robertson, I believe, thought disclosure of any of that would at all be helpful to her status as a supposedly unbiased “arm’s length, friend of the court, expert…”
Deliberately Devious, Deceptive, and Dishonest – I consider it beneath contempt as a supposed example of Robertson’s transparency on the stand, and illustrates again, her standard of what constitutes credible research. In fact, I consider it a clear and deliberately deceptive, and dishonest sleight of hand for Robertson to do on the stand. Well, it worked. The Defence Attorney never caught on that he had been had…
In fact, Robertson had NOT, done what she claimed, investigated another kind of unknown provenance listed name like Voss, Schnieders, or Jacobs, but just an old kaffeeklatsch buddy.
Asking him, I guess she would claim, “Are you Richard Baker? And did you own “The Land”? And were you telling the truth when you gifted it to the McMichael?” Blah… Blah… Blah… And she damn well knew the answers before she asked aka started her “research.”
And this farcical episode just underlines again, how trying to track down any name on a provenance list, is idiotic, and virtually impossible to try to do. You will NEVER be able to trace the “private collection” owner of the painting under the Bakers.
Oh, now I get it, why Gabe gave Robertson such a big hug. It must equal the valuations she gave – or will give – his paintings… This painting will of course, never get a forensic authentication from any expert, because I bet it’s totally BLANK on the back. SO, no provenance from Norval… It will have to come from the say so of a friend. And Robertson does have a strong voice… And if her hug is any indication, Gabe will not be disappointed with the valuation.
Unless you know a bosom buddy, or a good hugger, and he’s willing to disclose.
And Baker is a guy who wants his name personally disclosed for the status it gives him to see his name in lights in gallery or exhibition catalogues, like the Morrisseau Retrospective in 2006, where other lawyers who like the buzz they get seeing their names in print include: Pustina, Zelinski, and Whent.
You don’t remember them? The trio of lawyers who got Donald Robinson to evaluate the 216 Morrisseau paintings they got from Gary Lamont – the trial heard all about him – for “Donation” purposes, at $1.1 million dollars in 1984-1986.
If you’re curious how Donald Robinson could be selected for his Morrisseau evaluations in 1984, you aren’t the only one. Remember, in those days he was a nobody, in the Morrisseau world: NOT the “Principal Morrisseau Dealer,” NOT the “guy who wrote the book on Morrisseau” BLAH… BLAH… BLAH, as he would brag to everyone from the 1990s, on. THIS WAS YEARS BEFORE HE EVEN MET MORRISSEAU and years before they began to collaborate, and conspire to fix prices in the market.
The lawyers had paid only $130,000 for the lot. So using a NINE TIMES MULTIPLIER is not a bad increase, thanks to having an “expert” available, like Robinson, more than willing to boost the value of a collaborating crony to outrageous values for you. That’s how it’s done with the “in group” using the “pump and dump” routine to con the tax man.
Robinson got paid big bucks to do the inflating, which at the same time established much higher values for his own gallery Morrisseaus. In fine art don’t follow the art, follow the money.
Canada Revenue balked, said Robinson’s million plus, was an outrageous over-valuation. And hired its own expert- wait for it – why old Joe McLeod – to do its valuation of the 216 paintings.
Joe said they were only worth $510,000. Justice Mogan, scorched Robinson for self-interest and devious behaviour, and cut his valuations in half, to some $600,000, close to McLeod’s levels. It earned Joe McLeod the Robinson family’s eternal enmity. (Especially when two more Justices affirmed the decision and valuation.)
From 1996 on there was a target on Joe McLeod’s back. Which is why you are reading this here. Robinson’s successor as “expert”, Carmen Robertson, dutifully targeted Old Joe McLeod and his art, and also “documented” Richard Baker’s Morrisseaus, no doubt with a more than generous eye…
(I am among most art collectors who list “Private Collection” etc. when their art is hung in public spaces, catalogues, or books. Or I credit the Canadian Anglo-Boer War Museum. Like most art collectors I prefer to cherish my art in private, not at some kind of cocktail circuit, bragging party, some seem to crave.)
And then it gets worse…
Truly Shocking Work, Unbecoming for an Academic – Robertson, in concert with Baker and others – ALL IN TOTALLY SECRECY, and one or two years ago – mounted a concerted attack using the police on the “Goldis” – the name she used in court – demanding that various police forces in Regina, and Toronto, etc., investigate the “criminal activity” of “the Goldis” related to the issue of fake paintings.
The obvious aim: take your pick – prosecute, persecute, bully, harass, scare, John Goldi and his “wife-of,” and try to cow the only author of the Blog, John Goldi, into silence, about the greatest fraud in Canadian art history.
Lawyer Sommer is on public record, that there are eight – yes eight – involved conspiring parties involved (he described them as academics and lawyers) – mostly, I believe, members of the NMHS. In a Peel, ON courtroom, in the fall of 2017, Sommer openly expressed his anger that no police force has reported back to any of them, or moved in any way against the Goldis, since this group of his had apparently launched their secret attack, well over a year before.
Not a Person of Interest – To me the reason is obvious, as it must be to you who read my Blog.
DISCLOSURE #1: At no time EVER, in the five years I have written my Blog, have either my “wife-of,” or I been called, sought out, or interviewed, in any way, EVER, about any of these vile Morrisseau “fakes” related attacks or allegations against us, by anyone representing any police officer of any kind.
Police investigating officers can clearly read. And have read my Blog, and like countless Canadians and other Morrisseau collectors around the world, drawn their own conclusions about what is going on. And why.
Kudos from the Cops #1 – I consider it the ultimate compliment to my academic work as a historian, an investigative journalist, and a museum curator, and the rigour with which I thoroughly document everything I say, and for infallibly, following the strictures of TRUTH, Fair Comment, and the Defence of Responsible Communication.
