Summary: The extensive campaign of cultural genocide directed at the art of Canada’s top Aboriginal artist is demonstrated through the bullet-proof provenance of two paintings which expose the ultra-secret Morrisseau fine art manipulations of Donald Robinson, the Kinsman Robinson Galleries, and their outreach workers at the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society
Bullet Proof Provenance of “FISH & SOMA 1976”
Donald Robinson’s & NMHS Secrets Exposed…
Donald Robinson Entraps Himself…
What My Eyes Saw…
The Wankers that Donald Robinson’s Eyes Saw…
Robinson’s Claims ALL Rejected
Behind the Veil of Secrecy
The Notorious Wang Report: Garbage In; Garbage Out
Other Academic Malfeasance at the Notorious Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society
Prediction: The NMHS Burns the Wanker 16
The Two Most Important Landmark Morrisseau Paintings
“Medicine Being from Sacred Fish Stomach 1976” &
“Shaman Envelopes Soma 1976”
They are the only Morrisseau Paintings in history that can claim “Holy Trinity” Provenance, being certified as genuine by Donald Robinson (the Principal Morrisseau Dealer), Norval Morrisseau (the artist), and a top Canadian forensic scientist (Kenneth J Davies). Authentication of this high level is unmatched by any other Morrisseaus that I know of. Their pedigree is inviolate.
For many major reasons, “FISH & SOMA 1976” must be considered the watershed paintings, the historically significant benchmark standard, from which to confirm how to tell authentic Morrisseaus from the 1970s apart from forgeries; on both fronts and backs.
And to separate the wheat from the chaff, the lies from the truth, if you will, of what key Conspiracy Theorists claim about how to tell authentic from fake Morrisseaus.
Specifically, I believe, “FISH & SOMA 1976” hugely compromise, in multiple ways, on multiple levels, on numerous occasions, the credibility, as believable Conspiracy Theorists, of the Robinson family art business of Toronto, and the members of the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society (NMHS), the branch plant operation of the Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
Because these two paintings, except for a small accident of history, would have become part and parcel of the fantastic and preposterous evidence chain that Donald Robinson and the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society have covertly woven, behind the scenes, as their “proof” of what constitutes a “fake” Morrisseau.
Luckily, I had been at the Potter Auction, on Jan 26, 2000 and had outbid Donald Robinson for these two paintings.
These two paintings, more than any other Morrisseaus, hold the key for reversing the tide of cultural genocide that has led to the physical and virtual destruction of much of the art legacy of Norval Morrisseau.
1 – Donald Robinson Was the Under Bidder on “FISH & SOMA 1976”
They are the only paintings that I know of, that can clearly claim Donald Robinson, the Principal Morrisseau Dealer, AKA the Principal Conspiracy Theorist, AKA “Mr. Smith,” as the under bidder.
This involved TWO of his separate authentications, and two of his separate bids, on two different occasions, on the evening of Jan 26, 2000, at Randy Potter Auctions in Pickering ON. Robinson saw them separately; he assessed them separately; he bid on them separately. Each involved a separate act of will on his part as a Morrisseau authenticator.
2 – Donald Robinson Regarded “FISH & SOMA 1976” as High Priority Morrisseaus
In fact, based on Robinson’s expenditures on his invoices, he gave “FISH & SOMA 1976” his 3rd and 4th highest bids, out of some 90 bids he placed in trying to buy 90 different paintings during five different days of auction sales, from Sep 1999 till Mar 2000. He thought that these two Morrisseaus were that good.
Documents prove he was at the auction and bought 10 other Morrisseaus on that day.
“FISH & SOMA 1976” give you wonderful documentary evidence of exactly the kind of Morrisseau paintings Donald Robinson – after, as he claims, 15 years on the job, including a dozen as Morrisseau’s “principal dealer” – considered high priority acquisitions for him. It shows two perfect examples of exactly the kinds of Morrisseaus he was bidding on, and lost, in the 60 or so other times he ended up as the losing under bidder.
But it also gives incontrovertible proof of exactly the kind of Morrisseaus (of 31) that he took home with him from Randy Potter Auctions.
Donald Robinson personally told my wife and me that these are “very fine Morrisseaus” and further, when we questioned him on their authenticity, said, “Oh, they’re real alright. Trust me! I’m the guy who wrote the book on Morrisseau.”
At the time he claimed to be the exclusive dealer for Norval Morrisseau, the world’s top expert on the artist, and said he had an expertise based on 15 years of assessing and selling Morrisseau paintings.
He personally showed me how to roll the canvas properly for transport home from the auction.
He invited us to visit his gallery, which we did a couple of days later, when he gave us a tour.
He suggested we use his own Kinsman Robinson Galleries framer to mount our Morrisseaus, which we did.
4 – Norval Authenticates “FISH & SOMA 1976”: Never on NM Affidavit of Forgery
Since we bought “FISH & SOMA 1976,” in January 2000, they and our other Morrisseaus, have been on numerous educational web sites. They are probably the most internet exposed Morrisseaus in history, going back over 12 years.
It is therefore impossible to believe that Norval Morrisseau, or his business managers, did not see them at one time or another, especially during the years (2001-2005) when they were sleuthing out the internet for identifying alleged forgeries, and claiming they had found hundreds…
But not “FISH & SOMA 1976.”
We know for certain that Donald Robinson, who was Morrisseau’s marketing advisor, knew “FISH & SOMA 1976” existed; he had been the under bidder, told us how to roll and transport them, and where to get them framed.
Norval would have heard from him that we had fakes and would have ordered them to be put on an Affidavit of Forgery. He did not.
In fact, close to 200 paintings with far less public exposure than ours, were found and targeted as supposed forgeries from their minimal internet footprints. Between 2001 and 2005, their owners received Declarations or Affidavits of Forgery from Gabe Vadas and Morrisseau.
One owner dealer was served with an Affidavit of Forgery for only five (5) so-called forgeries.
We have posted seven (7) Morrisseaus, yet we did not receive, in some 12 years they have been posted, either a Declaration or an Affidavit of Forgery, from Norval Morrisseau or from any of the white business partners who gathered around his wheelchair. Nor a Cease and Desist order to stop publishing a forgery and damaging Norval Morrisseau’s art heritage…
And that includes during seven years when Norval was still alive.
This is huge proof that the cartel saw all our paintings – how could they not? – and they all, including Norval, approved their authenticity.
So, added to Robinson’s verbal testimony that “FISH & SOMA 1976” are authentic, must be added the testament of the artist who created them, Norval Morrisseau, as well.
So “FISH & SOMA 1976” are doubly authenticated by supposedly the top two experts in the field: Norval the artist, who painted them, and Donald Robinson the Principal Morrisseau Dealer who had personally seen them, handled them, examined them, was the under bidder on them, and verbally praised them to us.
5 – “FISH & SOMA 1976” are Authenticated by a Top Canadian Forensic Scientist
In 2011 and 2012, both “FISH & SOMA 1976” were separately evaluated by a top Canadian forensic scientist, Kenneth J Davies, who declared with DNA certainty, that they were signed by Norval Morrisseau, and that no one else could have signed them.
Making them the only paintings in history to have been authenticated by the Holy Trinity: the artist himself, his principal dealer – both as under bidder and with verbal certification – and a top Canadian handwriting analysis expert. It can never get better than that.
No one can challenge them in any way, whatsoever, as being anything other than exactly the kind of art Norval produced in the 1970s and proof of exactly how he signed his paintings on the back. Those fabled BDPs with Norval’s DNA on the back.
6 – “FISH & SOMA 1976” Expose the Secretive Art Dealing Life of Donald Robinson
Donald Robinson purchased 31 Morrisseau paintings at Randy Potter Auctions, over a six month period, from September 1999 to March 2000, paying a total of $54,000 for them. A year later, in May 2001, he announced that all the Randy Potter paintings, including the 31 he bought, were – only his call – fakes.
The same paintings he – as the world’s self-proclaimed top Morrisseau expert – had told many people were genuine, now suddenly became transformed into fakes. With no proof offered…
Wankers – We call all the Donald Robinson so-called Potter fakes, the “The Wangkr 31 fakes,” an acronym combining Professor Wang, to whom Donald Robinson submitted many of them to make up a notorious bogus scientific computer model, with KR for Kinsman Robinson who commissioned the spurious report and continue to use its supposed findings, to promote sales of their kind of Morrisseaus.
The Wanker 16 are absolutely key for exposing what is at the heart of the Morrisseau Hoax.
Suspicious Media Blackout – For unknown reasons, since shortly after he bought them, Donald Robinson has taken any and all measures in order to enforce an utter blackout on information about which pictures he bought at Randy Potters Auctions – the Wanker 31 – and what exactly he did with them.
He has refused to publish any and all photos of the Wanker 31 paintings he bought, refusing to divulge either what they looked like, either on the front or the backs. He has done this to prevent Canadians from analyzing what he bought and later claimed were fakes. More damningly, he has done this to prevent independent forensic examiners from being able to evaluate the signatures on the back of the paintings.
He calls the Wanker 31 fakes, and insists on keeping the proof to himself, and a few intimates at the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society, who are widely considered to be manipulated by him, and to practice the same covert code of non-disclosure and secrecy he has followed with an inexplicably stubborn intensity for 13 years.
It is, of course, academic malfeasance of the highest order, on the part of the supposedly qualified academics in the NMHS.
Canadians can only guess what those Robinson outreach workers on the NMHS are hiding… What those Wanker 16 “fakes” show, especially on the backs…
7 – “FISH & SOMA 1976” Expose the Secret Life of the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society
Donald Robinson’s story about what he did with the so-called Wanker 31 “fakes” is that he sold a bunch, mostly through a Calgary auction, and then “donated” what he couldn’t sell to the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society to serve as guidelines to define his standard for what its members should regard as fakes. And should earmark for possible destruction.
The targeted paintings are all from Norval’s 1970s style of BDP production.
Robinson donated the Wanker 16, to the Society to use as a rejection standard for Morrisseau paintings people were asked to send to them for authentication.
The NMHS is a very secret society of various selected high profile academics who were supposed to decide which of Norval’s 10,000 paintings merit inclusion in his catalogue raisonné – a list of authenticated paintings from his life’s work.
All other Canadian artists, or their families and their hired staff, handle their own art, and keep “in-house,” the supervision of what is authentic and what is not, in an artist’s corpus of work.
This NMHS type of secret society, of a group of “outsiders” – self-proclaimed “experts,” not from the artist’s immediate family circle – deciding what is an artist’s work and what is not – has no precedent in Canadian art history.
The NMHS – so the story goes – was set up, under mysterious circumstances, chosen, according to legend, in 2005, supposedly under the direction of Norval Morrisseau himself.
The NMHS website claimed Norval set it up, hand-picked its officers, defined its mandate, provided its mission statement, and picked the paintings that they were to use as samples of fakes.
What is not disclosed, by the secret society, is the fact that at that time Norval had, long ago, stopped being a fully functioning human being.
The Norval Blues c 2001 – The facts that have trickled out in various court testimonies, were that long before 2005, Norval had “left the building.” He had made numerous bad calls on his paintings as early as 1997 (alleged by Ritchie Sinclair), and by 2001, he could only mumble unintelligibly, with numerous people who tried to communicate with him, saying they couldn’t understand him at all.
If they were honest. Or self-critical of their actual interaction with Norval.
One Norval enthusiast, who claimed to have had a conversation with the artist in April 2002, was caught up short, when I questioned him more closely. He thought for a minute and then tried to clarify the nature of the conversation for me.
