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“He has no formal training as an expert witness in handwriting analysis and his evidence is rejected.”
“Mr. Robinson’s evidence of Morellian analysis of the round versus elongated eyes in Morrisseau’s painting was confusing. His commentary on colour was also inconsistent.”
“The Court rejects his expert report and his conclusion that the Morellian analysis, style, colour, and provenance all pointed to forgery.”
“The Court finds that there is overwhelming evidence that Norval Morrisseau signed paintings in black brush paint.”
“… the painting “Wheel of Life” dated February 1979 is an original Norval Morrisseau …”
“The painting “Wheel of Life” is not a forgery. The Defendants did not misrepresent the authenticity of the painting.”
# in the most stunning landmark ruling in any Canadian fine art case ever, Judge Paul J Martial handed out the most total and resounding denunciation and rejection of the testimony – supposedly based on the claimed knowledge, expertise, and integrity of a Toronto art dealer – ever meted out to a supposed fine art expert in Canadian history.
Judge Paul J Martial had listened to Donald Robinson’s testimony for some three days, over a thirteen month period, had read his 89 page “expert report” calling “Wheel of Life 1979″ a forgery, and then had taken ten months to go over the evidence before making his totally decisive ruling sparing no words to effectively put an end to the biggest fine art Hoax in Canadian history.
Judge Martial fearlessly tackled, head on, virtually the sole support for the Hatfield/Sommer case, the self-declared expert, Donald Robinson, who publicizes himself endlessly on his corporate website and corporate blog, as the Principal Morrisseau Dealer.
Donald Robinson, you may remember, is the one who started the whole Conspiracy Theory about hundreds of so-called forgeries back in May 2001, when he made his wild charges for the first time for a journalist at the National Post.
In the 12 years since he has expanded his propaganda to charge that there are “thousands of forgeries by umpteen forgers” out there, all being sold by his business competitors.
In 2011 Robinson volunteered to show his proof in court on behalf of a Conspiracy Theory proxy, Margaret Hatfield, whom he and his business associate Ritchie Sinclair had convinced to go to court with her pension money to claim her painting “Wheel of Life 1979” was a forgery.
It would be the very first court case ever launched in Canadian art history by a member of the Morrisseau Conspiracy Theorists to attempt to prove a forgery. They used a proxy, getting a retired school teacher to use her pension to fund litigation, instead of funding a court challenge themselves.
In fact in over 12 years the Conspiracy Theorists have never taken a single forger or forgery to court. Not one…
Robinson and his acolyte and business associate, Ritchie Sinclair who introduced the two, probably convinced Ms. Hatfield that this was going to be easy.
A slam dunk. And though it might cost her tens of thousands of dollars in legal bills – money she could not afford to lose – no doubt they told her she’d get it all back when she won her case…
Hell, with thousands of these so-called forgeries “out there” Robinson ONLY HAD TO PROVE ONE WAS A FORGERY.
HOW EASY IS THAT?
Robinson wrote an 89 page “expert report” that he says took him six months to create showing his multi-level so-called “proof” that he claimed showed conclusively that “Wheel of Life 1979” was a forgery.
He had previously done another “expert report” for another court case (see Otavnik v Sinclair) seeking to prove “Jesuit Preist Brings Word 1974“ was a fake. Many of Robinson’s ideas and so-called proofs were recycled into the new “Wheel of Life 1979” “expert report.”
Judge Godfrey, who in the earlier case (see Otavnik v Sinclair), didn’t buy any of it, completely ignored Robinson’s first report, and refused to rule “Jesuit Preist” was a forgery, in fact assuring the Plaintiff, Joe Otavnik, and making a finding that his painting had not lost value of any kind as a result of what went on outside or inside the court. It was the judge’s way of saying the painting is authentic.
It was Judge Godfrey’s way of dissing the so-called proof of forgery documented by Robinson in his 114 page “expert report.” But the judge also told Otavnik he would very much like to have seen a report from a forensic handwriting analysis expert on the prominent signature on the back, which had not been commissioned.
(This was subsequently done; a top Canadian scientist confirmed with DNA certainty, that “Jesuit Preist,” which Robinson’s report said was a total forgery, was, in fact, authentically signed by Morrisseau, and by no one else. It confirmed Judge Godfrey’s support for the painting as authentic, and his sound judgment in ignoring the Robinson “expert report.”)
Now in Robinson’s second “expert report,” for “Wheel of Life 1979” there were no ifs ands or buts about Robinson’s claims of certainty about it all. Robinson swore, unlike professional forensic experts who only dealt in “DNA certainty,” he was made of sterner stuff than that. He said he was 100% sure “Wheel” was a fake. He put it all in his so-called “expert report.”
Then Robinson took the stand to display before the judge and the public gallery, all the documentary and analytical evidence he could muster to demonstrate and confirm that the painting was a forgery.