Which allows me the freedom to publish matters “in the public interest” under the Protection of the Public Participation Act of 2015, to be free from malicious SLAPP suits and Gag Orders from people involved in promoting a fraud and trying to shut up a reporting journalist. One who is informing the Public about what is going on, entirely with fully researched and documented evidence.
And that after these high-falutin,’ high-powered academics and university-trained supposed art and Morrisseau experts, had conspired together to thrown all the dirt and filth they could muster against me and my “wife-of,” NOT A SINGLE POLICE FORCE ACROSS CANADA regarded any of it as even fit to make a simple phone call to me about any of it.
Exactly like celebrity singer John McDermott had done in October 2013, they made it clear they wanted nothing further to do with Jonathan Sommer’s claims and his cabal of malfeasant fraud promoters.
My wife had discovered this Conspiracy of Hate, some months ago, when a Peel traffic cop, checking our ownership on his car computer, told her, “You are being investigated for nefarious activity regarding fake paintings. A lawyer has lodged a criminal complaint.”
Joan Goldi had asked the cop if Peel had a Fraud Unit, as she wanted to report multiple incidents of Identity Theft by Ritchie Sinclair – Jonathan Sommer’s longtime business partner – who was constantly and aggressively using the Goldi email name to send filthy and scatological emails all over the internet, making it appear that John Goldi was sending them.
Sinclair’s intent: to discredit my Morrisseau Blog as originating in a potty mouth.
(In 2010 a site meter tracked an anonymous email “Death Threat,” against Ugo Matulic, and others, back to Sinclair’s own home computer. I have also received a Death Wish from Sinclair always decorated with his signature “Hey Dumb Fuck” salutation. In addition to scores of filthy missives he sends to many others as well.)
My wife and I immediately went to the head of the Peel Police Fraud Squad to complain. He confirmed the criminal probe. But, in a most friendly and disarming manner, he assured us, with total sincerity, “I wouldn’t worry about it in the least, if I were you.” It seemed that a year of “research” was behind the comment.
How reassuring would that be, to a Jew living in Nazi Germany in the 1930s? Or to my “wife-of” and me, in Canada in 2017?
This is Repeating on Me – In fact lawyer Sommer using the police to attack fraud investigators and Hoax busters, is a carbon copy of what the Sommer “A Team” (Robinson and Sinclair) tried to do ten years ago, when they falsely told the RCMP and Toronto police that a diabolical syndicate of art fraudsters was operating (in Thunder Bay and elsewhere) making “thousands of fakes by umpteen forgers,” and selling them everywhere…
Robinson, and Sinclair etc., too, named names and gave addresses of “forgers” and “criminals” to the police: Joe Otavnik, Ugo Matulic, Michael Moniz, Randy Potter, Joe McLeod, Morrisseau family members, various private Ontario galleries, etc. Donald Robinson even identified rooms and locations where the “forgeries” were stored, and demanded the police investigate and prosecute the many “criminals” involved.
In April 2010, Ritchie Sinclair, longtime Sommer and KRG Morrisseau “fakes” business partner, even mocked up a fraudulent document for Toronto Police naming and implicating eight people – including me – as criminal members of the criminal “syndicate.” The fraudsters succeeded in getting Toronto police to launch their fraudulent Regina v Otavnik case.
(Both the case and Sinclair, were totally discredited by Justice Lacavera in May 17, 2013, who turned the tables, finding Otavnik “Not Guilty” of ALL charges, and instead discrediting Sinclair and his then-lawyer, Zak Muscovitch and their “fucking asshole” allegations.) LACAVERA
IN FACT, I had NEVER even met or talked to or communicated with ANY of the seven other members of Ritchie Sinclair’s so-called members of the “criminal syndicate,” until many months, in some cases, years later.
And Sinclair – shades of Robertson – also became vituperatively angry when a document he said was supposed to stay secret with the police, was produced in court against him, so publicizing, his embarrassing deception to the world.
(Including Sinclair’s lying claim to the Police that he was acting as a Member of the NMHS. It was a claim he would repeat a few months later when Sinclair – all by himself – manipulated a duped Art Gallery of Ontario staffer to take down Kevin Hearn’s “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974” painting from an AGO exhibit, as a Sinclair-designated “fake.” He then convinced Hearn – two years later – to launch a malicious lawsuit, against Sinclair’s old nemesis, Joe McLeod, to get even.)
And yes, the Canadian art world is full of surreal stupidities like this.
The RCMP, under Cpl. Judith Falbo, interviewed everybody – especially those accused of fraud and dishonesty – across Canada. In an expensive investigation, from 2008-2011, which also involved the Thunder Bay Police, they found NO evidence of truth to any of these claims and no people, collectors, galleries, or auctioneers involved with what the Sommer A Team was claiming.
The written police reports, and conclusions – which I have seen from an Access to Information Request – stated that Donald Robinson had initiated the witch hunt against his business competitors, for the police to embark on.
The investigation was ended by all the participating police forces, with no charges of any kind, ever filed, against anybody, neither for creating fakes or selling fakes, or ever discovering and denouncing a single so-called “fake.” So ending a very expensive and pointless three year fraud investigation at the behest – you won’t believe this – of the fraudsters themselves… They were, cleverly, pointing the cops AWAY from them…
I believe Robinson, Sinclair, and their NMHS co-conspirators, should have been charged with Public Mischief, if not outright Fraud… And now, six years after ALL the police forces have spoken on the subject, lawyer Sommer is himself resurrecting and orchestrating Act 2 of this vile practice, this time targeting some of the same people, AGAIN, including John Goldi and his “wife-of.”
Robertson Appears To Seal Her Fate – Carmen Robertson said initially that she was too scared to appear in court. Kevin Hearn’s Affidavit, that accompanied Robertson’s, spoke openly of the dangerous and threatening John Goldi and his guns…
(Quoting from a Goldi Productions website where I wrote, that 60 years ago I became the Commanding Officer of my high school cadet corps, joined the Canadian Militia, attended multiple cadet camps, and won lots of shooting etc. awards.)