“Ok, we talked but, well, let me put it this way. If a translator repeated to me what Norval had just told me, I wouldn’t have been able to tell if the translator was lying or not…”
Norval’s brother Wolf, testifying about talking to him in this same time period, said, that by 2001 Norval was only lucid, periodically, for minutes at a time before drifting away…
He even told Judge Martial (during Hatfield v Child in 2012) that Norval confessed to him that he couldn’t remember which paintings he had painted in the past…
In fact Norval was so debilitated mentally and physically, by 2001, that his care-givers had put him in a terminal care facility. And were vigorously exercising their Power of Attorney on his behalf…
Devastating extended and unedited videotape showing Norval supposedly authenticating paintings, in April 2002, reveals him to be in a totally passive and virtual vegetative state by then, and obviously much earlier. He signed the paintings without even looking at them, whenever someone stuck a pencil in his hand, or inked his thumb and took his hand to make an imprint.
The mind boggles how this utterly debilitated virtual quadriplegic would have risen from the dead – like Lazarus we presume – three years later, in 2005, to orchestrate setting up the NMHS, picking its officers from across Canada, blah, blah, blah…
There is, of course, a much better, more credible explanation.
I believe the group of white businessmen around Norval’s wheelchair orchestrated setting up the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society, under their dubiously acquired Power of Attorney, and staffed it with mostly more white people to “look after, and speak for, the Dumb Indian.”
Very much along the line of selfless missionary service, from the days of the “White Man’s Burden,” to save the Blacks from themselves. Or like the “residential schools” set up in the Canadian North, to “kill the Indian in the child.”
They decided to use a bogus academic shield of above-board legitimacy, for what was nothing if not a bold and brazen business offensive. By manipulating the Society, which was to rule which paintings were fake, Norval’s “care-givers” could choke off any product they wanted to “kill off,” simply by providing NMHS members with a fakes template they were asked to conform to.
The fake template they were to use was provided by Donald Robinson – the Principal Morrisseau Dealer, and chief business operative selling direct-from-the-artist Morrisseaus – who kindly donated his Wanker 16 for the job.
The Wanker 16 are the paintings Robinson said were left over “fakes” from the Potter Wanker 31, after he had sold what “fakes” he could.
In a long conversation my wife had with Donald Robinson, in November 2010, she asked what he did with the paintings after he “discovered” they were fakes. Robinson told her he had sold a large number to a “country auction” named Levis Auctions, in Calgary, AB.
When she asked if he had warned Levis or potential buyers, that he considered these Morrisseaus to be fakes, he replied, “No. In country auctions everybody knows it’s Buyers Beware.” He also said he never tried to make amends.
In fact he told Judge Martial he had sold them for a small profit – even. So people in Calgary bought $54,000 plus profit, worth of fakes that were – in Donald Robinson’s own expert testimony to the judge, worth “nothing” and “zero.”
I know Doug Levis personally; have attended his auctions, and bought historic paintings and photographs there. I know him to be a highly principled auctioneer, and know he would be utterly dismayed to learn that he, and his customers, were knowingly sold or consigned art considered fraudulent forgeries by a colleague in the fine art business, and whom Doug considered as a trusted and credible dealer.
Doug does not, and never has, run a “Buyers Beware” auction, but is one of Alberta’s most respected businessmen and has run one of the major fine art auction houses in Canada for decades. It’s been his chosen profession since he graduated with a university degree in fine art.
The Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society, in return for the donation of the Wanker 16. the NMHS certified that it considered Robinson’s gallery was the only one it recognized as an approved authenticator of Morrisseau art. (Even though there were several other art dealers and collectors who had handled and knew Norval Morrisseau’s work as well, or better, than Donald Robinson.)
Understanding this set-up makes it easy to see why, since 2005, this pseudo-academic society has been staffed by people who have repeatedly acted as little more than outreach workers promoting the business activities of Toronto’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries, and are like the Robinson family, leading Conspiracy Theorists.
It’s therefore easy to see how its members have become guilty of numerous acts of gross academic malfeasance.
Including with how it has handled the Wanker 16, after Donald Robinson delivered them.
They have utterly refused to publish high resolution photos of the Wanker 16, or make them available for public security by interested parties.
They have also refused to have independent outside forensic experts look at the signatures. All, of course, in deference to Donald Robinson.
Donald Robinson claimed, when he showed the Wanker 16 to Norval, in 2005, the artist told him he didn’t paint them.
Which is not entirely accurate.
We have located the original transcript of that conversation.
What Norval really said at the time was “&?@?&#$)%)_)&@$$+(*&%$.”
The translation is courtesy of Donald Robinson, who dutifully fills in when Gabe Vadas isn’t available…
There is in fact no audio tape or video tape of Norval Morrisseau speaking, at all, on any topic, in the last decade of his life. Including in an hour-long CBC “Life and Times of Norval Morrisseau” program shot in 2003, in which the producer failed to get Norval to say even one word for his show.
So for eight years Canadians have waited, in vain, for the Robinsons or the NMHS to disclose the Wanker DNA they are using to to do matches to existing paintings, in order to decide, which ones they will accept as authentic, and which ones they will burn…
The wait is over. We can tell you exactly what Donald Robinson, and his collaborating intimates, on the NMHS, are hiding.
The answer: “FISH & SOMA 1976” offer a genuine peek behind the cover-up curtain of silence.
But for a small accident of history these “Holy Trinity” authenticated Morrisseaus would both have been included in Robinson’s private stash of “fakes.” They would have gone home with him. And they would have subsequently been included in his stash of supposed forgeries. They would also have been included in the NMHS pile of its “proof” of forgeries. The infamous “Wangkr 16” would today be the infamous “Wangkr 18.”
As a public service to Canadians, we publish high resolution photos of the front and back of “FISH & SOMA 1976” because they are apparently the only two paintings in history that have survived to testify to exactly the kind of paintings Donald Robinson bid on some 90 different times, in the year 2000, and of the 31 that he took home, and then beginning a year later deliberately hid from history and the public scrutiny of Canadians.
So the “Holy Trinity” authenticated “FISH & SOMA 1976” expose the private life of Donald Robinson, for all Canadians to see, and offer utterly foolproof evidence of what you would find if you got to examine the so-called “fake Morrisseaus” – the Wangkr 31 – that he bought at Potters and concealed in his closet for years afterwards.
The back signatures of “FISH & SOMA 1976” confirm, in spades, that the reason Donald Robinson has sought to erase the memory, and any residual pictorial evidence, of his 31 Morrisseau purchases from history, is because, like “FISH & SOMA 1976,” which he tried to purchase by bidding for them, they too are genuine, authentic paintings by Norval Morrisseau.
8 – The Preposterous Mr. Robinson Entraps Himself, Multiple Times, with his Potter Purchases… the notorious Wanker 31
The forensic testimony of two Randy Potter Auctions “Holy Trinity” authenticated Morrisseau paintings is far more than twice as powerful as the conclusions one can draw from only a single painting. Here’s why:
We know with a certainty of somewhere around 110% exactly what the eyes of Donald Robinson saw when he examined BOTH the “Holy Trinity” authenticated “FISH & SOMA 1976” paintings, separately. Why is that important?
Because of numerous claims Robinson was to make:
They’re All Fakes – First, because Donald Robinson was later to say that ALL the Randy Potter paintings were forgeries, which would have included the “Holy Trinity” authenticated “FISH & SOMA 1976.”
Willfully Ignoring Overwhelming Forensic Truth –
Secondly, Robinson was to claim that all BDP’s were forgeries, that Norval never, ever, signed the backs of his paintings like, you guessed it, “FISH & SOMA 1976.” In fact the very signatures and writing Robinson denounced have been the stuff of DNA that has to date proven some 70 paintings he called fakes were in fact genuine Morrisseaus, without a single dissenting finding by three of Canada’s top forensic handwriting analysis experts.
There were also many people who had long associations with Norval who signed affidavits or gave sworn testimony in court that they had seen Norval sign the back of his paintings countless times.
Willfully Ignoring Historically Successful Lawsuits –
Thirdly, Robinson also chose to overlook the fact that two of the Potter paintings he defamed as forgeries “Spirits 2b” and “Father and Son 1977,” were proven to be authentic by forensic scientists, and became the winning proof in the two largest successful lawsuits against parties alleging defamation, won in 2008 by Otavnik v Vadas and Morrisseau (for $11,000) and Moniz v CTVglobemedia (for some $25,000.)
None of the Defendants (including Morrisseau, his business manager, Gabe Vadas, & the Globe and Mail) in those two landmark cases, believed, for a second, the Robinson claim that the Potter paintings were fakes. They paid up because they agreed they had defamed genuine Morrisseau paintings.
In fact, astonishing as it may be, after Otavnik won a settlement of $11,000 from the artist and his white handler, for having wrongly defamed his paintings, they insisted Otavnik sign over the “copyright” to them, in the terms of settlement. All for paintings they had claimed were “fakes.”
Willfully Ignoring How the “World Expert” Was Fooled 90 Different Times in 2000 – Fourthly, he also cannot claim to have seen “lousy forgeries” before 2000, because he bought 31 separate paintings at Randy Potter’s as late as in March 2000, and far from denouncing them as fakes, tried to buy all he could, bidding on some 90 lots in all, and encouraging others to buy them.
Willfully Refusing to Bring the Fakes Back for a Refund – Fifthly, Robinson bought 31 fakes, he says, for $54,000 but never ever brought a single one back as a refund.
And oh, yes, when Donald Robinson believes he’s been “had” and stuck with something he calls a fake, you bet your britches he demands his money back, even if it’s peanuts.
Here’s the cheque he demanded from Randy Potter after claiming Randy allegedly sold him a fake (and very cheap) Davidson.
Robinson didn’t complain, even, to Potter, I say, for exactly the same reason all the other 200 leading Morrisseau dealers and collectors who bought hundreds of paintings at Randy Potters also never brought a single one back for a refund.
For the same reason I did not return “FISH & SOMA 1976” for a refund either.
Everyone, who ever bought a Morrisseau at Randy Potters, without a single exception, considered them genuine, and behaved like they were – including even the one who, publicly anyway, called them forgeries.
Privately he sold the “fakes” as Morrisseaus, and made a profit on forgeries, if you can believe?
Willfully Ignoring Age Burn – Sixthly, Robinson was to claim that all the Potter paintings (and other fakes he claimed totaling some 4,000) were the product of a single forger.
He was to claim they were recently made, c 1999 and after, (so the same age-burn would apply to them all), were the product of a single forger, (so a single point source, wear, and history is understood), who ground out some 4,000 or more (almost half of Norval’s entire life’s work of 10,000 paintings), and shipped most of them to Randy Potter for sale. He later said that a group of forgers was producing the fakes.
By claiming this publicly, in court testimony, he has painted himself into a most compromising corner, leaving him with no wriggle room.
This means these thousands of so-called forgeries have to share very important “point of origin” similarities, in order to date them to 1999, or 2000 when they were – his claim – to have been created.
They theoretically cannot have been created earlier because – and this is a huge problem for him and other Conspiracy Theorists – how could Donald Robinson, as the Principal Morrisseau Dealer, possibly have missed coming across some 4,000 supposedly “easy to spot” forgeries in the market place before 2000, without him seeing them and drawing public attention to them?
9 – Due Diligence: What My Eyes Saw in “FISH & SOMA 1976”
No problem here. We would expect two paintings from the same artist, both executed in 1976, to share a similarity in style. And especially if, for the sake of argument, and according to Donald Robinson’s logic, the forger falsely backdated them.
