***A wealthy, elderly female, Eaton family collector who was bequeathed a substantial collection of Canadian First Nations art, including genuine works by Norval Morrisseau, all of which she dumped at auctions.
UPDATE: Sep. 29, 2013
Morrisseaus Not Worth Stealing – Two top books on international art crime by Edward Dolnick do not even mention Morrisseau once, and show, big time, why international art thieves have never stolen a single Morrisseau and would never take one even if one was handy. Art thieves, claims Dolnick are not stupid; they steal art that is worth millions, often tens of millions. Not art the artist himself sold on the street for decades for peanuts, or less… for ten, twenty or thirty bucks.
“Elementary, My Dear Watson” – It stands to reason, that if no one – in the entire world – wants to steal the work of an artist like Morrisseau, why, by all that is rational, would anyone possibly want to forge the works of a painter whose originals are not considered worth stealing by savvy international art thieves?
So it follows then, My Dear Watson: how can there be any possible market for bad copies of original works which many wealthy collectors – like the Eaton lady – consider “shit,” and want to dump it rather than acquire it?
Morrisseaus Not Worth Forging – More damningly, Dolnick also makes abundantly clear why no mention has ever been made in any books on art forgeries – not in his book either – of even a single supposed forgery, or attempt of forgery, of the work of Norval Morrisseau.
And this even though a laughable Conspiracy Theory by a misguided art dealer – a motivated seller – and his business associates have claimed – without a single shred of independently verifiable evidence – that there are thousands of Morrisseau forgeries out there, created by a diabolical syndicate of lunatic forgers. Of the works of Canada’s top Aboriginal artist.
After reading Dolnick you are left with no way out, as a Conspiracy Theorist Fanatic, of maintaining any claims about so-called “thousands of forgeries by umpteen forgers.” Because according to all the tenets followed by ALL international art forgers for hundreds of years, it’s nothing but idiotic lunacy for anyone to even consider forging Morrisseaus. Let alone establish a “factory” to set up an assembly line to make thousands of his fakes… Or to claim that someone has set up a “syndicate” (claims lawyer Aaron Milrad) or a “group” (claims motivated seller Donald Robinson) to pursue such a lunatic endeavour.
The lunatic forgers are, supposedly, like Santa’s elves madly grinding out fake paintings – and bad ones at that according to Donald Robinson – by the hundreds, and thousands, when the artist, in fact, was notorious for giving away his ORIGINALS for sex, a bottle, groceries, room and board, a taxi ride, or ten, twenty of thirty dollars a pop… for decades…
One questions – at the very least – the possible motivation of people making such outrageous claims about a so-called “forgery factory” of the art of an artist who behaves like that?
Consider too that the only documented case of art forgery of Canadian art we have heard of (Quebec v Richard McClintock 2009) he forged only the work of artists in high demand in Quebec…
So, get it, yet, My Dear Watson? Art scarcity = ups the ante and demand = opportunity for forgers.
And don’t forget My Dear Watson! McClintock, was nailed by an art dealer who immediately cried wolf, had him arrested by the police, taken to court, found guilty by a judge, and punished by the justice system, after trying to palm off just 2 (that’s right folks, only two) forgeries…
Oh, and another thing, My Dear Watson, remember that McClintock was a very good artist, while Donald Robinson claims the so-called Morrisseau forgers are very bad artists and produce very bad Morrisseau art. So it should be a done deal, right? Finding a Morrisseau forger, and nailing him.
Yet, in spite of Donald Robinson’s tiresome bombast – parotted endlessly by Paul Robinson and John MacGregor Newman of the family owned and operated Kinsman Robinson Galleries of Toronto – on the KRG blog, to the mainstream media, and in court after court, he has spectacularly failed to identify and prove the existence of even 1 (that’s right folks, not even one) forgery or forger, in over 12 years of trying…
It wise to remember too, Watson, that Donald Robinson, his business associate Ritchie Sinclair, and the group of white men clustered around the Dementia-plagued Norval Morrisseau’s wheelchair in his final years, though they claimed there are thousands of forgeries out there, at all the finest art dealers and galleries in Canada, they have failed totally and absolutely in proving even a single Morrisseau (that’s right folks; not even one) which they allege to be fake, as a forgery in any court in Canada in over 12 years. Or to the satisfaction of any accredited forensic scientist and handwriting analysis expert.
Hell, and this is the result even when they had the choice of which fake to put before a judge and experts.
In fact every single scientific examination of their so-called fakes, by three of Canada’s top forensic scientists and handwriting analysis experts, has totally discounted their each and every claim, proving in over 70 (that’s seventy) individual findings, that the paintings are ALL signed, titled and dated by Norval – with DNA certainty – without a single dissenting finding among the trio, of even one work.
They found further that there are not even any artefacts present (hidden telltale signs or dribblings forgers inevitably leave behind) that would suggest a forgery, so ruling, further, that no one else could possibly have signed them.
Batting 1000 to 0 (THAT’S ZERO, FOLKS!)
Canada’s Top Forensic Scientists and Handwriting Analysis Experts 1000
Kinsman Robinson Galleries & its business associates
the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society 0 (Zero!!!)
Consider too, that as late as 1999-2008, hundreds of GENUINE ORIGINAL MORRISSEAUS were made available at an auction and bought up by scores of fine art collectors – including 31 by a slavering Donald Robinson himself – for merely hundreds of dollars each…
And he was on site, in person – not daring to send a gallery staffer, either his son Paul Robinson or his Associate Director, John MacGregor Newman with their inferior Morrisseau knowledge, to make an expert judgment and evaluation, and let them gamble with his hard-earned money. HE was the only one expert enough!
So Donald Robinson took the long drive to Pickering, Ontario, numerous times, so he could PERSONALLY check each and every painting in detail, front and back. He then offered the winning bid 31 different times on 31 different Morrisseaus, for 31 different paintings, paying out some $54,000 for the privilege of getting GENUINE MORRISSEAUS SO CHEAPLY.
And this when Norval had not been able to paint for years, his death was awaited at every moment and his prices should have skyrocketed…
The mind boggles that in this price climate, anyone in their right senses would possibly invent a Conspiracy Theory (born 2001 by midwife Donald Robinson) of “thousands of forgeries by umpteen forgers,” claiming this was the very period when the production of so-called fakes started.
Only in a cultural backwater like Canada could such a preposterous art HOAX find traction, as will become clear after you read Edward Dolnick’s books.