I don’t consider this farcical anymore; it is sick…
In fact, I – ever the journalist looking for more, rather than less information – more than anyone else in the court, was more than glad to see Robertson show up.
Knowing, that if her report was any guide, she would be hoisted on her own petard.
And she did NOT disappoint me. In fact, far from being the corner stone of the Plaintiff’s case, and giving the coup de grace to the Defence, I believe she is, by far, the weakest link in Sommer’s case, for a whole lot of reasons, which I will explain in future.
Though I hasten to add, that is NOT Sommer’s or his business partner Ritchie Sinclair’s view, as they are pulling out all stops to promote, just like Donald Trump is wont to, an “alternative set of facts,” in court, and in the media.
The Sommer Team Targets the Journalist & “Wife-of” – In fact immediately after Robertson finished testifying, suspiciously acting as if on cue, a Sommer witness, Lorraine Cull, whom I talked to months before by phone, approached me as I was packing up.
I Consider it Criminal Activity – Previously she had told me she had provided some 150 private invoices from her art supplies business clients to a lawyer for money. When I expressed how unethical – not to mention highly illegal – this was to hand over private customer business papers complete with their VISA credit card numbers, to a lawyer just to make a buck, she got angry.
Now in court, as if on cue, she walked directly up, and shoved a packet full of Ex-Lax at me, on which she had written “Because UR full of it!”
The Sommer Family – Out of Control – Days before, Mrs. Anna Sommer – whom I had previously always considered an independent professional – hugely disappointed me, when, out of the blue, she suddenly, loudly and aggressively, shouted at my wife, during a recess in court, to NOT talk to her witnesses, barking angrily that “They have been ordered NOT to speak to you.” It happened while many other people were chatting away in court, and my wife quietly tried to start a friendly chat with a person she did not know, and who turned out to be NOT a Sommer witness at all.
Unlike the EX-LAX presenter – and Sommer witness Loraine Cull – who deliberately sought me out and aggressively accosted me, in spite of Mrs. Sommer’s claim her witnesses had been ordered to “stay away from the Goldis.”
I can only assume, Mrs. Sommer was either lying, or told Cull to “Go ahead, harass him.”
I note her husband Mr. Sommer, aggressively yelled at me when I started to speak to Richard Baker.
It seems to be an out of control Sommer family trait, to aggressively rage at John Goldi and “wife-of,” in the public gallery of Ontario court rooms, whenever the judge or security guards aren’t around. And the Sommer fury is unleashed whether the Goldis sit in total silence, or if they quietly try to speak to someone while many other people are chatting away.
And then to add insult to injury, Mr. Sommer drafts up court papers to accuse the Goldis of being aggressive and physically dangerous to their clients, supposedly threatening them with guns, etc.
It was a modus operandi that Mr. Sommer copied from his longtime business partner Ritchie Sinclair.
The Sommer/Sinclair Modus Operandi – I note that the Sommer family behaviour is a carbon copy adoption from his longtime business partner Ritchie Sinclair. whose dishonest and aggressive court manipulations were ruthlessly exposed and discredited with great disdain by the Hon. Justice Alphonse T Lacavera, in Regina v Otavnik, where he uncovered a world turned upside down. Justice Lacavera was presiding over a case where the Crown – at the behest of Sinclair – was trying Otavnik for Criminal Harassment and Assault. Justice Lacavera found that exactly the opposite was true. That the supposed Victim “Sinclair,” was, in fact, the Perpetrator.
Justice Lacavera went out of his way to say he did not buy “the Fucking Asshole” excuse offered by Sinclair and his lawyer, Zak Muscovitch. Muscovitch said he refused legal service of documents from Otavnik because he claimed, Joe called him a “fucking asshole.” Apparently a phrase lawyer Muscovitch had never heard before.
Lacavera found that Otavnik was NOT GUILTY of harassment or assault, and his conduct always within his legal rights and limits, but that Sinclair and his then-lawyer were the malfeasant culprits, either deliberately seeking out Otavnik for harassment or illegally photographing him in courtrooms. And lying about it all, under oath, on the stand.
Sinclair, appearing in White v Sinclair – in which he was found guilty and fined the maximum for his aggressive Libel and Slander, had demanded the Judge give him protection, against James White, who he started shouting, was dangerous and physically a threat to him. To separate them during a break, the judge smilingly asked the 71 year-old White to accompany him to his photocopy machine.
It is my experience as well. Sinclair either alone, or in concert with his roommate, or a Sommer employee, has assaulted or harassed me, my wife, and my witnesses by lunging at them, shouting at them throwing stuff at them, or illegally photographing them – all in courtroom foyers. And always as the employee of Jonathan Sommer’s Business Law Firm.
On one occasion, Sinclair and his roommate, Garth Cole, while on assignment from Jonathan Sommer, assaulted my witness and my wife as they exited a Brampton, ON. courtroom. As they came into the hall burdened down with boxes of files, Cole, shouting loudly, literally threw heavy Sommer Law Firm packets at my witness Joe Otavnik. Cole then hit my wife on the back with a heavy manila packet, shouting loudly, “Take that you fucking bitch,” while Sinclair took photos of the mayhem. I alerted court security who forced Sinclair to delete his illegal photos.
And you won’t believe this, Sinclair had first demanded court security, in a room where our case against him was being heard, claiming the Goldis are dangerous, just as he did against Otavnik, and on another occasion with James White.
John Goldi, Gentleman – I had only one interaction with Mrs. Sommer. By accident we met head on at the glass door to the courtroom, with her walking up as I swung it open. I – ever the gentleman – stepped back and cheerily said, “Go ahead.” She stopped. hesitated, then walked through as I held the door open for her. She glowered, and grunted some unintelligible sound as she passed by. That was my public deportment towards the woman who had nastily and aggressively shouted at my wife the day before.