We would also expect similarities on many levels if – assuming for the sake of argument – that they are a product of a forger or syndicate of forgers operating aggressively out of some lowlife shop in 1999.
Inexplicably, what Donald Robinson claims his eyes saw, though, when he looked at “FISH & SOMA 1976,” was something entirely different.
In fact, the condition of my two 1976 paintings is hugely different. They have clearly had totally and absolutely separate life histories since they were originally painted.
They could not possibly have originated with a single source forger, which is Robinson’s claim. (And hell he looked at them within minutes of my examining them on the evening of Jan. 26, 2000.)
To me they are in fact perfect representatives of the wide variety in condition I was to see in hundreds of paintings I examined at Potters over a nine year period during which I attended auctions there.
And Donald Robinson – remember he was the under bidder – clearly saw this too.
I certainly did. The huge difference in condition was clear to anyone but a blind man.
Another Kind of Expert – As the longtime Director of Research & Acquisitions for an online museum, who has, over a 14 year period, personally curated and acquired some 4,500 antique paintings (oil, acrylic, watercolour, pastel, pen & ink, tempera, gouache, charcoal, etc.), prints, reproductions, and historical memorabilia in ceramics, wood, metal, and fabric, all over 100 years old, I have gained a unique insight on how “age-burn” develops in paintings and historical materials of all kinds. (Curator’s Choice.)
Donald Robinson’s Framer Speaks – The first person who confirmed my view that neither of “FISH & SOMA 1976” were recent, c 1999 forgeries – according to Donald Robinson’s much later claim – was his very own personal framer, at Canada Custom Picture Framing, to whom we showed the paintings, on February 9, 2000.
The very first thing he blurted out, when we unrolled “FISH & SOMA 1976” was, “too bad they’re so old, dirty, and abused.” The three words he used were absolutely key.
Reality Check – Remember, this was in 2000, in the days before there was any talk of fakes or forgeries of any kind from anyone, anywhere, including by Donald Robinson, who would continue buying many more Potter paintings after I visited his shop and his framer.
And the Kinsman Robinson Galleries’ framer’s first impression, of both our canvases – and two others we brought in at the same time – was that they were clearly old, even before he saw the dates on the back. It was his impression by looking at the acrylic side, and the canvas condition, and the staple holes on the edge from a previous life on a stretcher.
Of the two, “Fish 1976” is in relatively fine and clean shape. I might guess a one generation ownership by a caring art lover.
Certainly by comparison with “Soma 1976” it has been lovingly cared for. Even though it’s not an opinion shared by Donald Robinson’s personal framer, who considered it old and abused, compared to other artwork he usually sees.
On the contrary, the life history of “Soma 1976” betrays, absolutely, a number of different owners, who did not treat the painting well at all. As a curatorial archivist I could tell that one time it was mounted on a frame; at other times it was rolled, and stored, for a lengthy period of time, with the acrylic in; at other times it was rolled and stored with the acrylic out; at other times it was too tightly rolled. Forensic marks, abrasions, and cracks tell the story.
In fact damage of this type was pointed out to me by Donald Robinson himself at the auction, as I was about to roll up my paintings with the acrylic side in.
“Don’t do that,” he said, and showed me how he rolled his, in a large, loose roll, with the acrylic paint on the outside. “If you roll the acrylic in on itself in a tight roll you will crack it.”
In fact he specifically drew my attention to the acrylic on “Soma 1976.” It is relatively filthy; the paint is abraded; the acrylic is cracked. In fact this is a common condition of many – I would say most – Morrisseau paintings, which were only originally bought from Norval for $20 or $40, often just to help him out, and treated as essentially “worthless” by generations of uncaring owners.
All the signs of abuse had not stopped Donald Robinson from giving “FISH & SOMA 1976” his 3rd and 4th highest bids at the Potter auctions.
Those Filthy Randy Potter Paintings – Anyone – like Donald Robinson – who claims to be an art expert, could tell that “FISH & SOMA 1976” do not, in any way, shape, or form, share a common life history.
And “Soma 1976” absolutely betrays age burn of some thirty odd years or more, entirely consistent with having been painted by Norval in 1976, and absolutely, totally inconsistent with having been the product – in tandem – with “Fish 1976,” in some forgery studio in 1999. And then – as is Robinson’s claim – hours, weeks, or months later, shipped off by some supposed forger to Randy Potter, with the paint barely dry…
In fact, as an art curator, one characteristic I have noted about Norval’s original art is that it is universally in worse shape than original art by his white contemporaries. Original oil paintings by Sherriff-Scott, Jackson, Heming, Grandmaison, etc. from the 1920s, look cleaner and are in far better shape than most of the hundreds of Morrisseau paintings, I have personally handled and examined, most during the years 1999 till 2008 at Randy Potter auctions.
Even though they are far younger in age, the deteriorated condition of Norval’s paintings is exactly what one would expect to find of art Norval routinely gave away from 1950 to 1990, for $20 and $50, or a bottle of booze or traded for sex.
10 – Willful Blindness: What Donald Robinson’s Eyes Saw in “FISH & SOMA 1976”
Documents prove that from September 1999 to March 2000, Donald Robinson attended Randy Potter auctions and examined and bid on some 90 different Morrisseau paintings.
All these paintings were tacked along the top so that anyone who wanted – all art dealers for instance – could just flip up the bottom or side and look at the back to check writing, signatures, condition, age- burn, etc. Which of course, every art dealer, before he is going to spend money on a painting, does, automatically as a routine part of his trade.
Robinson would have seen exactly what I saw in “FISH & SOMA 1976”, and in all the many Morrisseaus Potter had for sale, and noted that:
– Variation in Degradation – there was a huge variation in the ages and conditions of the hundreds of Potter Morrisseaus he examined, and reflected exactly what one would expect if a collector or picker went around scooping up paintings from different sources at different times and places, and then shipping them to an auction.
They clearly could not possibly have come from a sole source shop or in any way share a common history.
– Extreme Age-burn – most of the paintings showed far more wear and abuse than any paintings from any other contemporary artist I have seen, but exactly what one would expect from paintings people bought for $20 or $30 or $50 from Norval. They showed exactly the variation in dirt, cracking, scuffing, holing, staple marks, framing marks that one would expect to find in genuine Morrisseaus that were shoved under beds, into attics, garages, storage lockers, or tacked up in hunting camps and fishing lodges.
– Variably “Distressing” Art is Impossible & Economically Suicidal – no forger, or group of forgers, could possibly manufacture – even if it were possible, which it is not – this hugely varied kind of age-burning, on hundreds of huge canvases that, in 1999 had no real economic value. Degrading and cracking the canvases would have made them even less appealing to buyers, at a time when they were then only selling for a few hundred dollars, if even that.
– An Artist & Professional Art Restorer Speaks – In the late 1990s, a long-time Canadian artist and art restorer, was given the job to restore and clean up, for selling, some two hundred of the Potter Morrisseau canvases, for a dealer who had bought many canvases.
This artist and professional restorer told me (in 2011) three things that his long, hands-on experience with all these canvases proved to him with absolute certainty:
– the paintings all came from one single artist,
– they had all had terribly different, and mostly abusive lives, since they had left the hands of the artist, and
– that they were all, clearly, twenty or thiry years old in 1999, when he analyzed most of them.
So they could not have been the product of a forger in 1999, let alone a group or syndicate of forgers, nor have came from a single recent source, nor had a common life history, and they were not new.
His call: no variation of any sort of “Robinson type” forger is even a remote possibility for the hundreds of paintings he had examined in detail.
Both of us had seen more of these Potter paintings, over a longer period of time, than had Donald Robinson, or any member of his staff.
These hundreds of paintings must be considered genuine first cousins or siblings of “FISH & SOMA 1976.”
– Blind Man’s Bluff – clearly Donald Robinson – unless he was totally blind – saw all this, and deduced this himself. It makes it incomprehensible that after viewing all the evidence he could possible claim that the paintings he saw – the very same ones the art restorer and I saw – could possibly have been the product of a forgery operation in 1999.
His claim is nothing short of preposterous, for a start…
– No Curatorial Forensic Skills or Credentials – it tells me that, not only is he completely unaware about the life history of Norval Morrisseau’s art, but even worse, that he has absolutely no clue about “age-burn” in art, on canvas, on paint, on acrylic, or how to interpret scuffing, holes, staple marks, soiling, paint abrasion, acrylic cracking, etc.
It gets worse: his preposterous claim confirms, inviolately, that he clearly has no clue about how impossible it is for anyone to try to manufacture all these widely diverse deteriorations into a huge work of original art, and do it so that no two canvases ever seem to have the same life history.
And all are unique creations, never copies of anything…
All for a market involving a few hundred bucks… Which the “creating forger” then has to share, first with the picker, and then with the auctioneer…
Where is there any profit for anyone in this supposed “forgery” scenario?
And then to keep on doing it, on and on, for years, on 4 or 5,000 works… Oh, and did I mention, never get caught…? Not even once… you know, for forging, or selling forgeries…
This certainly cements the claim that a very stupid forger indeed, must have been at work here… Don’t expect this ludicrous story line to get picked up for a movie script. It’s too idiotic even for teens.
The Robinson claim is nothing, if not preposterous…
Donald Robinson used his thirty odd years as a Canadian fine art curatorial expert as a base to draw on when he wrote his huge, 89 page, “expert report,” publishing all his evidence for calling “Wheel of Life 1979” a fake. (in Hatfield v Child)
A report that Judge Martial utterly dismissed: “The Court rejects his expert report and his conclusion that the Morellian analysis, style, colour, and provenance all pointed to forgery.”
– No Handwriting Analysis Expertise – Judge Martial (in Hatfield v Child) went even further, when he roundly rejected Donald Robinson’s strongly professed claim to having some kind of expertise in handwriting analysis saying “He has no formal training as an expert witness in handwriting analysis and his evidence is rejected.”
The Preposterous Mr Robinson – Robinson’s claims are all so totally and humungously preposterous; it raises the serious question why someone in possession of his faculties would possibly make the outlandish claims that these hundreds of Randy Potter paintings could possibly be the product of a forgery operation in 1999.
That is why I don’t believe that Donald Robinson, even for a minute, personally believed a single bit of what he said in public about the Randy Potter paintings.
Not one bit; it was only his public “claim” that he chose to make. For whatever personal reason.
Perhaps because he thought that the public was ignorant, dumb, or gullible, or all of the above.
The most damning thing of all, about his claim, is that it is only his personal claim, the claim of only one man, and repeated by his family and less than a handful of his business associates.
It was not shared by me, or any of the other 200 experienced Morrisseau collectors, who bought at Randy Potters over a ten year period, not one of whom ever brought back a single Morrisseau painting demanding a refund for having been sold a forgery.
A truly stunning truth, isn’t it?
It gets worse. In fact, the proof is incontrovertible that not even Robinson believed a single word of what he said in public, about the Potter Morrisseaus being fakes.
Exactly like every other Morrisseau buyer at Randy Potter Auctions, Donald Robinson never, ever, brought back a single painting either, never demanding a refund, or claiming even a single one was a forgery.
11 – “FISH & SOMA 1976” Expose Clear Preposterousness of Donald Robinson’s Claims:
– REJECTED #1: Robinson Claim – that all Potter paintings are fakes
The “Holy Trinity” authentication for “FISH & SOMA 1976” is the ultimate rebuff to Donald Robinson when he claimed, and testified in court, that all Randy Potter paintings were forgeries.