The court indulged him, big time. He was on the stand for three days. Judge Martial took lots of notes.
And all Robinson had to do, remember, was prove a single forgery, one of his own choosing, and not have to prove 4,000 fakes, which he claimed were actually “out there.” Though in the dozen years since he began spreading the rumours of fakes through a lazy and compliant media, he has never identified a single forger, and has not taken a single forgery to court or sued anyone for either making so-called forgeries or selling them.
Now, in May 2011, one forgery was all Robinson needed.
Everything was on his side to allow him to give it his “best shot.”
What could be simpler than that, to confirm the truth of his Conspiracy Theory?
A – ROBINSON’S CLAIMS – Robinson had several major claims or proofs of forgery that he boldly put forward.
The Stupid Forger – Alas, the Stupid Forger had certainly left his compromising DNA all over the back of all the so-called forgeries, adding not only:
- a huge Signature, but
- a Date,
- a Title in caps,
- a Copyright Symbol, and
- various additional distinguishing marks, and doing it all with
- huge strokes of a brush in black paint.
(Did the Stupid Forger not know that leaving all this DNA on the back of the painting is data that forensic experts and handwriting analysts love to feed on?)
In turn Robinson attacked each of these supposed “faux pas” by a “Stupid Forger” as a dead giveaway that “Wheel” and all other similarly signed BDPs, were lousy fakes.
He said the fakes were so obvious, so poorly done, so amateurish that even a beginner could spot them across the room. He didn’t explain how come then, both he and his son had bought some 31 of these alleged fakes for $54,000 and authenticated others exactly like them, on multiple occasions for Kinsman Robinson Galleries clients between 1999 and 2001.
All BDPs Were Forgeries – In fact Robinson claimed all “black drybrush signed titled and dated paintings” were fake; every single one of them. Totaling possibly 4,000 – by his count – or more…
And Donald Robinson held to this view, stridently, without a single qualifying word or phrase, as he took great pains on multiple occasions to point out to Judge Martial.
The Notorious KR-384 – The biggest bombshell in the courtroom, during the entire five days the trial was held was inadvertently dropped, when Donald Robinson went all out to try to prove that Norval never ever signed the back of his paintings in black drybrush paint.
As proof, Robinson stated, he had taken possession of 384 paintings belonging to Norval Morrisseau in 2002, and kept them at the Kinsman Robinson Galleries in Toronto, where they were shipped, from the west coast, presumably by Gabe Vadas, for “safekeeping” – Robinson’s word – for seven years, until after Norval died.
Robinson repeated ad absurdum how he had examined each one multiple times, over the years, had personally numbered them KR1 to KR-384, and that not a single one was signed, titled, and dated in black paint.
Robinson was clearly trying to pull the wool over the judge’s eyes.
As everyone knows, signing styles for an artist change with the passing decades. Morrisseau collectors suspected that with Norval’s horribly shaking hands it was not a good idea to have him sign the back of any paintings from the mid-90s on. People might very well ask: hey, if his signature is so shaky, how come the lines on the other side of the painting are so strong and firm?
Robinson also said all the other paintings – well over a thousand – he ever handled, were similarly blank on the back. He strategically – or was it dementia? – forgot to remind Judge Martial that he had multiple times (1999-2000) bought thirty-one (31) 1970s paintings which had been hugely signed with black paint on the back. And his son Paul Robinson had also issued multiple Appraisals for similar 1970s BDP paintings, as early as 1999 and as late as October 2001.
The “Safekeeping” Tactic – What the KR-384 bombshell exploded was not light on how and when Norval signed or didn’t sign his paintings, but raised the question what is all this moving twenty to forty million dollars worth of Norval paintings from British Columbia to the basement of the Kinsman Robinson Galleries in Toronto, for supposed “safekeeping,” as Robinson testified in court?
“Safekeeping” the $40,000,000 from whom? Lowlife thugs and B&E artists in Nanaimo?
Or was this a pre-emptive strike and an attempt to keep the paintings out of the hands of the Morrisseau family and their lawyer?
Here’s my take on why this is a bombshell.
For several years, the Morrisseau family had been trying to kidnap Norval from the clutches of Gabe Vadas, in Nanaimo, BC. In December 2001 they succeeded and took Norval out of the terminal care facility he had been stuck in by Gabe Vadas, and moved him to Thunder Bay where he was to remain under their control till sometime in the fall of 2002.
Gabe Vadas must have panicked big time to find that his meal ticket – for the past sixteen years – was gone. The family had kidnapped Norval. He guessed that they and their lawyer would strike next to grab all Norval’s possessions, especially all the hundreds of paintings Norval owned.
They had nabbed Norval out of his clutches… Was Gabe now intent to make sure they wouldn’t grab the paintings next?