I had a witness, if you don’t believe me. Ritchie Sinclair, who could always be found in close proximity to Mr. or Mr. Sommer, and on full display every day, always holding hands with a much younger woman who always accompanied him. Sinclair had, as usual come up behind Mrs. Sommer, holding hands with the woman, and was caught unawares. I held the door open longer and said, “Go ahead.” He stopped, looked away to avoid my eyes. The woman looked about vacantly – but that was her usual look. Both resolutely refused to come forward. I said “Not coming in today Mr. Sinclair. Suit yourself,” and walked in.
The Sinclair/Sommer Promo Website – Since 2008, Sinclair has operated a malicious and racist website that has become notorious for six major missions:
– ruthlessly promote the Morrisseau “fakes” fraud, started in 2001, by Don Robinson
– denigrate, discredit, & devalue, as “fakes,” 1,000 genuine Morrisseaus, which were being sold by Kinsman Robinson Galleries’ main business competitors in Indigenous art
– Libel decent and reputable art collectors, dealers, and First Nations artists
– attack the main business competitors of Kinsman Robinson Galleries
– ruthlessly promote Mr. Sommer’s Morrisseau’s “fakes” lawsuits
– attack judges, forensic experts, or journalists who expose these fraudulent activities
The result: unprecedented Cultural Genocide, with the value of Morrisseau paintings destroyed in the tens of millions of dollars. And the severe deterioration of the entire First Nations cottage art industry.
One such target, James White won a huge Libel and Slander conviction against Sinclair and his website depredations that have hugely destroyed – done Great Irreparable Harm – to the art and artists of Canada’s Indigenous people.
So, with the Plaintiff’s witnesses part of the Hearn v McLeod (deceased) trial over, Sinclair immediately went home and quickly posted how Robertson had “with absolute certainty” concluded the painting was a forgery, after “days of incredible evidence brought by a string of credible witnesses.” And he immediately appended a court document only Sommer had access to – over a week later I still have not been able to get a copy.
An International Internet Plague – Identity Theft – And immediately after that, Sinclair sent me one of his anonymous but signature “Hey Dumb Fuck” emails – of which I have received many over the years – from the email@example.com email account he created using my name to send filthy emails around the internet.
(Numerous others have been getting the same Sinclair scatology, for years. Sinclair doesn’t seem to get it, that if, as happened several times, that when he is the only other person in the court besides the judge and the clerk, it is useless to send a quick “anonymous” scatological email that could only have come from the only four people in court that day. And I know three who wouldn’t have done it.)
Robertson Gives a Reading – Robertson’s testimony was unique. For one thing, of all the witnesses, she is the only one who did NOT speak from the heart. To me that is always a key ingredient in any testimony. She is the only one whose testimony was almost entirely, chapter and verse, read (from her 67 page report.)
I followed with my finger, page after page, hour after hour. Though she sometimes took a breather, or her merciless droning was interrupted by Sommer trying to make it appear to be a question and answer session, which it was supposed to be. Then she went on again, for another five or ten minutes. Very loud and incessant.
It reminded me very much of the time I used a mallet to pound my head. I’ve now had both… Given a choice; I’ll take the mallet.
How very different a performance from her predecessor in his role as Sommer’s “expert.” I had watched Donald Robinson present his “expert report” over many hours on multiple days, in 2011 and 2012. He never used a note; he never read a damn thing; he spoke from the head and the heart, non-stop, hour after hour.
It was a bravura performance of a man passionate and knowledgeable about what he wanted to “sell” to the court and to the public.
With only one over-arching problem, of which I was reminded in recalling the testimony of James White, in another court in another year – I heard it; I saw it; I read the transcripts:
“There is one person who deems himself an “expert” – Donald Robinson… but he has been caught in so many lies, that his opinion is not worth anything… My opinion is, that Mr. Sinclair is no expert, but that Mr Robinson is an expert, but is lying through his teeth. And between the two of them they have devalued at least a hundred million dollars worth of Morrisseaus.” (Transcripts, James White, in Regina v Otavnik, p24).
Indeed, multiple judges have noted Donald Robinson’s overwhelming self interest which seems to guide his every thought and action on behalf of his son Paul’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
NOTE: In Small Claims Court witnesses are not even allowed to use notes without the judge’s permission.
Carmen Robertson, in comparison, was a pale shadow of a performer compared to her mentor. She did not seem to know her lines. But she did prove that she was a very good reader, loud and forceful. But sadly, not convincing at what she was trying to sell.
Initially, Robertson had said she would NOT appear in court and testify.
I can certainly sympathize and see why; I personally would also NOT have come with such a report like the one she came to sell. If ever a document needed an editor, a reviewer, or a second opinion – HELL a second look by the author! – her’s was it. It’s clear to me that her turn-around, and decision to appear after all, came after Robertson was promised help or coaching in some way, to get through an ordeal and a minefield of her own fabrication.
Presumably, enter Richard Baker.
Justice Edward M. Morgan wasn’t the only one who seemed to me to be perplexed, when Sommer refused to present his “expert” first, as is the usual practice, and which he clearly expected, and asked pointed questions about. But the Plaintiff’s lawyer Sommer insisted on leaving his “expert” Robertson to the last Day 5…
I, of course, knew exactly what was going on, what his “Fly on the Wall” strategy was, from the beginning. And so do you.
This is Still Repeating on Me! – This was exactly Jonathan Sommer’s tactic in Hatfield v Child, where he had also, deliberately allowed Ritchie Sinclair, HIS ONLY (non-expert) WITNESS, to sit in court on Day one in Hatfield v Child (May 31, 2011) – I saw it; I heard it; I read the transcripts – of the trial. So his only witness could, later, synchronize his testimony with what Sommer and the Plaintiff Hatfield said to the judge.
Sommer had also demanded Judge Martial ban Joe Otavnik from the court, even though he was not a party in the proceedings, and even though he was a member of the Public. Otavnik was never even present.