In fact every Randy Potter painting that has ever been evaluated by one of Canada’s top forensic document examiners and handwriting experts has come back certified as authentic, without a single dissenting finding.
Two Potter Morrisseaus won the biggest lawsuits for defamation in Canadian art history, one against the artist himself, and one against the Toronto Globe and Mail.
An astonishing summary of accomplishments of a random sampling on some 2,000 paintings Randy sold, especially considering that Donald Robinson called them “all forgeries.”
(A year after he had himself bought 31 of them for $54,000 – but never brought any back for a refund.)
– REJECTED #2: Robinson Claim – that all BDPs are fakes
The “Holy Trinity” authentication for “FISH & SOMA 1976” is the ultimate rebuff to Donald Robinson when he says all BDPs are forgeries, and testified in court that NM never signed his painting like that, ever, even once…
Both are signed in exactly the way Donald Robinson claims Norval never ever did.
Judge Martial, in the longest court case in fine art history, listened to the witnesses, and went over hundreds of pages of documents, and said he totally rejected Donald Robinson’s contention, absolutely, that Norval never used black drybrush paint to sign the backs. He also said Robinson had a huge conflict of interest in saying what he said.
In fact there are presently some 70 different forensic authentications, by top Canadian forensic scientists, of original Morrisseau BDPs that Robinson claimed were fakes.
And many more from different periods are being evaluated for publication late in 2013.
– REJECTED #3: Robinson Claim – that the Wanker 31, and Wanker 16 are forgeries
The credibility of Donald Robinson as a Morrisseau authenticator has been so roundly destroyed, by “FISH & SOMA 1976,” by his public statements, by independent forensic scientists, and now by the finding of Judge Paul Martial (in Hatfield v Child) that they utterly undermine his call that the Wanker paintings are forgeries.
He has been proven so utterly wrong, so many times, that the “Holy Trinity” authenticated “FISH & SOMA 1976” should speak for the Wanker paintings, not Donald Robinson and his gallery’s outreach workers at the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society.
– REJECTED #4: Robinson Claim – that all Randy Potter BDPs were recent productions of a single or group of forgers operating in 1999 or after.
“FISH & SOMA 1976” hanging on the wall at Potter’s had a bullet-proof pedigree that they were 24 years old and had come, through a turbulent life history, direct from Norval’s paint brush.
You might also ask: “How did two genuine “Holy Trinity” Authenticated paintings ever end up sharing wall space with a bunch of Robinson slanged supposed forgeries?”
The evidence is overwhelming that, in fact, they did not.
In fact many of the paintings that hung on the same wall space were later forensically proven to be authentic. In fact every one that has ever been sent for testing has come back positive, as an authentically signed Morrisseau. With DNA certainty; without a single failing finding.
Others won successful lawsuits, and won huge payouts, from Conspiracy Theorists who dared to call them fakes, and paid mightily for their mistakes.
So the proof of origin – the provenance – for countless Potter BDPs has always been back to Norval. Making them all over twenty years old at least, not recent forgeries.
– REJECTED #5: Robinson Claim – to the MEDIA that “there are thousands of forgeries made by umpteen forgers”
Since 2001, Donald Robinson has claimed in the media that there are “thousands of forgeries made by umpteen forgers” out there.
Considering all the evidence “FISH & SOMA 1976” have exposed, it makes clear that all these claims aired over a period of some 13 years in the national media, have simply never been true and have wrongly misinformed lazy, gullible, and compliant journalists into publishing what I consider fraudulent claims to an unsuspecting Canadian public.
The mainstream media continue to be doing anything but practicing journalistic due diligence of any kind. They just hate to give up a pet Conspiracy Theory many have witlessly aired for some 13 years.
– REJECTED #6: Robinson Claim – to the COURTS that “there are thousands of forgeries made by umpteen forgers”
Since 2010 Donald Robinson has made court appearances claiming that, based on his expertise in handwriting analysis, etc., there are “thousands of forgeries made by umpteen forgers” out there.
“FISH & SOMA 1976” have led the way to exposing how totally false his court testimony is. And the Courts have weighed in totally in support without the slightest equivocation.
In his finding, on April 2, 2013, Judge Paul Martial (in Hatfield v Child), categorically rejected the conclusion of Donald Robinson’s 89 page purported “expert report” which claimed “Wheel of Life 1979” was a forgery, saying, “The Court rejects his expert report and his conclusions.” Judge Martial stated categorically that “The painting “Wheel of Life” is not a forgery.”
And furthermore, Judge Martial also rejected Robinson’s testimony as an “expert witness,” saying, “He has no formal training as an expert witness in handwriting analysis and his evidence is rejected.”
It is the most roundly censorious denunciation of the expertise of a top member of the Canadian fine art community ever publicly aired by a leading establishment figure.
In fact it eerily echoes the warning issued by Justice Morgan in 1996 when he was faced with Donald Robinson as an expert witness in a tax court case where he had given huge valuations to some Morrisseau paintings assembled by a group of lawyers to donate to museums in exchange for a tax break.
Wrote Justice Morgan: “Mr. Robinson’s close association with Morrisseau is… a liability in the sense that he has a hopeless conflict of interest in trying to be objective about the quality or value of Morrisseau’s work when he is currently the exclusive distributor for Morrisseau’s new works in Ontario.”
Justice Morgan hugely rejected Robinson’s 1.1 million dollar evaluation, cut it virtually in half, and established a fair market value, for tax exemption for Robinson’s lawyer clients at $660,000.
– REJECTED #7: Robinson Claim – to have a right to launch SLAPP suits against investigative journalists to stop them from trying to find out what is going on in Canada’s fine art Morrisseau market and examine his Conspiracy Theory claiming forgeries
In 13 years of shouting that there are “thousands of forgeries by umpteen forgers out there,” neither Donald Robinson or any other Conspiracy Theorist has ever taken a single person, forger, forgery, or seller of supposed forgeries, to court. Not once.
Everyone has said for years, that’s for a simple reason: Robinson has never had proof of any kind on any level that would stand up in court that would back up his claims of forgery.
He very well knew that, which is why, even though many threats were issued he never took anyone to court for being a forger, making a forgery, or selling a forgery.
Judge Paul Martial (in Hatfield v Child), on April 2, 2013 made it clear in spades, exactly why Robinson has never dared to put a case with his proof in front of a judge.
Judge Martial utterly dismissed Robinson’s testimony, his expertise, his expert report, his conclusions, totally and absolutely without a single qualifier.
Pretty devastating to have a life’s work of some 33 years entirely, brusquely, and unceremoniously thrown into the trash in a public court proceeding.
Judge Martial said about as strongly as it’s possible to say, that Donald Robinson is no credible Morrisseau authenticator on any level. Not with his Morrisseau painting analysis as written in an 89 page expert report; and not with his claimed expertise in handwriting analysis which the judge also completely rejected.
Judge Martial’s rulings explain totally why the Conspiracy theorists have never taken anyone to court, but have just maligned and defamed people and their paintings in the media, on websites, on blogs, and in wild claims when dragged into court.
It also explains why they HAVE gone to court with SLAPP suits to attack investigative journalists.
12 – Summary Finding #7 – “FISH & SOMA 1976” Expose What Lies Behind the Robinson & Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society Cover-up & Veil of Secrecy
But probably the most important role of “FISH & SOMA 1976” is what they can tell Canadians about what lies behind the Cover-up & Veil of Secrecy hiding the secret operations and covert activities of Donald Robinson and the NMHS.
To a degree that can only be comparable to the mafia, they have consistently and fanatically hidden their activities from the Canadian public. For years they have utterly refused to be transparent, honest, and open with Canadians.
They have collaborated with stealth, and breached clear protocols of academic transparency, to prevent Canadians from getting a peek at the back of the Wanker 16, those Randy Potter “fakes” that Donald Robinson told them to use as the markers for authenticating or rejecting real Morrisseaus.
They were doing Donald Robinson a favour, continuing to hide his “donated” paintings from public scrutiny by independent forensic experts exactly like he had done for years.
It is why “FISH & SOMA 1976” are so important. They let Canadians peek behind the Robinson and NMHS Veil of Secrecy, to see exactly what they are hiding there. Remember that, but for an accident of history, they would be in the pile of Wanker fakes that Donald Robinson and the NMHS have hidden away as their supposed proof of forgeries.
And establishes why the Wangkr 16 are in dire danger of being burned by the NMHS…
Since 2005, Donald Robinson and the NMHS have been collaborating in promoting the Conspiracy Theorist claim that there are thousands of forgeries by umpteen forgers, “out there.”
Though Robinson claims knowledge of over 4,000 fakes, and umpteen forgers, to pick from, he has never taken a single forger, forgery, person, or business to court, ever, in 13 years since he “discovered” the diabolical plot to fake thousands of cheap Morrisseaus.
He has also, never, not once, produced any independent forensic proof of any kind to support even one of his allegations of forgery. In a stunning variation from some 70 forensic reports that prove he is dead wrong in some 70 of his claims where he falsely claimed authentic paintings as fakes.
He claims as his “proof”: the Wanker 16. But he is utterly and totally secretive about them.
Donald Robinson and the Kinsman Robinson Galleries have steadfastly refused to publish pictures of the fronts of the 31 paintings he bought at Randy Potters (the Wangkr 31) and which they call forgeries.
Donald Robinson and the Kinsman Robinson Galleries have steadfastly refused to publish pictures of the backs of the 31 paintings Robinson bought so that Canadians can have the writing of the Wangkr 31 analyzed by top independent Canadian handwriting experts.
And the Norval Morrisseau Heritage society has dutifully kept up the secrecy, hiding the “proof” and just repeating, in public, what Donald Robinson tells them to say in private. The NMHS pronouncements and activities are clearly designed in the back rooms of the KRG.
They have just swallowed up, holus bolus, what Donald Robinson has told them when he dismissively calls the Wanker 16 lousy fakes. Which is all just propaganda to help Kinsman Robinson Galleries to corner the market on Morrisseau painting sales, by defaming paintings that their business competitors own or are selling. In this way they have succeeded in destroying the public appeal and salability of much of Canada’s First Nations art.
And the NMHS have been full and eager partners, for years in perpetuating this infamy.
How’s that for due diligence as credible academics?
Why have they secretly collaborated to hide these key paintings for 13 years from the Canadian public? And from the forensic scrutiny of independent experts?
What are they covering up?
The answer: “FISH & SOMA 1976.”
But for an accident of history both “FISH & SOMA 1976” would today be part of this diabolical Wanker cover-up… That’s why the DNA story they tell is so utterly important.
The Accident of History that Exposes the Shame of it All
Had we been a bit less passionate in our bidding, on Jan 26, 2000, Donald Robinson would have been the winning bidder on “FISH & SOMA 1976,” and the two canvases would have gone home to the Kinsman Robinson Galleries with Donald Robinson.
And instead of being publicized and celebrated on the internet, by us, for all the world to see, their life histories would have been covert, secret, furtive, hidden.
And so would the story they have to tell about cultural genocide…
On Death Row at the NMHS – “FISH & SOMA 1976” speak for 16 paintings that can no longer speak for themselves, that are on Death Row at the NMHS, awaiting the order for execution from Donald Robinson…
And where they too, would ultimately have come – I predict – to a very bad end… Predictably what happened to books in Nazi Germany, or cultural heritage treasures that have been selected for cultural genocide and extermination. (It’s been done before in Canada, Iraq, and Pakistan.)