I believe he shipped 384 of Norval’s paintings to Kinsman Robinson Galleries, allegedly for “safe-keeping,” but not from lowlife burglars, but so that neither the Morrisseau family, nor the family lawyer, could find them and grab them.
And of course with Norval spending most of 2002 in Thunder Bay – besides he was also mostly in la-la land at this time – I bet it’s likely he wasn’t even aware he was a multi-millionaire or that his paintings had been, ahem… moved, for “safekeeping.”
In fact in 2003 Norval told Macleans journalist John Geddes that he wished he had a few dollars so he could afford to buy some paint and canvas… The plaintive cry of a wheelchair cripple who was completely unaware that some $40,000,000 of his paintings were, at that very moment, in the KRG basement, having the backs being carefully examined by Donald Robinson, as he testified he did.
The $40,000,000 stash of paintings was still there in the KRG basement when Norval died. (Robinson kept them for another two years before he says he shipped them back to the west coast – we presume – to Gabe Vadas.)
And, as the press, the family, the lawyers all said, Norval died broke, leaving not a nickel, not a house, not a boat, not a property, not a bank account, not a painting to his children…
It would be very interesting to know whether this surreptitious moving of the KR-384 paintings to Toronto by Vadas and Robinson happened at the time that Norval was in Thunder Bay.
It raises the obvious question: was this huge stash of hundreds of paintings taken on a secret trip without Norval’s say-so or his knowledge?
So was “safekeeping” really to keep them out of the clutches of Norval, his family, and their lawyers?
And to preserve them for the man who had, for years, been exercising Norval’s Power of Attorney, and his business partner, the Principal Morrisseau Dealer, who presumably hoped to continue their longstanding business relationship, and a future lucrative partnership in selling the $40,000,000 worth of paintings for him.
How legal or ethical is any of that?
And furthermore, since family members say they ended up with nothing: who ended up with the $40,000,000 in paintings, all so carefully numbered KR-1 to KR-384…?
Black Drybrush – certain sign of forgery
“Q. Okay, the signature on the back of this particular painting from Norval is significantly larger, you’ll agree with me, than these handwritten signatures that you’ve analyzed in your report?
Q. Did you factor that into your consideration?
A. Certainly, certainly part of my experience that on the rare cases when Norval did sign the back of his paintings, never as large as this particular one, or any of the paintings like it.
Q. So correct me then if I’m putting it to you this way, Mr. Robinson, you don’t care about the handwriting analysis at all. You’ve drawn the conclusion that the signature on the back is inaccurate simply because it’s in dry-brush and black-coloured paint?
A. I could draw that conclusion. I didn’t in my report. I analyzed a number of factors but, including the handwriting methods and the initials and so on, but you could draw – I would certainly agree with your statement that almost all the paintings that I could see from the ’70’s that are painted in – that have a painted writing in the back and very large paint by a brush and paint are in fact forgeries.” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: Sep 1, 2011 p 22)
What Robinson was saying was, that without forensically analyzing the handwriting itself, just by looking at the black drybrush on the back you could identify some 4,000 paintings as forgeries.
Writing on the Back – never in black paint
“In twenty-eight years of dealing in Morrisseau’s art, I observed that Norval had rarely written anything on the back of any canvas, but when he did, it was always in pencil or ballpoint pen – never in black paint.” (Kinsman Robinson Galleries/Principal Morrisseau Dealer Blog – Aug 28, 2008, 2 a:m)
Robinson first made the above claims in the 2008 Kinsman Robinson corporate blog “Principal Morrisseau Dealer.” Now Robinson went on to restate his claims before the Martial court in 2011 and 2012.
“… the writing and printing in heavy black drybrush paint on the back of the canvas, alleged to be by the artist, is completely inconsistent with Norval Morrisseau’s practice.
“Morrisseau did not use drybrush paint to sign, title, or date his art in the 1970′s, or any other time.”
“As I said in my report Norval rarely, rarely ever wrote anything on the back of his paintings. He did do sometimes, but when he did it was always in pencil, pen or marker pen. And never ever have I ever seen one, nor have I ever known anybody to know one that has – was painted in – in black paint in the back. (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: Sep 1, 2011 p 33)
“Q. When he did write on the back of paintings, a title or a date, what did he – how did he do it?
A. He normally – he always did it in pencil, sometimes in ink, occasionally in marker pen. That’s the only ones I’ve ever seen. And I say – my estimate would be that he did this perhaps in maybe 10 per cent of the paintings he produced. This was not his normal practice.” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: Sep 1, 2011 p 35)
“MR. SCHILLER: Q. Bear with me one moment. You say on page 47 of your report, and you can look at it if you’d like, I’m quoting directly, “It is improbable, if not impossible, that Mr. Morrisseau signed any paintings…” in what you call, “DB” or drybrush writing. You stand by that; correct?