Sommer was targeting Otavnik as a personal favour to Ritchie Sinclair, his longtime business partner and only witness in the Hatfield Trial.
And exactly, as he has tried to do to me and my “wife-of,” in 2017, in multiple courts: BAN, SLAPP SUIT, OR GAG AN OBSERVER WHO DARES TO KEEP THE PUBLIC INFORMED OF WHAT IS GOING ON in the worst art fraud in Canadian history.
The Biggest Court Surprise – Sommer, Baker and Robertson, had mistakenly thought ALL THEIR COVERT MACHINATIONS could ALL be kept secret. NO WONDER Mr. SOMMER WAS MORE THAN UPSET, AND MULTIPLE TIMES, COMPLAINED TO THE JUDGE, AND ROBERTSON WENT BALLISTIC IN COURT, DENOUNCING THAT I – AND “wife-of,” HAD PUBLISHED HER “EXPERT REPORT,” SOMETHING NEITHER SOMMER OR ROBERTSON EXPECTED OR WANTED. You read it and figure out why.
Clearly, if he was an informed lawyer, Jonathan Sommer should have known about the Ontario Protection of Public Participation Act (PPPA) of 2015 – also known as the anti-Gag Order legislation, widely hailed as welcome by BOTH the media and the legal community. Sommer should have informed his “expert” of its existence, to prevent her obvious coming embarrassment. She made it clear, with more than a bit of anger, that she was not aware that you couldn’t keep court documents like her “report” secret, for a case of “public interest” and “national importance.”
Robertson did NOT say why she, who comes from the world of “Publish or Perish,” wanted this huge “expert” tome of hers kept secret. At 67 pages, it’s the biggest illustrated work she’s ever written by herself. But not a trace or mention of it is found anywhere on any of her bios…
Why not? Is she not proud of her work? Why does she not want her colleagues, or her employer to become aware of her work?
After I failed to get a response from the University of Regina, about its possible involvement in the production and funding of this report, and the travel costs, etc., it would involve – Robertson had hugely bannered the university in the middle of her front page – the university did reply to Joe Otavnik when he asked the very same question.
The university replied, it was NOT involved, that Robertson had done it as a private person.
Sommer Trashes His “A Team” – With my Blog exposing Robinson and Sinclair, for years as too disgraced and discredited to present credibly in any court, Sommer suddenly announced they were fired from the Hearn v McLeod case, on Oct. 3, 2017. Even he, clearly agreed his “A Team” was too much damaged goods – disgraced by judge, after judge, after judge, as my Blog pointed out – to get him any further in the courts.
NOTE: I found it totally unforgivable that, in an “expert report” discussing Morrisseau BDP signatures (Black Drybrush Paint) and alleging a “fake,” any reputable academic would make ZERO mention of TWO landmark judgments of 2013 – the 39 page Martial Judgment in Hatfield v Child, and the Appeal Judgment of Justice Sanderson.
Which, for reasons best explained by her, is exactly what Ms. Robertson did, of course, believing, as now has become public, her “oversight” was supposed – it was planned with Mr. Sommer; she now says he assured her – it would all stay secret.
Why would a reputable academic make such glaring omissions of primary documents and landmark decisions, on the very issue she was supposedly writing her expert report on? And especially since Judge Martial said there was “overwhelming evidence” that Norval signed possibly thousands of BDPs, like “Wheel of Life 1979.” And his finding was totally and strongly affirmed by the Hon. Justice Mary Anne Sanderson on Dec. 17, 2013.
BDPs of the same type exactly, from the same artist, from the same era exactly, and from the same disclosed and documented sources exactly, as “Spirit Energy of Mother Earth 1974,” that Robertson was roundly, without any credible substantiation, choosing to trash.
So Mr. Sommer has changed the names – on the deck chairs of the Titanic – but NOT the claims of his specious lawsuit.
Sommer Presents His “B Team” – This time Richard Baker and Carmen Robertson are reviving an old Donald Robinson and Ritchie Sinclair trick that was discredited by judge, after judge. So, still the same lawyer, Jonathan Sommer – but now with a new team. Their ultimate aim: declare Baker’s among the tiny number of the only genuine Morrisseaus in the world…
And your… and my Morrisseau BDPs, are crap…
Baker’s Morrisseau paintings skyrocket in value, for “Donation” purposes, for resale, or passing on to his estate, and yours, says the B Team, et al., are worth “ZERO.” Baker was, of course trained by Donald Robinson and his Wanker 16, and knew exactly what to do.
NOTE: In the Hearn v McLeod case, the Defendants asked for access by their expert, to Kevin Hearn’s painting, so they could do a forensic examination. They were STRONGLY DENIED ACCESS TO THE PAINTING by Sommer and Hearn. In fact in the 12 years since Hearn bought the painting he and his backers have resolutely refused to have forensics done on the BDP back.
Why? The answer was there in spades when I ultimately arranged to have the forensics done, proving the painting was NIAOB, TOTALLY authentic.
Fly-on-the Wall – Court testimony made clear that, in early July 2009, lawyer and NMHS member, Richard Baker, plotted, at his office, hand-in-hand with Donald Robinson, KRG staff, and KRG enforcer Ritchie Sinclair, to make a common front to examine Joe Otavnik’s “Jesuit Preist” and declare it a forgery, for the Otavnik v Sinclair case. Which would conveniently enhance the value of Baker’s own Morrisseaus, by trashing everyone else’s. The resulting “expert report” trashing the painting as fake, by Robinson, was NOT accepted by Judge Godfrey (in Otavnik v Sinclair) as having proven anything. In fact “Jesuit Preist” was later forensically authenticated as a genuine Morrisseau. Which proves Baker was…
Confession: In five days of court proceedings. Dec. 4-8, 2017, attended by some thirty or forty people in all, I was present, non-stop in court longer than anyone else, except one court clerk. In that time Jonathan Sommer always had some ten to fifteen “boosters” or witnesses sitting in court.