It’s exactly what Principal Conspiracy Theorist, and sometime Norval Morrisseau business manager, Bryant Ross of Coghlan Art, did in 2010, when he publicly defaced a genuine Morrisseau “Water Spirits” in Vancouver.
He – exactly like Robinson and the NMHS – utterly refused to publish photographs of the signatures on the back of the painting, before he destroyed it.
Why would Bryant Ross do that? For exactly the same reason his fellow Conspiracy Theorists are doing it… To conceal from History the truth of exactly what kind of artistic works they are actually destroying.
In short, thanks to our interference, in 2000, “FISH & SOMA 1976,” were saved from destruction. So they could testify and expose the Morrisseau Hoax.
Which is why we are letting them speak openly to the world of art lovers everywhere. And to anyone who believes that cultural genocide should be a criminal offence.
In Donald Robinson’s hands they would have been used to tell the story Donald Robinson wanted to tell on major claims and on key times:
– “FISH & SOMA 1976” would have become part of his proof that Randy Potter paintings are all forgeries
– “FISH & SOMA 1976” would have become part of his proof that all BDP paintings are forgeries
– photos of them would never have been published for Canadians
– photos of their backs would never have been published for Canadians
– “FISH & SOMA 1976” would have been given by Donald Robinson to James Wang to help him concoct his notoriously bogus science report in crafting his computer profile on exactly what a Morrisseau forgery looks like: namely “FISH & SOMA 1976”
– “FISH & SOMA 1976” would have been used as part of the NMHS database bench mark for selecting, for extermination, unacceptable kinds of Morrisseau paintings; to become the determining NMHS benchmarks for cultural genocide.
13 – Numerous Acts of Academic Malfeasance by the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Socitey
The Utterly Fraudulent Wang Report: Garbage In = Garbage Out
NMHS Academic Malfeasance Fiasco 1: Professor Wang –
In 2009, Donald Robinson, in collaboration with members of the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society, sent pictures of 35 Morrisseau paintings (the Wangkr 35) to the very gullible Dr. James Wang of the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Wang likes to reduce pictures to numbers for his computer to crunch, so he can then make statements about the results
Robinson spoon fed the academic scholar one pile of 16 Morrisseau paintings he called “fake” Morrisseaus (the Wangkr 16). We call them Donald Robinson’s “Wangkr” paintings, for Wang & Kinsman Robinson.
But for an accident of history, “FISH & SOMA 1976” would have ended up in both Donald Robinson’s, and later the NMHS Wanker pile.
Robinson and the NMHS also spoon fed Dr. Wang another pile of 19 paintings which they called “authentic” Morrisseaus (the Wangkr 19). The good professor then adopted Robinson’s nomenclature and his dual piles of data, being a pile of supposed “fakes,” and a control group of supposed “authentic” paintings, either Morrisseaus, or Burrowsseaus. We do not know which… And, of course, neither did Dr. Wang…
He accepted the piles, the nomenclature, the whole shooting match, etc., entirely on faith, more like a preacher, instead of with due diligence like an academic.
Then Robinson directed Professor Wang to design a computer profile for each pile of paintings. Obviously, regardless of what you put in each pile, the profiles the good professor would compile would be different.
Oprah’s Dresses – For instance, putting a pile of Oprah’s fat dresses from the 1980s in one pile, and making a computer profile, would produce a different result than that from her slim pile of dresses, from the late 1990s. The computer printouts would, entirely predictably, and understandably, give different profiles, allowing any ignoramus to say that “See, the different computer profiles clearly proves the dresses are not from the same woman.”
Which is a good way of showing how the validity of any computer model can be hugely undermined by the “garbage in; garbage out” contamination of results.
The problem with contaminated computer data started long before Professor Wang came on the scene. It happened in the Kinsman Robinson Galleries when Donald and Paul Robinson carefully selected the “Wangkr 16” paintings they wanted Professor Wang to consider part of the fakes pile and those they wanted him to consider authentic, the “Wangkr 19.”
The Robinsons also had a stock broker, neophyte art collector, John Zemanovich to help them pick the paintings for Wang – or at least go along with their picks. Zemanovich’s input was important enough – perhaps he gave Dr. Wang some good stock picks – as he is the only person in the entire world, thanked by the professor beyond Robinson and the NMHS… Clearly Robinson thought highly of the stock broker too.
It was Robinson who had invited Zemanovich to do the Wang thing; Robinson also thanked Zemanovich in his “expert report” for “Wheel of Life” which he presented in the Hatfield v Child case.
(This is the same “expert report” that Judge Paul Martial slammed, on April 2, 2013, saying, “The court rejects his expert report and his conclusion” and furthermore rejected Robinson’s call that the painting was a forgery as he had claimed, because, “He has no formal training as an expert witness in handwriting analysis and his evidence is rejected.” Perhaps Robinson can blame this fiasco on too much input from his stock broker colleague…)
It was the same common sense rejection of Robinson’s expert analysis that I had made. The electrical engineer clearly lacks credentials on any level to indulge in such academic flights of fancy as he did in his expert reports, just because he thinks they’re useful to promote the business advantage of his art gallery.
But all this just seems to go over the heads of the tittering and misguided so-called academics at the NMHS.
Appointments to the NMHS – Zemanovich was at some point also secretly appointed a director of the NMHS – according to several postings on the database at Open Corporates, which listed him on the internet alongside the other seven member Directors.
I wonder who orchestrated putting that stockbroker and KRG crony in there…? Who has that kind of power?
But there is a clue.
In 2008, when Ritchie Sinclair physically threatened and verbally attacked Joe McLeod – which led police to charge him with Criminal Harassment – one of the things he blurted out in a tirade, was his apparent angry charge that “Donald Robinson had not appointed him to the NMHS.”
“A. He came into my gallery and, uh, I did not know him. I think I might have seen him two or three times. And, uh, he was irate because he had not been asked by Kinsman Robinson to be part of the Norval Morrisseau Heritage, uh, Society. And I was shocked…” (Court Trans/Otavnik v Sinclair: Mar 18, 2010 , p31)
This was all news to McLeod, but it was clear proof that Sinclair certainly believed Robinson was the “behind-the-scenes” operator with the power to confer membership to the NMHS, or to deny it.
Rejection was not something that ever stopped Sinclair. Two years later, in a police deposition he would claim, as part of his bio to the investigating officer, that he was a member of the NMHS…
But of course everyone else – just like Sinclair – always knew the back room kind of shenanigans that had been going on for years, and who the powers that be, were, while the misguided NMHS academics kept on pretending to an arm’s length distance from the Kinsman Robinson Galleries of Toronto, and Donald Robinson.
Whatever happened to that arm’s length thing about no connection to a business operation? Now Zemanovich, a stock broker, put as a director on the NMHS? A clear and documented intimate of Donald Robinson…
When this Zemanovich information was published, on March 30, 2013, on the Matulic blog, noting that Zemanovich had no real academic qualifications for membership, beyond being a stockbroker, a friend of Donald Robinson’s, and one of his enforcers, along with Mark Anthony Jacobson, the fall out was virtually instantaneous.
On March 30, 2013, within two hours of that fact being posted on the internet, the name of John Zemanovich was instantly removed as a Director from several official NMHS Director members’ web pages.
Somebody in this most secret of societies, apparently had the decency to be embarrassed… And ordered his name removed… like, instantly, late on a Saturday night…
Alas, in the days of screen grabs, you can run, but you can’t hide.
So in a real sense the books were cooked long before the fakes data picked by the Robinsons and Zemanovich was sent to the gullible and hapless Professor Wang. The professor became, and acted, the unwitting and unquestioning academic dupe.
Note: This kind of phony research happens regularly with Big Pharma, where test results are cooked, because by fudging the research results, they can make billions for themselves. So what’s a few deaths here and there; or a few paintings wrongly burned?
In fact Donald Robinson ensnared the gullible doctor by feeding him totally contaminated data in the Wangkr 16 fake pile.
Remember, but for an accident of history, the Holy Trinity authenticated “FISH & SOMA 1976.” would have ended up distorting the profile of Professor Wang’s “fake pile.”
Robinson Art Gallery Secrets Exposed – Which brings up the question: just what the hell did Donald and Paul Robinson select to go into the “fakes pile” for Dr. Wang?
What did they chose? And why did they choose it?
They have kept their selection process a tenacious Robinson gallery secret, for years.
Family secrets are fine of course, and they’re entitled to hide whatever skeletons they may have in their family closets.
But not when they are seeking to impose their family “values” on the entire world of Morrisseau paintings, on the art heritage of Canada’s top Aboriginal painter, and involve themselves in committing, what countless Morrisseau collectors and retailers charge, is cultural genocide on a massive scale, destroying in the process, millions of dollars of art value in the hands of their business competitors.
In a court case in Toronto, on Mar. 5, 2012 longtime art dealer, Jim White, claimed the total financial damage caused by Robinson and the Conspiracy Theorists is somewhere in the 100 million dollar mark.
What is pretty clear to me – knowing that but for an accident of history “FISH & SOMA 1976” would have been in the Robinson “wanker” pile – is that the Robinsons, father and son, probably included other genuine paintings – like “Fish & Soma 1976” – painted by Norval Morrisseau, in the so-called pile of fakes.
In fact I have not the slightest hesitation in saying that I believe all Wanker 16 paintings are original Morrisseaus, and is the reason why both Donald Robinson and the NMHS have been so feverishly secretive in refusing to let independent professionals look at what they call fakes, or publish any pictures of them.
That’s exactly like the police telling a small community that there’s a diabolical child molester in their neighbourhood, but they’re not going to tell you who he is, or publish his picture so you can be on guard for your children’s sake…
I believe both Robinson and the NMHS all damn well know the Wanker 16 are real too.
They’re just waiting to craft an exit strategy, from the biggest Hoax in Canadian history. Or as Donald Robinson called it in court, “the greatest fraud in Canadian art history.” He should know; he created it.
Canadians should be greatly concerned that one exit strategy which I believe is more than real is that the Wanker 16 will be burned to hide the evidence.
Aaron Milrad, Norval’s lawyer, is the apparent source in an article by Anthony Westbridge, of Westbridge Publications, in 2005, that “destroying” paintings they don’t like is a clear option for the members of the newly formed NMHS.
So clearly it sounds like Milrad, was prepared to give new members a can of gas and a match to carry out their mandate to “safeguard” Norval’s art heritage and keep it from being despoiled by “so-called” forgeries, you know, those picked by Donald Robinson.
Picked with the same expertise that caused him to call “Wheel of Life 1979” a forgery, a claim which Judge Martial totally dismissed, along with all the expertise Robinson marshalled to support his claim.
And just to cover their collective behinds, Milrad was making everyone who submitted paintings for evaluation, to sign waivers, to not prosecute or sue NMHS members for “destroying” paintings or mistakenly calling them fakes.
It’s indulging a passion for pyromania with paintings, without fear of consequences.
Garbage In=Garbage Out – Dr. Wang was clearly “used” – I would say “abused“ is more correct – to concoct a computer model that Donald Robinson then went on to claim that can now be used to tell fakes from authentic paintings. Dr. Wang’s report, totally fits the classic “bogus science” formula for computer modeling learned by every high school computer science class: Garbage In = Garbage Out.
Robinson would have you believe that any data that conforms to the “thin dress profile” is Oprah; anything that matches the “fat dress profile” is not her.
The trouble is that no independent experts of any kind were involved in making the fakes or the authentic selections. Donald Robinson and Paul Robinson alone, along with their complicit and compliant outreach workers in the NMHS – it was credited as participating in the hoax – cooked the books on this one, by agreeing what would go into the fakes pile, and what would go into the “authentic” piles.