A. I guess I should refer to that page; 47?
Q. Page 47
A. Oh yes, okay; I’m with you.
Q. And you even said that earlier in your evidence in this proceeding when you were examined by Mr. Sommer.
A. Probably.” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: Feb 23, 2012 p 34)
This is very strange testimony from a self-styled world’s top Morrisseau expert who had spent $54,000 buying 31 paintings all hugely signed, titled, and dated on the back with black drybrush paint. At that time he had been an “expert” dealer in Morrisseau’s art for some 15 years.
And his son Paul Robinson, who runs Kinsman Robinson Galleries today, had signed Certificates of Appraisal authenticating many similar Morrisseau paintings, also hugely signed, titled, and dated on the back with black paint…
Dating – very, very rarely; never in black paint
And to make sure that he had not heard wrongly from Robinson, Judge Martial once asked him directly for clarification.
“THE COURT: I just have a question. Mr. Robinson, the paintings were never dated, were they?
A. “No. Norval normally did not date his paintings, and the bulk of these certainly were not dated. I can’t say for certain that none of them were dated, because we know he did occasionally, very, very rarely, but occasionally write a title on the back of the painting if it was, for example, particularly interesting to his family – and he may have in some cases written the date – but of course, well, it would never have been in black paint.” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: Sep 1, 2011 p 34)
Titling – not caps only
“First of all, the main difference right away is that Norval was never in the habit of – when he did title, he never titled using all capitals. He just didn’t do that. He would always use upper and lower case letters.” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: May 31, 2011 p 37)
Signature – never did it in black paint
“In answer to the question: did Norval sign his signature in English with brush and paint? He testified: “… almost never did it. Not to my knowledge have I ever seen it” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: Sep 1, 2011 p 22)” quoted (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p11)
Robinson said his knowledge and expertise in Norval’s handwriting proved a forger had signed “Wheel of Life 1979.”
Robinson said it made him 100% certain that “Wheel” was a forgery.
ADDITIONAL ROBINSON PROOFS OF FORGERY:
Robinson Claim: His Expertise in Morellian Analysis Proved a Forger Painted Wheel - His Morellian analysis of the stylistic elements on the front of the painting, he claimed, proved it was not done by Norval.
Robinson Claim: Norval Said “Wheel” Was a Fake - Morrisseau had signed an Affidavit of Forgery – in the fall of 2004 – to which was attached a list on which the painting was named as a forgery. The validity of all Norval’s affidavits gained their entire power because attached to the hip to them all was an important Conspiracy Theorist claim.
Robinson Claim: Morrisseau Had Total Recall – Robinson had for years, repeated that Morrisseau had total recall of 10,000 paintings which he had painted over some 50 years. He had first crossly insisted on this to Murray Whyte of the National Post in May 2001, when he snapped at the journalist that it was “preposterous” for him to suggest that it wasn’t so.
It was always the claim of Norval’s papal infallibility in remembering everything he ever painted that was the only basis for credibility in these Affidavits of Forgery which were sent out to all Donald Robinson’s major business competitors from 2003 to 2005.
Robinson Claim: His Business Competitors are Fraud Artists – Robinson claimed he alone spoke the truth, and was testifying for altruistic reasons, that the other Morrisseau art dealers were all lying, and knowingly involved in fraud to cover up the fact they were selling fakes to the public.
“Q. (Brian Shiller) And do you believe that the actions of Artworld of Sherway along with Jim White, who was the consignor of the painting, amount to some form of fraudulent scheme?
A. I certainly do.
Q. And you believe that Donna Child is involved in that fraudulent scheme?
A. Yes.” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: Feb 23, 2012 p4)
Robinson Claim: All Randy Potter Auction Paintings are Forgeries – Since “Wheel” came from Randy Potter’s auction, it was forged like all the other Morrisseaus sold at that auction.
“Mr. Robinson based his opinion of forgery since a large number of the paintings came from Khan Country Auctions. He observed Mr. White at Khan Country Auctions buy a large number of paintings. That he agrees that all the paintings from this auction are forgeries. “They certainly are!” he said.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p10)
B – The Testimony of the Defendant’s Witnesses
Numerous sworn witnesses, including dealers, collectors, and family members, came forward to say that what Donald Robinson was saying was a “lie.” They testified, under oath, that they had seen Norval sign his paintings, many times in the 1970s and 80s, exactly like Donald Robinson claimed the “Stupid Forger” had done.
- Robinson said, “They are all lying, absolutely. They’re complicit in this whole scheme.” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child Sep 1, 2011 p24)
Sworn affidavits were produced from another collector who had seen Norval sign his paintings this way in Thunder Bay back in the 70s.