In five long days I NEVER spoke to a single one. I thought that the best policy, even though a Maclean’s journalist, who was there, part-time, spoke freely to them all without a problem.
I Broke My Non-Engagement Rule Only Once: with Richard Baker, after he testified and Justice Morgan had gone. As Baker was joshing about with people, and as he neared my seat, I approached, and with a friendly smile I said:
“Mr. Baker, I was hoping you’d bring the Wanker 16 for display in court…”***
His face turned to stone, and he turned his back, as Jonathan Sommer – predictably – aggressively started to shout at me to STOP intimidating his witnesses.
(Though I admit Sommer was not in the full flight of the rage he unloaded on me, and my “wife-of,” as we quietly sat in a courtroom on Aug. 14, 2017 – before Justice Grant R Dow came in. Immediately when Mr. Sommer saw us, he aggressively charged towards us from the far end of the room, literally loudly shouting repeatedly, that we “Get out of the courtroom right now or I’ll have you thrown out.”) We ignored him, his bad manners, his loutish behaviour, and his conduct unbecoming a lawyer, and stared straight ahead. He kept up the tirade from only four feet in front of us, blocked only by the wooden barrier. We looked straight ahead, wondering where the hell is court security to prevent violence against members of the public when someone gets unhinged. Only moments later, after he entered court, Justice Grant R Dow refused Sommer’s plea to eject me from the public galleries.)
***The Wanker 16 are the Potter Auction paintings bought by Donald Robinson, which he testified in Hatfield v Child that he gave to the NMHS in 2005, to use as templates for deciding which Morrisseau paintings Kinsman Robinson Galleries wanted them to discredit, devalue, even destroy, as “fakes.”
The Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society (NMHS) was formed in 2005, as a branch plant operation of Paul Robinson’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries, by his father, Donald Robinson, to police and enforce the fraud. His initiation gift to the group – all of whom he appointed – was the Wanker 16. And legal cover was provided by Toronto lawyer Aaron Milrad to prevent any of them from suffering any legal blowback for any act of Cultural Genocide they chose to inflict on the art and artists of Canada’s Indigenous people.
Beyond Farce – Morrisseau, himself, of course, had lost it mentally and physically years before. In fact he had been sent to terminal care by Gabor Vadas in 2001, because Norval had been totally unmanageable anymore. But like Lazarus, they brought him back from the dead five years later, supposedly to write the Mission Statement for the group, personally select the experts he wanted from across Canada, and instruct them on their duties.
An Encomium from an Unlikely Source – In a derisive manner Baker had testified on the stand on Dec. 6, 2017 that he had been reading my Blog for five years. A damning admission. Personally, I would never read what I considered a crap article, a crap book, a crap website, or a crap Blog, after an initial dismissive viewing. Sorry, not even a second glance. Let alone follow it – and admit to doing so – for five years as Baker says he did.
Why would he do it? Simple; because, far from being crap, he and his colleagues knew that everything is highly documented and authoritative. And damning. He knew exactly what I was saying, asking, and why. And you do too.
Since 2005 they have utterly refused to expose their Wankers to the public. On Dec. 6, 2017, Richard Baker refused to answer a personal request demanding disclosure. The flames should tell you why he’s so angry about my demands for academic transparency. This group is terminally incapable of it. The NMHS prefers to side with other cultural vandals: ISIL, the Taliban, and the Nazi book burners. For 14 years they have done Great Irreparable Harm to Norval’s art.
In all those five years that I have mercilessly scorched the NMHS members for cultural genocide and academic malfeasance of the highest order, NOT ONCE have I received a single Cease and Desist demand, let alone a Libel or Defamation warning from any of them. Not only is the time limit for doing so, now multiple years too late, but they don’t dare face me in court with the mountain of incontrovertible evidence, from independent experts, with which I have been documenting their multiple malfeasant and fraudulent activities.
Beneath Contempt – Incestuous Conflict of Interest on the NMHS – I believe it is fraudulent and beneath contempt that members of an organization (the NMHS) claiming to be a reputable arm’s length group of academics, supposedly assembling a credible catalogue raisonné of the works of Norval Morrisseau, are brazenly involved in vetting each others Morrisseaus, to increase their value for Canada Revenue Agency “Donation” and Tax Credit, or resale purposes, etc. – read Baker and Robertson for a start – and/or be involved in discrediting, denigrating, and devaluing genuine forensically authenticated works – read Ruth Phillips, Greg Hill (Red Lake Fiasco, SAW Gallery, etc.) and Carmen Robertson, hand-in-hand with KRG, for a start – belonging to non-NMHS members…
One of five genuine Morrisseau victims of the Phillips & Hill (NMHS) & KRG “book burning” cabal at Red Lake.
The Red Lake Incident (2008) shows dramatically how diabolical, vicious, and malicious, the members of the NMHS are, in reaching out to destroy other people’s genuine art – in that case, belonging to Ugo Matulic, long a target of Kinsman Robinson Galleries – to enhance the value of their own.
Red Lake Incident
Cultural Genocide in Red Lake, Ontario
Red Lake curator Michele Alderton, was brow-beaten by big city NMHS & KRG blowhards into destroying all copies of her huge show catalogue, and remove five Matulic provided genuine Morrisseau paintings, she had already gladly accepted for inclusion. All were later forensically authenticated.
In fact Red Lake Curator Michele Alderton had ALREADY accepted, as authentic Morrisseaus the five Morrisseaus Matulic provided, and put them in her illustrated catalogue for the Morrisseau Retrospective, before Phillips, Hill, and John MacGregor Newman (for decades at Kinsman Robinson Galleries) collaborated to dump them as fakes. ALL were later totally authenticated by a forensic expert as genuine Morrisseaus.