Wang saw an easy way to make a buck and didn’t really press for details. His sole rationale for the Wangkr 16 fakes pile was a one-liner that said Morrisseau claimed the paintings were forgeries.
Wang did not confirm this, as any responsible academic doing due diligence would have. Norval had been dead for two years so Wang just believed Robinson. He had no way, or interest, in double checking on Robinson’s claims. Hell he wanted his lab work contract, and so he gave Robinson the two profiles, from the two piles he requested, no questions asked.
Shame on you Dr. Wang. We know of at least one person whose assets were financially damaged by Donald Robinson’s bogus science finding, provided by a gullible academic, and who has threatened to sue Dr. Wang and his university for malpractice.
With – we repeat again, but for an accident of history – data from the “Holy Trinity” authenticated “FISH & SOMA 1976,” and similar authentic paintings, would have been loaded into the Wang “fakes” profile.
The Wangkr 16 fakes, would have become the Wangkr 18 fakes, and would have confirmed that at least two – I firmly believe all 18 – would have been authentic Morrisseaus, that had only one unhappy association: the Robinson family wanted them and their ilk to be gone from the art market that was competing with the paintings their family wanted to sell.
So, to me, the Wang study is exactly as reliable as the “Big Pharma” studies. (At least the ones that result in successful class action suits.)
In fact, on their website blog, Donald Robinson and Paul Robinson openly use and quote the Wang Report as if the good professor from the University of Pennsylvania had identified the forgeries, with academic (I say pseudo-academic) certitude, and developed a computer profile to help people tell real ones from fakes.
Now how’s that for a clear, gross, and absolutely dishonest and self-serving abuse of modern science?
Their blog publication is deliberate Robinson family corporate propaganda and intends to convince their readers by saying – in my words: “see an American professor has analyzed the fakes and says he can see a clear, scientifically measurable difference between the authentic and the fake Morrisseaus. So there really is academic proof the fakes exist.”
They don’t tell their clients about Oprah’s computer profiles; that she had both fat and thin stages or phases, with dresses to match each. Their claim: one is Oprah; the other is not…
“… 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
It’s a totally fraudulent use of a professor, of an academic institution, of the art of Norval Morrisseau, and flies in the face of the common sense of virtually everyone on the planet.
Entirely predictably, considering the travesty of the academic hocus pocus of what Robinson and Wang were involved in – one knowingly, the other just gullible beyond belief – they both hid their scientific data from independent researchers, and refused to publish photos of the front and backs of the subject paintings, neither the authentic pile nor the fakes pile.
Contrary to every rule of international academic practice, and every protocol of scientific research, the academic data on which the fake Wangkr 16 and the authentic Wangkr 19 profiles are based have been hidden from the academic community and from the Canadian public since 2009. Instead the crafty businessman and the gullible professor chose to engineer a huge cover-up of diabolical proportions.
Why would the Robinson family hide the research data from scrutiny by the Canadian fine art community and the Canadian scientific academic community?
Which is why “FISH & SOMA 1976” are so absolutely important in figuring out exactly what was in the “Wangkr 16” pile of Robinson “fakes.” But for a slight accident of history, both “Holy Trinity” authenticated paintings would have been buried in it.
I have absolutely no fear of saying, with a degree of certainly of somewhere around 110%, that the overwhelming majority – if not all – the supposed fakes embedded in Donald Robinson “Wangkr 16” profile were, in fact, authentic Morrisseau BDPs from the 1970s, that were signed on the back exactly like “FISH & SOMA 1976.”
And that’s why they have hidden them from Canadian scientists and independent Morrisseau researchers, and the Canadian public.
There can be no other reason.
In other words Dr. Wang’s fakes profile shows only which type of Morrisseau’s genuine paintings the Robinson family wanted the world to consider fakes (we already know what those are: 1970s style BDPs, most of which were in the hands of their business competitor’s in the secondary Morrisseau art market.)
And also – there’s another story here which we will address later – which paintings the Robinsons wanted the world to consider “authentic.” Were they Morrisseaus, or Burrowsseaus?
Needless to say, Professor Wang couldn’t tell an authentic from a fake Morrisseau, himself, unless you paid him and showed him how to make a finding… That’s his escape hatch…
Donald Robinson and the NMHS were credited with being on hand to help the good but gullible professor to reach the proper conclusion with his utterly ludicrous computer modeling profiles in how to tell a fake from a real Morrisseau.
The only proof that could possibly prove me wrong in all this is if Professor Wang released his 35 photos, the Wangkr 35 – both front and back – for independent scientific analysis – which he has steadfastly refused to do, for years, and I predict will never do, because he was paid, as a contract worker, to keep it all quiet. And publish only what the Robinson family and their fellow Conspiracy Theorists – Phillips, Hill et.al. – would allow.
Wang probably signed a gag order.
Wang will never talk, and so he can properly be accused of using his research and the name of his university to aid and abet the cultural genocide against Canada’s Aboriginal people.
Or, failing Wang’s disclosures, if the Robinson family releases its photos, front and back, of the fakes and of the authentic control group, for independent scientific analysis – which it will, also, never do because its reputation would never recover from the totally predictable findings.
Which leaves us with, well…
You know, “FISH & SOMA 1976” again… Their BDP first cousins, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, are all in that Wangkr 16 pile of fakes so jealously guarded from curious eyes, by Donald Robinson and his outreach workers at the NMHS… I guarantee, with a certainty of around 110%.
They can prove me wrong, in an instant… Just by publishing.
I’m not afraid for a minute that they ever will. They’ll burn the paintings or close the NMHS before that ever happens…
Which Dear Diary, is, as you know already, exactly why they have refused to do the right thing voluntarily in the many years since 2009, come clean, and publish their forensic proof for all Canadians to see.
Because they – no surprise here – the Robinsons and the NMHS were only involved in a business initiative to promote the Kinsman Robinson Galleries and the paintings it had for sale.
And to use Wang to cover up a corporate assault on their business competitors with a faux patina of academic certitude.
Note: The Wang Report was referred to as part of Donald Robinson’s “Wheel of Life Expert Report,” which Judge Paul Martial (in Hatfield v Child) so totally rejected as having no merit at all, on any level. Saying that the man who wrote it had no credentials on any level that the judge would accept as confirming some kind of expertise.
What Judge Martial, in effect, was telling us is that, if Robinson is so totally wrong – stridently calling a genuine painting like “Wheel” a fake – then what about his credibility when he calls the Wanker 16 fakes.
They’re from the same source, the same auction, the same pickers, the same dealers, and from the same Morrisseau period, and share the same writing on the back.
NMHS Academic Malfeasance Fiasco 2: Utterly Discredited Academics on the NMHS
There is no more discredited organization in Canadian history that I know of, which compares to the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society.
Its members – almost all gullible kaffeeklatsch urban white academic types, and a stockbroker friend of Donald Robinson – were thanked in the credits for participating with the Robinson gallery in the academic sleight of hand called the Wang Report.
They were willing participants in cooking the books, for the Wangkr 16, letting the Robinson gallery lead them by the nose, refusing to do due diligence themselves, to ascertain exactly what was in that “fakes pile” given to Dr. Wang.
Rather than using their brains, they buried their heads somewhere…
They – mostly of academic backgrounds – approved keeping the Wangkr 16 and Wangkr 19 research date secret from the Canadian public and worse, from independent scientific analysts.
They aided and abetted a small family owned and operated business into manipulating a trusting but gullible American academic into creating a totally fraudulent computer model which was then used to attack the secondary market paintings of their business competitors, over which the family had no other control.
The NMHS complicity in the Hoax of the Conspiracy Theory of thousands of fakes by umpteen forgers, and its willingness to be compliant was so huge, that Donald Robinson had no difficulty in turning over his “fakes pile” of paintings to the group for “safekeeping.”
He knew he could count on this group of KRG outreach workers to keep the compromising data secret from the Canadian public and Canadian academics.
It gets worse.
NMHS Academic Malfeasance Fiasco 3: Hiding Robinson’s Potter BDP Paintings
Far from only hiding the Wang data, the NMHS further increased its malfeasance by also refusing to publish photos of the front and back of the paintings Donald Robinson said he gave them (the Wangkr 16) to use as their own bench mark for deciding which Morrisseau paintings are authentic and which are forgeries.
This is utterly outrageous: one man’s art gallery decides which of the 10,000 Morrisseau paintings get recognized as real and which as fakes, all based on his corporate agenda for his family-owned and operated business.
More “garbage in; garbage out” manipulation by the Principal Morrisseau Dealer.
And the NMHS members have, for years, consistently secretly collaborated against Canadians to keep the “Wangkr 16” paintings secret.
I believe I know exactly why. And I have proof.
But for a small accident of history, the “Holy Trinity” authenticated “FISH & SOMA 1976” would at this very moment be in the possession of the NMHS, right in among all the other so-called fakes (the Wangkr 16) that Donald Robinson stored with them.
And Ruth Phillips and Greg Hill would be denouncing them both as Wangker fakes.
And I have not the slightest doubt, with the certainty of something around 110%, that the other paintings, also Robinson-sourced, the Wangkr 16, that they are using as a benchmark are signed on the back exactly like “FISH & SOMA 1976.”
That, far from having a benchmark of real fakes, the NMHS is, in fact, using genuine BDP Morrisseaus from the 1970s as the control group (the Wangkr 16) to attack BDPs which are mostly in the hands of business competitors of the Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
The NMHS “Wangkr 16” benchmark is used to weed out real Morrisseaus that the Robinson family does not want recognized by Morrisseau collectors, the Canadian public, forensic scientist, or Posterity, so they can continue to sell only their own “Robinson family brand” of Morrisseaus, or Burrowsseaus, whatever…
And the gullible NMHS has become the willing instrument that Donald Robinsons uses to carry out his destructive task.
NMHS Academic Malfeasance Fiasco 4: Greg Hill Rewrites History for Robinson
Greg Hill, of the National Gallery of Canada, as early as 2006, showed his willingness to be a compliant tool for Donald Robinson’s family business initiatives, probably hoping he wouldn’t get caught, as a top civil servant, for collaborating to promote the agenda of a private businessman.
No such luck; since some of us read…
Greg Hill is, currently, the Curator and head of the Department of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada. He was appointed just three months before Norval died. As an assistant curator, since 2002, in the NGC’s Contemporary (non-Aboriginal) Art department, he had set up the (frankly embarrassing) retrospective exhibition on Norval Morrisseau in 2006.
In the “Chronology” at the back of the National Gallery Catalogue for Norval’s retrospective show in 2006, Hill wrote a one line entry which he no doubt hoped no one could ever catch. Only one line, but it is damning for what it betrays, about Hill, his mind-set, and others…
“1991 – Kinsman Robinson Galleries is declared the exclusive representative of Morrisseau’s work as a result of an increase in the number of forged artworks appearing in the marketplace.” (“Norval Morrisseau: Shaman Artist,” p 179.)
This is a preposterous and totally fraudulent entry which is not referenced to any literature I’ve seen anywhere. It is also not what Robinson, or anyone else, has published anywhere else either. No documentation exists about it anywhere.
This is pure bumph either entirely invented by a mindless civil servant or perhaps whispered in his/her ear at a KRG kaffeeklatsch.
It seeks to establish fakes as a big problem in 1991. Which is absolutely, a bald faced lie, and a corporate machination and manipulation of the highest order.