Dr. Atul K Singla, one of Canada’s top forensic scientists, and handwriting analysis experts said, with DNA certainty, that Norval, and no one else, had signed the back of “Wheel of Life 1979,” and not some “Stupid Forger.”
- Robinson said forensic scientists are scared to say they are 100% certain of their findings because they always are in doubt about the claims in their reports. (Anyone who has actually studied statistical analysis knows that statements claiming 100% accuracy are unscientific nonsense including with DNA, and even finger prints. It’s all about extremely high degrees of probability.)
- Robinson also said these highly educated forensic experts – Dr. Singla has an M.A. and a Ph.D in forensics, as well as numerous supplementary diplomas – are paid to produce results the client wants to find, so they essentially fabricate their reports to make money. (Unlike Donald Robinson, of course.)
C – The Martial Judgment: General
After listening to all this over five long days of testimony, over some 13 months, Judge Martial privately reviewed the hundreds of pages of documents and court transcripts for some ten months to analyze the case alleging forgery.
On March 25, 2013, Judge Martial published his ruling.
The Martial Judgment: Specifics on Authenticity
In his prefatory remarks Judge Martial stated: “An expert witness has the obligation to be truthful and objective in all of his testimony.” and “The Court will assess the credibility of all witnesses in the normal course.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p9)
Expert Witness – “Mr. Robinson was qualified as an expert witness on the valuation and authentication of Norval Morrisseau, the artist. He was not qualified as a handwriting expert.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p6)
Morrellian Analysis - “Mr. Robinson would examine a tiny part of the painting and by examining the tiny details proof of the forgery would be revealed. In his opinion the painting entitled “Wheel of Life” was nowhere an exact copy and nowhere a good fake due to inconsistencies in the style.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p7)
Style - Robinson testified that the style of the paintings is not typical of Morrisseau.
Signature on the Back – “He testified that there was never large black drybrush paint on authentic Norval Morrisseau paintings. Whenever Norval Morrisseau signed he used a regular brush. The dry brush technique is to dip a brush in a jar of paint, wipe most of the paint off and use it to produce a signature. He testified that the back of the “Wheel of Life” painting has a dry brush signature so that it looks old and faded which is typical of 1970s fakes.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p8)
Judge Martial restated the evidence in his judgment. “Robinson testified that during the time that he represented Morrisseau exclusively which was for 19 years that not one painting had writing on the back in paint and brush.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p10)
“On cross-examination, Mr. Wilfred Morrisseau testified that some eighty percent (80%) of the paintings were signed on the back with black paint. More importantly that he saw his brother sign with his own eyes.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p23)
Title - “He (Robinson) stated that Morrisseau never painted using all capital letters in his titles, He would use upper and lower case letters.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p8)
No Proof of Forgers – Judge Martial wrote and quoted directly from the transcripts: “Although Morrisseau told Mr. Robinson the names of the persons involved in the forgeries. Mr. Robinson did not write them down since he had no evidence to back up his claims.
“A. Well, I didn’t write them down and I had no evidence whatsoever to back up his claims. He did mention people, apprentices. So I didn’t do anything with them because I had no, no evidence and no reason to believe – I had nothing to back him up. (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child Feb 23, 2012 p52)” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p13)
Unreliable Authentication by Robinson – “He (Robinson) also agreed that even he himself had difficulty assessing the authenticity of Morrisseau paintings around 1999-2000.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p12)
Though at the time Robinson was prominently going around telling people he was the world’s top Morrisseau expert, the “guy who wrote the book on Morrisseau,” etc., he admitted to Judge Martial he was at the time, about a 10% expert compared to what he is now…
Unreliable Authentication by Morrisseau – And Robinson agreed Norval was also unreliable. “He testified that he observed Norval Morrisseau himself having difficulty telling whether or not his own painting was a fake.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p13)
“The Court concludes that authentication by the artist himself was at times incorrect.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p13)
“The Court finds it highly irregular that Morrisseau the artist himself was unable to identify his own art. Mr. Robinson testified that he would not be surprised that Morrisseau would sign a certificate of authenticity to make someone happy as stated by Christian Morrisseau in a blog. This raises even more doubt in the view of the Court as to the reliability of Morrisseau.
Mr. Robinson farther testified that he agreed that Morrisseau was unpredictable in general.
“Mr. Robinson also agreed that Morrisseau could have had memory problems during the years 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and certainly in 2007.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p14)
D – JUDGE MARTIAL’S FINDING:
On BDPs – “The Court finds that there is overwhelming evidence that Norval Morrisseau signed paintings in black brush paint.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p36)
It was an utterly stunning finding, completely knocking the central pillar out from under Donald Robinson, and the main “proof” claimed (or invented) by the Conspiracy Theorists.