The Red Lake target – Matulic – was then further targeted (2010) by the NMHS Society’s founding father, Donald Robinson, with a Million Dollar Lawsuit for Libel and Defamation. Matulic said KRG was in a conspiracy to boost its own KRG paintings while fraudulently attacking art belonging to business competitors. For three years the Kinsman Robinson Galleries publicly slanged him with it.
Then suddenly, weeks after the Martial Judgment came out “rejecting” Robinson and his report, KRG wisely chose to abandon this fraudulent lawsuit, without conditions, after Day 1 of Discovery, against Ugo Matulic. MATULIC – FINAL RELEASE
A forensic scientist exposed Phillips’ and Hill’s incompetence as Morrisseau authenticators but talented as art terrorists.
Face to Face With Richard Baker – So, God, would never have forgiven me if I had not tried in person, what I had been asking publicly, of the NMHS on my Blog for five years: show me your so-called fakes, show the public the front and backs of the Wanker 16. Show us the evidence for what you claim… Show me you haven’t burned them… And prove to Canadians they are the “fakes” you claim…
Richard Baker collaborated with Donald Robinson to call this a fake. Robinson wrote a huge report trying to prove Jesuit Preist was a fake. Judge Godfrey didn’t buy it and urged Joe Otavnik to get a forensic finding for the signature. He did, and a top Canadian handwriting expert said it was an authentic Morrisseau signature, with DNA certainty. Makes Baker look a bit silly, don’t you think?
And a Founding Member of the NMHS, who had been on the ground floor of fronting for the fraud since 2005, UTTERLY FAILED THE ULTIMATE LITMUS TEST THAT COULD HAVE REDEEMED HIS REPUTATION AS A CREDIBLE VOICE FOR ANYTHING TO DO ABOUT MORRISSEAU ART.
His diminishing, bleating pleas of “innocent,” or “not true” will not help. None of it will now put a dent in the incontrovertible mountain of evidence that has piled up against him and his NMHS colleagues over the years.
One sentence, which I uttered in court, will be the landmark moment when the last shred of NMHS credibility flopped dead on the floor. “Mr. Baker, I was hoping you’d bring the Wanker 16 for display in court…”
IF EVER THERE WAS A “SHOW AND TELL TIME” FOR THE NMHS, this trial was it. AND THEY AND BAKER IRRESPONSIBLY FAILED UTTERLY TO BRING FORTH A SINGLE – NOT EVEN ONE “FAKE” – TO SHOW THE JUDGE – AND THE PUBLIC – OF WHAT AN NMHS AND KRG, RITCHIE SINCLAIR, CARMEN ROBERTSON, AND MR. AND MRS. SOMMER FAKE LOOKED LIKE.
WHY NOT? But then you already know that…
And why Hearn and his handlers have never dared, in 13 years, to heed any and all entreaties to send “Spirit Energy” – a Morrisseau BDP – to a forensic expert. And exactly why the NMHS has also refused for 13 years to expose its “fakes” – the Wanker 16 BDPs – to the world, and to forensic experts.
Mr. Baker’s utter failure to be transparent, diminishes his reputation further in the role he has established for himself, in the history of Canadian art – especially regarding Indigenous art and that of Norval Morrisseau. What he and the NMHS stand for, and are linked to, is now cast in cement For the Ages, like ISIL and Palmyra, the Taliban and the Bamiyan Buddhas, and the Nazi book burners.
Damned if You Do; And Damned if You Don’t – Baker and the NMHS refused to be transparent and disclosing, because he and they could not. He was caught between a rock and a hard place.
Either the Wanker 16 had already been burned/destroyed, and so could not be produced – PROVING ME RIGHT – or, they could NEVER disclose their BDP backs, because doing so would be proof that what the NMHS had been calling fakes since 2005 (and Robinson since 2001) and were discrediting and destroying, were genuine Morrisseaus, like Wanker #1, Wanker #17 and Wanker #18, all certified authentic by multiple forensic experts.
PROVING ME RIGHT AGAIN.
Which is why I believe the ultimate destiny for the Wanker 16 is, or was, the same – the incinerator.
I believe they had to be destroyed to prevent their BDP backs from EVER being tested, and so ruin the reputation of a lot of conniving “silks, satins, suits, and snoots” intent on fronting for a fraud. Three forensic reports are evidence enough for me. How about you?
Plus open the way for a class action lawsuit against Mr. Baker and the NMHS.
Blood, Fingerprints & DNA on the Murder Weapon – My sleuthing over the years shows how dead on I, and my research, has been. I had obtained amazing forensic authentication for Wanker #1, Wanker #17, and Wanker #18. It includes the first painting ever to receive 100% authentication from a forensic expert, far above the “highly probable,” routinely accepted by courts for sending a man to the gallows. And the only painting to win authentication from TWO forensic experts.
How many specks of blood, how many finger prints, how many spots of DNA, on a murder weapon are sufficient to send someone to the gallows? The ANSWER: IS ONE. So far I have documented three – THREE HUGE ONES… with DNA certainty.
And these are not the only ones; there are now over 150 forensically authenticated BDP signatures on Morrisseau paintings. Including the only three ever tested in a court by three different judges.
About which Jonathan Sommer and Carmen Robertson have collaborated since 2013 – her testimony at trial – to claim that not a single one they have seen is authentic. FORENSIC LIST
Baker, with his personal rebuff to my question, gave me – and you – the best possible proof, that what I had been saying about him and his colleagues, for five years, was 100% dead on, and confirmed in spades.
Cultural Genocide Made in Canada – The Baker “We’re down to 5,000” he told the court, tells me that the NMHS vandals have a lot more “burning” to do to get down to their preferred numbers of Morrisseau paintings, if they haven’t already done so.
Robertson has a more ambitious target of down to “over 1,000.” The dastardly group seem to be in a race for the Guinness Book of Records award for “top cultural vandals of the world,” determined to unseat ISIL’s dynamiting of Palmyra, the Taliban blasting of the Buddhas of Bamiyan, and the NAZI book-burners.