Even six years later, when they could have “let it all hang out,” you know about all those diabolical “forgeries,” Robinson in his own book, “Travels to the House of Invention,” wrote only a couple of dismissive lines about fakes.
And Norval, in his own long article, in the same book, chose to write nothing at all… The truth in their own writings is incontrovertible: fakes were not a problem, to either of them, whatsoever in 1997. So how could they possibly have been, six years previously, in 1991, when nobody, anywhere wanted a damn Morrisseau painting at any price. Other than for $25 or $50.
In fact, Robinson published elsewhere, at the beginning of his “Expert Reports,” which he prepared to use to defame and devalue his business competitors and their art assets, that the reason Norval signed a contract with him in 1990, was Robinson’s convincing argument that Norval’s prices were so absolutely lousy everywhere in Canada, that he needed Robinson and his marketing plan to boost them…
We know Hill made up the totally fallacious entry; it’s his book. If Hill knew his Morrisseau stuff – which he clearly does not – he would have known what a preposterous lie he was publishing. That he agreed to write it shows what an absolute toady he is, allowing himself to become a willing tool in the hands of any corporate manipulator who flatters him.
He obviously had not read any of the literature available on Norval.
Who put him up to writing such nonsense? In fact into making up such a totally fraudulent entry? We’ll let you guess…
It was clearly academic malfeasance of the highest order. Trying to rewrite history that never happened, in order to try to influence events in our day.
It is a shameful deed to have done. For an academic of any kind. For a civil servant academic in a leading role at a top Canadian cultural institution, it is outrageous and should be a firing offense.
Demonstrably Hill is not a credentialed historian; Hill is not an investigative journalist. So he has no background that would teach him, or prepare him, in how to handle historical evidence or write factual information honestly or fairly.
When he clearly was in need of it, big time.
Hill is an artist. He is also of First Nations background.
Because he has allowed himself to be used by a small group of white men around Norval Morrisseau’s wheelchair, to help them commit cultural genocide against the art of Canada’s top Aboriginal artist.
His gullible, willing, and complicit partnership with the Conspiracy Theorists has destroyed millions in valuation in Canadian Aboriginal art. Just ask any gallery owner who specializes in First Nations art.
His gullible, willing, and compliant activities have destroyed millions in valuation among all Canadian First Nations art, as his irresponsible charges of forgeries has scared away, in panic, countless buyers who formerly loved to buy art by First Nations artists.
Nobody wants Aboriginal art when people like Greg Hill and his equally ill-informed partner in cultural genocide, Ruth Phillips, pontificate – entirely without credible, independently certifiable evidence of any kind – that the Indian market in Canadian art is shot through with thousands of forgeries.
Hill and Phillips’ unthinking support for malicious attacks by white men involved in cultural genocide of First Nations art is unforgivable.
And they do it – the racist Indian Agent, Duncan Campbell Scott*** would love them for this – because they commit repeated acts of cultural genocide in the face of some 70 forensic reports by three different top Canadian forensic scientists whose findings make it clear they are not only wrong, in what they claim, but malicious and defamatory, in persisting when the facts are in.
***Scott was the longtime head of Indian Affairs in the early 20th century (1913-1932) who promoted and supported the Indian residential school system towards cultural genocide in his attempt to “kill the Indian in the child.” We were not told this in school when we were forced to study and recite his poetry.
Hill is also the first Aboriginal person to head a curatorial department at the National Gallery of Canada, which has a long and passionate history of racist exclusion of art by Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples.
It is a cultural tragedy that the very first action he involved himself in is an act of cultural genocide on a parallel with the racist attacks that the Canadian government carried out against the potlatch art regalia of the Kwakwaka’wakw people at Alert Bay, BC in 1921.
Hill’s only defence is that – my words: “Hell, don’t blame me. I’m only an artist; I paint whatever comes into my head. And that’s how I write stuff too. That’s how I came to write that thing in the catalogue. I must’ve heard it somewhere so I thought, heck why not? Must be true. I had nothing else to write for 1991, so I said, Ok, let’s put that in there.”
Then again, Hill not being a historian just confuses his facts and dates which is common among amateur writers.
Again under Chronology, this time for 2001, he writes “Alleged forgeries begin to appear at auctions.”
So do the forgeries first appear in 1991, or 2001?
Either date is wrong anyway, because Robinson claims he started noticing the auction forgeries in 2000. What Hill meant to say, was that in 2001, Robinson first publicized his recent “discovery” that there were alleged forgeries at auctions. Using a gullible journalist who was every bit as malleable as Hill was.
Those are the correct dates, not that spurious entry for 1991, which Hill apparently put in for no other reason than to please a business associate.
Hill, of course, is a pawn, also in the hands of history.
When I lived in Africa as a teacher educator for two years in the 1960s, I read “Black Skin; White Masks,” Frantz Fanon’s study of the psychopathology afflicting intellectuals in post-colonial societies, of how, especially educated Blacks, because of inferiority complexes imposed on them by white institutions in which they try to climb the hierarchy, ape the values of their self-declared “betters.”
The National Gallery of Canada, has had a long and passionate racist history in excluding, the art of Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples from its corridors, as being unworthy of sharing wall space with Canada’s white artists.
Only in the 21st century has Canada’s premier art gallery come to accept the inevitable, that Aboriginal artists are every bit as worthy as non-Aboriginal artists, which every other art gallery and museum around the world has long accepted as normal.
The most damning indictment: that while the best art of white artist Tom Thomson is in the NGC, the best work of Norval Morrisseau is all in the hands of private collectors. As late as 2000, when Norval was effectively on his deathbed, the NGC had in its vaults only two minimal works by Canada’s top Aboriginal artist, neither of which it had paid for, but which were donated by two Canadians who were embarrassed by the racist exclusion from the premier art gallery of the nation.
The racist values of the NGC staff were so ingrained that no Aboriginal artist had ever had a show in Canada’s premier art gallery, neither Inuit nor First Nations.
The NGC, like Scott, relegated Indian art to the museums where “souvenir Indian stuff” is kept and displayed. Gallery officials had not considered Indian art as a living art, as practiced by white artists.
When the racist posture of the NGC could no longer be maintained against the clamour by outraged Canadian art lovers, and the knowledge that Morrisseau – Canada’s top Aboriginal artist – was in his death throes, and could die before they lowered its racist walls, its executives quickly arranged to mount a show.
In what I consider the worst case of elder abuse in Canadian history, they carted in Norval’s body for a show-and-tell in 2006. (Norval told Macleans’ John Geddes in 2003, that he didn’t care for that kind of public hoopla. Unlike his white business handlers who thought “a dog-and-pony show” was key to promote sales.)
So the government bureaucrats quickly seconded Greg Hill – remember he’s an Indian – to be reassigned from their “Contemporary Art” department to do the part-time job of mounting the Morrisseau retrospective.
It is in this hostile and racist bureaucratic environment that Greg Hill – landed in the job of putting a show together and writing a catalogue, not as much to celebrate Norval, but to help cover up the clearly racist a#$$ of the NGC’s history and total lack of expertise in Aboriginal art, let alone in Morrisseau art.
None of which – remember – they had in the basement for study. Ok, they had two that had been donated…
Hill hired Ruth Phillips, a Carleton University professor to write the covering excuses for the long racist history of the Aboriginal art exclusion at the NGC.
Hill and Phillips would become the driving force behind the NMHS, and become responsible for some of the group’s worst fiascos. All because of their far too cozy relationship with the staff of the Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
So get this, in 2006, the National Gallery of Canada:
– an institution which had, in line with the directive and government policy established by Indian Affairs Minister Duncan Campbell Scott, since the 1930s, shunned Indian art as being part of a useless and dying culture, fit only for anthropological study,
– an institution which had no background or association with Aboriginal art on any level,
– an institution which had no staff with credible knowledge on Aboriginal art on any level,
– an institution which had no knowledge base on Norval Morrisseau, or his art on any level,
– an institution which had never purchased Morrisseaus for its vaults which it could study,
– chose to prop up an Indian, Greg Hill, whose job descriptions was “contemporary” non-Aboriginal art, but had dabbled, off and on, in “Indian” art, as far as was permissible in the elitist white artistic community of the National Capital region, to quickly do a salvage job for a hugely disgraced national institution.
You know “Aboriginal Skin; White Mask.” Now where have we heard this before? Where is Franz Fanon when we need him?
The answer: post-colonial Africa in the early 1960s.
It took the National Gallery of Canada fifty (50) years to catch up to problems racist Africa dealt with in the 1960s… It was even way behind South Africa, with one of the most racist histories in the world.
In fact Hill’s huge “Chronology” gaffe is only the first of an unending list of acts of gross academic malfeasance willingly engaged in by members of the NMHS, all purposefully aimed at aiding and abetting the corporate and financial agenda of Toronto’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
NMHS Academic Malfeasance Fiasco 5: Phillips/Hill Railroading Browne & Witmer
On several occasions members of the NMHS have secretly carried out attacks on other paintings similar to “Holy Trinity” authenticated “FISH & SOMA 1976.”
In 2008 Ruth Phillips and Greg Hill were likely the NMHS members who gossiped to Dr. Jonathan Browne – an expert on dung beetles, but completely out of it on art – and his wife Dr. Julie Witmer, that their painting “Grandfather Speaks of Great Ansistral Warrior 1977,” for which they had paid $27,321,50 for, was a fake.
They caused the good doctor to roar like a wounded lion with a defamatory “MorrisseauBuyersBeware” website that made him dear to the hearts of the handful of Conspiracy Theorists. He pulled out all stops to dump “Grandfather Speaks” and other Morrisseaus he owned.
It was an utterly dumb move by the dung beetle doctor. It happens to the best of people when they don’t practice due diligence. In fact the stubborn doctor refused offers – you won’t believe this – from other collectors to pay to have forensics done on his painting.
“Grandfather Speaks of Great Ansistral Warrior 1977” was later proven, with DNA certainty, by Kenneth J Davies, a top Canadian forensic scientist, to have been authentically signed by Norval Morrisseau and by no one else. (See Browne v Bugera)
Thanks to the totally misguided kaffeeklatsch gossip from his friends on the NMHS who so grossly misinformed him, Browne lost a beautiful Morrisseau to a more knowledgeable and fortunate art buyer. And made himself look like a total dolt in the process.
The lesson: Browne should stick to dung beetles and avoid dabbling in Canadian art. And so should his incompetent advisors at the NMHS, (likely fellow Ottawa residents, Phillips and Hill) who had steered him so utterly and devastatingly wrong.
But hell, they were good at it… So they decided to stick to what they knew…
NMHS Academic Malfeasance Fiasco 6: Robinson/Phillips/Hill/ & Sabotage at Red Lake
In fact at almost the same time, in 2008, Ruth Phillips and Greg Hill were definitely responsible for having five genuine Morrisseau paintings belonging to Ugo Matulic removed from a large completed pictorial retrospective catalogue already printed to celebrate “Norval Morrisseau: the Red Lake Years.” The Red Lake editor of the catalogue said the Ottawa duo made her do it.
Donald Robinson’s blog had shown his hostility to Ugo Matulic. We assume Robinson was involved in steering Phillips and Hill, who have no standing anywhere in the Canadian fine art world, as Morrisseau authenticators of any competence at any level, to have this art removed as “forgeries.” They have acknowledged publicly, that Kinsman Robinson Galleries is the only acceptable authenticator recognized by the NMHS.
If you can believe this, at the unveiling of the new revised book, at Red Lake in early July, 2008, guess who came the two thousand kms to this utterly remote little town to gloat over their “burning” of the Matulic paintings?