In fact three different top Canadian forensic scientists and handwriting analysis experts had, over the past several years, confirmed that some 70 different paintings, claimed to be forgeries by Donald Robinson, had been, in fact, authentically signed by Norval Morrisseau, with DNA certainty, and that no one else could have done it. Without a single failing finding.
Judge Martial was merely confirming what had been established by scientists who were experts in their field, not amateurs like Donald Robinson and his business associate, Ritchie Sinclair.
It was Norval’s way of speaking from the grave, having left his DNA, big time, on the back of thousands of his 1970s paintings.
So it was Norval himself, who decisively dissed Donald Robinson’s claim, not just Judge Martial.
Furthermore Judge Martial also noted, “It was his (Robinson’s) opinion that paintings from the 1970′s were rare.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p9)
By his finding that there was “overwhelming evidence” that BDPs were genuine Morrisseaus, Judge Martial liberated literally thousands of Robinson-vilified Norval’s 1970s paintings as being authentic which they were all along. They are all from the very period from when Wolf Morrisseau had testified it was he who had instigated the whole thing of prominently signing, titling and dating the paintings in black drybrush paint on the back to help international sales in the 70s.
Many experts say the 1970s was Norval’s most prolific period, and the only reason Robinson said the paintings from then were rare, was because he called them all forgeries. In fact he had seen hundreds of them at Randy Potter’s auction; he had bought 31 of them himself; his son Paul had given Appraisals for many others.
In fact I believe an art terrorist or Conspiracy Theorist campaign had created this huge hole in Norval Morrisseau’s catalogue raisonné when his genuine paintings were defamed as fakes. (See the Case of the Missing Paintings.)
Judge Martial put a resounding end to these utterly spurious claims.
What does that say about Donald Robinson who said he was overwhelmingly certain that Norval never, ever signed his paintings this way?
What does that say about his reliability as a Morrisseau authenticator?
What does that say about the reliability of the Kinsman Robinson Galleries label on a painting?
What does that say about the reliability of a Kinsman Robinson Galleries Certificate of Appraisal, or Authentication?
On Norval’s Affidavits of Forgery – “His (Robinson’s) testimony coupled with the testimony of other witnesses of Morrisseau’s Parkinson’s disease raises a significant doubt of the reliability of the statutory declarations… No expert testimony of capacity was proffered by the Plaintiff on such a key issue.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p36)
Judge Martial dealt a virtual death blow to any kind of reliability of the so-called Morrisseau Affidavits of Forgery, sent to many of Kinsman Robinson Galleries main business competitors from 2003-2005, and “bearing” Norval’s signature.
(A most curious fact emerged: no one had ever received an “original” affidavit; all were photocopies, which caused one forensic expert to say that it looked like a “cut and paste” job to him. Neither the Court nor Jonathan Sommer had originals either. The whole court case was based on a Xerox copy of Norval’s supposed say-so…)
Judge Martial chastised the Plaintiff’s legal counsel, Jonathan Sommer, for not providing a witness who could prove to the court that Norval was of sound mind and body when he supposedly signed his Affidavits. (they bore his signature)
It left the clear impression that Sommer did not because he could not. And he could not because Norval was not. As, in fact, many people who saw him at the time said; Norval had “left the building” years before, and was only momentarily – for minutes at a time, his brother Wolf testified – in touch with this world before he drifted off into his…
So much for all those Affidavits of Forgery all signed in 2003-2005, when Norval was clearly mentally gone…
On Robinson’s Self-professed Handwriting Expertise – In one fell swoop Judge Martial dismissed Donald Robinson’s self-professed expertise in handwriting analysis on the back of the paintings, or his syllabic examination on the front.
“Mr. Robinson was qualified as an expert in the area of valuation and appraisal. His testimony however overlapped into the area of handwriting and included an analysis of syllabic and English handwriting, areas for which he was not qualified.
“He has no formal training as an expert witness in handwriting analysis and his evidence is rejected.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p36)
It was another stern rebuff to Donald Robinson who claimed he was an expert in the handwriting of Norval Morrisseau.
All, of course self-taught, possibly from email or internet courses. Robinson’s degree is in electrical engineering; he has no credentials in art, fine art, handwriting analysis, or forensics, or even in any related fields.
No wonder Judge Martial dismissed and “rejected” his self-declared expertise.
On Robinson’s Other Testimony – Judge Martial dismissed Donald Robinson’s testimony and so-called expert report” as little more than a business tactic to corner the market and jack up prices for their gallery against the flood of Potter auction paintings.
“The Court finds it obvious that Potter would be seen as a significant competitor.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p6)
“Mr. Robinson’s evidence of Morellian analysis of the round versus elongated eyes in Morrisseau’s painting was confusing. His commentary on colour was also inconsistent.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p12)
“Mr. Robinson also testified as to his personal dealings with Morrisseau paintings. It was his view that there were a large number of forgeries. It was also clear that his personal views and business interests conflicted with his professional opinion since it was in his interest along with Mr. Vadas to maintain the price of Morrisseau paintings which would not otherwise be the case if the market was flooded with paintings sourced from Potter auctions.