Lest We Forget – And the fewer they’re down to, the higher the valuation that Baker’s Robertson-authenticated Morrisseaus get… when he turns them in for tax credits by “donating” them to some public gallery run by one of Carmen Robertson’s colleagues…
So stop talking about foreign cultural vandals. These are ours… well yours…
Joe McLeod, once a respected College Dean, was by far, the most senior and trusted Morrisseau expert on the planet, having a personal relationship to the artist, his work, and his family, and the interests of Indigenous culture, that go back to 1959, when he was a teacher in northern Ontario. It’s a link which he fostered and maintained to the end. No one else I know – certainly no public gallery or government curator – did so much to promote Indigenous art and artists, as he did at his Maslak McLeod Gallery.
Judging the authenticity of Norval’s art by provenance is the worst possible fool’s errand that anyone knowledgeable about Canadian fine art, let alone his, would ever dare embark upon.
Especially from an illiterate artist, who lived on the street, never had a home where he could safeguard possessions, let alone even keep records, and was a nomad who was always on the run from one short-term place to another.
Norval was in fact contemptuous of “provenance” himself.
“White man’s paper’s no fucking good.” (Pollock, Dear M, p39)
Absolutely, with Norval’s art, suspect a hidden agenda, and a fraudulent claim, from anyone promising provenance back to “direct-from-the-artist.”
And Joe McLeod, who, unwisely, but out of the goodness of his heart, tried to put something impossible, but satisfactory, together, on paper, about “provenance,” just to help a beginning art collector (Kevin Hearn) have confidence in his art.
Thanks to nothing more than his well-meaning attempt to do a good deed, based on memory of years before, he soon became an unwitting target of a cabal of vicious, malicious, and ruthless art fraudsters. And of ruthless terrorist attacks in his old age, at his gallery, at his home, and in the courts…
In the old days museums were the only victims of incompetence – willful or otherwise – by art “experts.” Latterly only multi-millionaires, with cash to burn, like David Mirvish, Taylor Thomson, and Steve Martin, were the only victims. With Norval Morrisseau, truly the only “People’s Artist” Canada has ever produced, his art found its way into untold thousands of ordinary Canadian homes because he made it affordable. By maliciously calling thousands of his works forgeries, KRG, the NMHS, and their fraud-backing operatives, have wilfully destroyed the art heritage of Norval Morrisseau, and the private savings, investments, and cherished art, in the hands and homes of thousands of ordinary working class and middle class Canadians.
Why Tom Hoving Says Fuck Off With Your Provenance – A typical example of how Toronto’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries “manufactures provenance,” to alter, not only the history, or chain of title of paintings, but the actual essence of a painting to fool their clients and foil internet sleuths trying to track the real provenance, chain of title, and background of paintings on internet art indexes.
KRG SLAPP Suit Target & Blogger, Ugo Matulic of Calgary, Alberta, celebrates his total judicial triumph (May, 2013) and total vindication, outside Toronto’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries, whose principals sued him for One Million Dollars for “defamation” in 2010. Ugo is famous in Canadian history as the first person ever taken to court, for Libel and Slander, by the Morrisseau fraudsters, after they attacked and vilified him publicly by saying they were doing it, for three years. Simply because to them he was a dangerous blogger exposing their art fraud. After Day 1 of Discovery, in which the KRG lawyer, Chloe Snider, was confronted with Matulic’s mountain of evidence against KRG, they suddenly, and totally, abandoned, without conditions, their entire lawsuit against the blogger, in toto.
I believe that lawyer Snider believed she was being conned into fronting for a fraud with a SLAPP suit, and DID NOT want her career tarnished. Law Society of Upper Canada Rules bar lawyers from fronting for frauds.
“Fold or I’m Outta Here,” KRG lawyer, Chloe Snider.
I believe, without a bit of hesitancy, that KRG’s own lawyer, Chloe Snider, told the Robinsons that either they fold immediately or she was off the case. The abandonment happened right after Judge Martial issued his judgment further discrediting Donald Robinson.
Discovery Day 2, was never held. Matulic had refused to take part in it, and went back to Calgary, because Donald “Pop” Robinson refused to come, saying his was sick. They tried to replace him with Paul “Pup” Robinson who could then plead the 5th as they say in the US.
In fact I had seen Robinson pull this “sick” routine on Judge Godfrey in 2010. Godfrey (hearing Sinclair v Otavnik) told Sinclair, he was now ready to receive testimony from Robinson – who had been waiting in the hall all morning – after a ten minute break.
I went out and sat beside the elevator and watched as Sinclair, his roommate, Garth Cole, and Robinson, laughed and joked, some ten feet in front of me and went down the elevator.
The exact spot where the sick Robinson giggled away
The Robinson Sickness – Ten minutes later when Judge Godfrey told Sinclair, “Please bring in your witness,” Sinclair, without missing a beat replied, “Sorry, Your Honour, but he was sick and had to go home.”
Then only weeks later Judge Martial totally trashed Donald “Pop” Robinson, his testimony, his expertise as uncredentialed, untrustworthy, self-serving and “rejected” him as an “expert,” and his “expert report.”
Then I believe, Chloe brought the hammer down, and weeks later the Robinsons begged Matulic and his lawyer to be let off without penalty, for a vicious and malicious SLAPP suit they had promoted against a principled Blogger for three years on the internet and the KRG corporate website and the Sinclair/Sommer website.
Luckily, highly informed public voices like his (and other Morrisseau researchers and investigative journalists), who try to inform Canadians about matters “in the public interest,” have been protected, since 2015, by Ontario’s Protection of Public Participation Act, to shield them from creeps, crooks, and conmen trying to kill or gag their voices, with malicious SLAPP suits, to try to keep the public unaware of their nefarious, immoral, illegal, or criminal activities.