Why it was none other than NMHS directors Ruth Phillips, and Greg Hill, as well as John Zemanovich – remember him; Donald Robinson’s associate in the Professor Wang fiasco, and a sometime NHMS director – and John MacGregor Newman, the Associate Director of the Kinsman Robinson Galleries of Toronto. How’s that for an arm’s length relationship they always pretend the NMHS has from KRG? And due diligence about authentication that you can trust?
And Matulic was sent an apologetic letter from the local curator with her sincere condolences for having “burned” his Morrisseau pictures from the book. As a courtesy, and a memento of what might have been, she sent him a copy of the completed first edition of the book which included his pictures on five pages. Before, burning the rest of the run.
It’s why we’re able to document in all its horror, the malevolent act of cultural genocide, with before and after pictures.
It’s just another, in a long list of sterling examples of how the NMHS and Kinsman Robinson Galleries collaborate to destroy the Morrisseau paintings in art collections they hate.
And work to terrorize anyone planning to publish a book on Morrisseau, into deleting images they don’t like. (See: Terror on Elm Street: the Elmwood Spa Book Launch; Picasso of the North: the Case of the Missing Pictures)
A justifiably angry Ugo Matulic, one of the most public-spirited individuals involved in uncovering the Morrisseau Conspiracy Theory, and practicing his usual due diligence, sent the five NMHS rejected paintings to a top independent forensic scientist and handwriting expert, to see if they were the fakes that the Robinsons, Newman, Zemanovich, Phillips, and Hill, AKA the Conspiracy Theorists claimed.
One painting was only signed with NM. Its forensic examination is pending the arrival of comparative original signatures from Norval, which will be completed by the end of 2013.
The other four alleged NMHS forgeries were proven, with DNA certainty, to have been authentically signed by Norval Morrisseau and by no one else.
Just another in a long line of, grossly incompetent at best – diabolical and malevolent at worst – calls on Morrisseau authentication by Ruth Phillips, and Greg Hill, and their Conspiracy Theorist experts at the KRG.
Their incompetence as Morrisseau authenticators and their level of academic malfeasance is truly staggering.
And utterly destructive of Norval Morrisseau’s – and Canada’s – art heritage.
NOTE: If you can believe this, in December 2010, Kinsman Robinson Galleries, which in 13 years of shouting about “thousands of forgeries by umpteen forgers,” has never, ever, taken a single forger, or seller of alleged forgeries, to court, launched a malevolent SLAPP suit against Ugo Matulic – the man who knew too much. The man who practiced due diligence to a fault, and was telling it exactly like it is, and was…
Targeting investigative journalists is every bit as important a part of the modus operandi of the Conspiracy Theorists, as is “burning” Morrisseau paintings they hate.
NMHS Academic Malfeasance Fiasco 7: Ruth Phillips
Ruth Phillips, who just cannot seem to keep her mouth under control, went public after Kevin Hearn launched his ill-considered lawsuit, egged on as CT Proxy #5 by Ritchie Sinclair, and his fellow Conspiracy Theorists.
Phillips, hankering for the media spotlight, pomposited in the Ottawa Citizen that there are lots of fakes out there.
“Art historian (Ruth) Phillips said that while she had no comment on the painting at the centre of this lawsuit, in general anyone considering buying a Morrisseau artwork should be cautious.
“There’s just no question that there are a lot of fakes in circulation. People should be very careful about buying his work.” (Ottawa Citizen, Nov. 3, 2012)
Remember, you now know the sole proof for the misguided professor’s irresponsible comments is the spurious Wangkr 16, and the discredited Robinson and his KRG.
Phillips pontificates in the national media on a subject she has no knowledge of; a subject she has repeatedly demonstrated gross incompetence in; a subject she has never produced any independently verifiable proof for…
It’s just the usual NMHS shorthand for “don’t buy paintings from anyone but the Principal Morrisseau Dealer, the sole authority in the world we, the members of the NMHS, recognize as a legitimate Morrisseau expert.”
The man she apparently emulates is Donald Robinson, the man who has made more false identifications of Morrisseau “fakes” paintings than any other person in the world, living or dead, including 90 alone at Randy Potter auctions, where he bid on that many different Morrisseau paintings, before later, suddenly and inexplicably, reversing himself and calling them ALL fakes instead.
The man who published five (5) forged pictures in his own Morrisseau book (identified and claimed as fakes by Ritchie Sinclair, a man whose expertise Robinson acknowledges in his Hatfield “expert report.”)
The man who published another Morrisseau painting wrongly oriented in the same book.
The man who first told respected Toronto art dealer Jim White the 23 paintings he had submitted for authentication, were “very fine” works, and to get them well insured, and then two weeks later, said they were all fakes…
The man who has received the worst rebuff as a fine art expert from a judge in Canadian history.
We could go on…
When this is all over I have no doubt that Robinson’s record for false “authentications” will top out at some 4,095 bad calls – including all Norval’s BDPs from the 70s which he calls fakes. Whatever the number it will remain, for all time, the worst record for bad calls by any “art expert” in world history. Bar none…
And in an earth-shattering rebuff to the small handful of Conspiracy Theorist fanatics, Judge Paul Martial, delivered the knock-out punch to their patron saint, Donald Robinson, utterly dismissing his self-professed expertise as totally compromised by self-interest, and repeatedly saying that he “rejected” Robinson’s call that “Wheel of Life 1979” was a fake, rejecting his expert report, his analysis of paintings, his analysis of the handwriting, colour and style evaluations, Morellian mumbo-jumbo, and his conclusions. Leaving the Principal Morrisseau Dealer without a shred of clothing as an art authenticator left to cover himself with.
It was the worst dressing down ever meted out to a so-called expert and his fine art expertise in Canadian – if not world – history…
And across Canada, hundreds of Morrisseau collectors, and owners of some 40 galleries selling First Nations art, celebrated that, at long last, the jig was up, the Hoax exposed. Wrote one gallery ower. “It appears that reason has returned to the Morrisseau market.”
And that’s the expert that Phillips and her cronies at the NMHS defer to… adjudicating what is a real Morrisseau from a fake, all based on a lot of paintings he supplied… (Can you see how Judge Martial (2013) and Justice Morgan (1996) both charged Robinson as guilty of a “hopeless conflict of interest?”)
The mind truly boggles at the academic incompetence and malfeasance that impugns every move that the members of the NMHS have made over the last eight years.
It is a stain on their individual credibilities that none of its members or the organization will ever recover from.
So much for what passes for academic excellence at Carleton University. One would not accept the kind of nonsensical twaddle Phillips engages in from an intellectually challenged undergraduate. Why should we accept it from a professor?
Just from whom does this mindless professor get her marching orders?
14 – “FISH & SOMA 1976” Make a Dire Prediction
NMHS Academic Malfeasance Fiasco 8: “Burn, Baby, Burn…”
I have not the slightest hesitancy, with a degree of certainty somewhere around 110%, that all the paintings the NMHS has in storage from Donald Robinson (the Wangkr 16) will disappear from the face of the earth, before they are photographed, front and back, and the data released to independent Canadian scientists for study.
It will be the result of a secret academic collaboration between the NMHS and Donald Robinson and his son, the only Morrisseau authenticators – if you can believe this academic outrage – in the whole world that the group recognizes.
In spite of the fact that there are numerous other dealers in Canada who have been selling Norval Morrisseau and other First Nations art for much longer than KRG. KRG only started to represent Norval Morrisseau from 1990 on, when Norval was long past his prime and in declining health and ability.
It’s my considered belief that this group of plotters cannot possibly allow the Wangkr 16 to be analyzed by any independent scientific expert, because – remember but for an accident of history – the Holy Trinity Authenticated “FISH & SOMA 1976” with their devastating DNA evidence, would be among them.
And prove that the NMHS and Robinson are actually destroying and burning, not fakes like they claim, but genuine and precious Morrisseaus that have only one problem: the Robinson gallery does not want them tp be recognized as genuine.
(A reminder: MBA 101 – seek to control the market by controlling supply and demand; kick paintings owned by others out of competition for sales.)
And would like to see them gone, yesterday…
Which reminds me of the dire warning Aaron Milrad confided to publisher Anthony Westbridge in 2005, you know the part where he said they had the intention of actually “destroying” some inferior works.
“… works submitted for authentication that turn out to be fake are not returned to the client, and many are even destroyed… you can be certain they will document each submitted work, thoroughly and watch the market to make sure it (the so-called fake) does not surface anywhere as an authentic Morrisseau work.” Westbridge Publications. 2000.)
Not only that, they were clearly intending to commit cultural genocide on along these lines.
Because Aaron Milrad made everyone who submitted a painting for assessment or authentication, sign a disclaimer that they would not sue members of the NMHS for making a bad call on a painting, or for not returning or for destroying a painting, all powers which the members arrogated to themselves.
Burn what you like; you will never get sued or punished…
Now, where are those ugly “fake” Morrisseaus that Donald Robinson brought in for disposal…
It is why in the eight years that the NMHS has possessed these paintings (the Wangkr 16) it has refused, with extreme tenaciousness, to release to the public any pictures of the front and back of the so-called fakes.
The reputations of Ruth Phillips, Greg Hill, Elizabeth McLuhan, Richard Baker, Carmen Robertson, Trudy Nicks, and Cindy Bromley, will never recover from taking part in what I consider an outrage of academic malfeasance that is unprecedented in world art history.
All pretending to be arm’s length academics, when they have proven in many ways, on many levels, and on many occasions that they are merely gullible, compliant, and willing outreach workers for a small Toronto family business which has long sought to control the art market in Morrisseaus by crushing paintings in the hands of its business competitors, and enhancing the value of its own Morrisseaus, or Burrowsseaus, whatever… that they are selling.
There is only one way to save their collective a@$$%s and they know it: destroy those damn Robinson BDPs before someone gets them and authenticates them, taking the whole group of NMHS academics down with them…
And so putting a long-deserved end to a Conspiracy Theory which should have been rooted out years ago, and end the worst act of Canadian cultural genocide by white people against the art heritage of Canadian First Nations, since the Canadian government tried to destroy the potlatch-related cultural paraphernalia of the Kwakwaka’wakw people at Alert Bay, BC in 1921.
I have stood a number of times on the beach at Alert Bay, near Vancouver Island, and contemplated where this egregious act of cultural genocide took place. And inside the U’mista Centre I saw where many of the repatriated masks that were not lost, destroyed, or sold, have been preserved, as a somewhat less malevolent white society has been forced to make amends for the racist acts of its predecessors.
The Government of Canada did not return the remaining art treasures until 2002.
By then many of them had been sold off to museums around the world by the Canadian government that stole them (by threatening to jail anyone who kept their potlatch artifacts, or participated in a potlatch ceremony.)
It is my hope that it is not too late to stop the aggressive racism associated with these multiple acts of cultural genocide against the genuine BDP paintings of Norval Morrisseau, which have become the special target of the misguided academics on the NMHS, the Robinson gallery and their business associates, Ritchie Sinclair of Toronto, Gabe Vadas, of Nanaimo, BC, and Bryant Ross of Aldergrove, BC.
They have all secretly collaborated to make Canada a lesser country than it once was… and to carry on a racist tradition of an assault on Canada’s First Nations art heritage.
“FISH & SOMA 1976” are a measure of all Canada will have lost if we allow historical patterns to repeat, and the actual and virtual destruction of Norval Morrisseau’s art heritage to continue.