“The Court rejects his expert report and his conclusion that the Morellian analysis, style, colour, and provenance all pointed to forgery.” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p38)
Forgery or Not? – “After a careful consideration of all of the evidence, the Court finds that on the balance of probabilities that the painting “Wheel of Life” dated February 1979 is an original Norval Morrisseau and undoubtedly one of his most notorious paintings.
“The painting “Wheel of Life” is not a forgery. The Defendants did not misrepresent the authenticity of the painting.
“The Plaintiff’s claim is dismissed with costs fixed at $1,500.00” (Judgment by Judge Paul J Martial: Mar 25, 2013 p38)
Conclusion and Implications for Canada and Canadians
Judge Martial’s finding is total, absolute, and incontrovertibly decisive in all respects.
He courageously chose to come out swinging, when he could have hidden behind a judicial fog of indecision.
He is clearly a Great Canadian Cultural Hero for making the record clear about the biggest Hoax in Canadian fine art history that has damaged Canada’s art heritage for the past thirteen years.
And, in no uncertain terms, blew the entire Conspiracy Theory put forward by Donald Robinson and his business associates out of the water.
Judge Martial did the job a lazy, compliant, and complicit pool of journalists, whose job this should have been all along, utterly failed to do. Over some twelve years one gullible journalist after another just played along with the Hoax, just too lazy to do the research, to follow the evidence trail, to practice common sense, preferring just to take the easy way out with a story, in their eagerness to chase another shallow deadline with another superficial article.
Robinson was given some three days to testify, and had to prove only one painting – out of some 4,000 so-called forgeries he claimed existed, that he could have picked from – was a forgery.
Paintings he called ludicrously poor forgeries and easy to debunk. Yet he failed spectacularly, with his own choice, his own proof, on his own turf.
To the diehard Conspiracy Theorists, Judge Martial offered not a single float or life preserver of any kind, to aid the sinking Plaintiffs, anywhere in his 39 page judgment.
Judge Martial effectively put an end to the worst Hoax in the fine art history of Canada.
A Hoax that had destroyed millions in the fine art valuation of the art of Norval Morrisseau, Canada’s top Aboriginal artist.
A Hoax that had devalued, overall, the artistic heritage of ALL Canadian First Nations artists.
A Hoax that totally destroyed or hugely damaged numerous reputable Canadian fine art retailing businesses.
A Hoax that has destroyed some $40,000 of a retired little old lady’s pension.
A Hoax that sent some $200,000 of other wronged victim’s legal costs down the drain as they sought to protect themselves, their businesses, their paintings, and their livelihood, from malicious and defamatory attacks by diabolical Conspiracy Theorists.
(NOTE: With none of the main proponents of the Conspiracy Theory spending even a dime, beyond a subway token to go the the courthouse to give their testimony.)
A Hoax that contributed – significantly, I am certain – to the premature death of at least two people, including Globe journalist Val Ross, and Michael Moniz, the successful litigant who won a historic out-of-court award of some $25,000 from CTVglobemedia for defaming his authentic Morrisseau painting, purely on the wrong-headed say-so of Principal Conspiracy Theorists Aaron Milrad and Morrisseau companion Gabe Vadas.
Only a couple of weeks before he died I talked to Michael Moniz in a courtroom foyer. It was only the second time I had ever met him or talked to him. He told me that the attacks by the Conspiracy Theorists and their forgery accusations had taken a huge personal toll on him, his family, his business, and the stress – he was set to testify – was almost unbearable, with no end in sight.
Two weeks later, he was dead at 48, of a stroke, and I was attending his funeral paying my respects to a man who had done more than most to fight the Hoax that had destroyed so much of Canada’s fine art heritage. It was a fight which I am certain, helped to shorten his life.
The sordid “butcher’s bill” of this Conspiracy Theory leaves only one question unanswered:
Just what were Donald Robinson and his son Paul Robinson thinking, in May 2001, when they started this whole Conspiracy Theory supposedly about “thousands of forgeries by umpteen forgers?” And which they have been promoting ever since on their corporate blog, Principal Morrisseau Dealer…
Joe Otavnik says farewell to Michael. In 2008 these two single-minded men had launched court attacks against Principal Conspiracy Theorists, challenging them to “put up or shut up” after they called Morrisseau paintings they owned forgeries.
Joe tackled no lesser a target than the artist himself, Norval Morrisseau and his business manager, both of whom folded like a cheap suit, refused to face a judge, and paid Joe off for defaming his painting.
“While lesser men stood back, they stepped up to the plate, and at great personal cost, challenged sacred cows in our society. Because it was the right thing to do…”
Canada is a better place because they did so…
Essential reading for those who want to know more about the relationships between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Canadians, and other factors related to the Morrisseau Hoax.
“I wouldn’t hang that shit in my house!”
A wealthy, elderly female, Eaton family collector who was bequeathed a substantial collection of Canadian First Nations art, including genuine works by Norval Morrisseau which she dumped at auctions.
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.
A LANDMARK COURT DECISION BY A COURAGEOUS JUDGE…
Hatfield v Child
A Huge Blow Against the Conspiracy Theorists
Another Body Blow to Donald Robinson as a Morrisseau Authenticator
Joe McLeod’s Sterling Reputation as a Credible Morrisseau Expert Re-affirmed
Judge Paul Martial has just given his decision.
In an open display of uncommon judicial courage, and demonstrating an intellectual rigor not shared by any journalist handling the Morrisseau file over the last twelve years, Judge Paul Martial laid out, in black and white, exactly how he saw the story, the witnesses, their “expert reports,” and their testimony.
Without a single qualifying word or phrase, he finds that “Wheel of Life” is an authentic Morrisseau.
“The painting “Wheel of Life” is not a forgery. The Defendants did not misrepresent the authenticity of the painting.”
He unequivocally rejects the “Expert Report” of Donald Robinson and rejects his analysis and conclusion that “Wheel” is a forgery.
“He has no formal training as an expert witness in handwriting analysis and his evidence is rejected.”
“The Court rejects his expert report and his conclusion that the Morellian analysis, style, colour, and provenance all pointed to forgery.”
Judge Martial found the following especially compelling and credible Defence witnesses:
- Joseph McLeod of Maslak McLeod
- Wilfrid Wolf Morrisseau
He preferred their presentation on the stand, and their testimony, in every way, to that of the Plaintiff’s Witnesses, Donald Robinson and Ritchie Sinclair.
He found that Ms. Hatfield, as the Plaintiff,
- loses her case claiming she was a victim of forgery,
- refuses to award her costs of $40,000 she asked for,
- refuses to overturn the sale,
- orders her to pay the Defendant, Artworld of Sherway, the $1,500 in costs the Defendant had asked for.
In line with what we had predicted many weeks ago.
To see why we had foreseen this:
The Conspiracy Theorists Lose Court Case Round #6 – “CT Proxy #4” Hatfield v Child – (Note: This was written before the judgement & is unrevised.)
The Perils of Internet Dating…
Prepping the Gullible Proxy
Judge Morgan Warning About Donald Robinson
The Secret Life of Mr. Smith AKA Robinson, Corporate Spy…
The Preposterous Mr. Robinson
Who stole the Missing $40 Million Dollars in Paintings…?
Hatfield v Child is the longest court case – five days over two years – that dealt with allegations of Morrisseau forgeries. The last testimony was given in June 2012; the judge has refused to dignify the allegations of forgery with a finding, or rule the subject painting a forgery, as of April 2013.
In 2011, the sixth Morrisseau-related court case came about when the Conspiracy Theorists convinced a little old lady, retired school teacher, Margaret Hatfield, to sue Artworld of Sherway, a highly reputable fine art gallery, for allegedly selling her a Morrisseau forgery called “Wheel of Life 1979,” in 2005.
This was now the fourth time (are you keeping count? – Norval, Ross, Browne… now Hatfield) that the Conspiracy Theorists decided to work through a naïvely trusting and/or helpless proxy, and get them to pay for the lawyers. Nice…
In fact – if you can believe this – Dr. Jonathan Browne, the dung beetle doctor, AKA CT Proxy #3, and fresh from his spectacular failure to have “Grandfather Speaks of Great Ansistral Warrior 1977” declared a forgery, as he was prompted to do by the Conspiracy Theorists (in Court Case #4: Browne v Bugera), decided to have another go as a Morrisseau authenticator.
Jonathan Browne, AKA “the Dung Beetle Doctor,” AKA Proxy #3, who lost a wonderful painting when he called a genuine Morrisseau a fake, and passed a little old lady school teacher straight into the arms of the Conspiracy Theorists. The experience has set her back some $40,000 in legal fees. Will he help bail her out with a donation?
The Perils of Internet Dating – He actually introduced Ms Hatfield, whom he’d met on an “internet date,” when she came upon his “Morrisseau Buyers Beware” website, to some of the same members of the group who had “advised him” so well two years before. He assured her they could do the same for her…
She became CT Proxy #4; others say, she became the second victim of elder abuse in this story.
But it is hard to feel sorry – impossible is a better word – for this first time fine art collector, because she – exactly like Browne before her – refused to do due diligence with independent experts, preferring instead, to swallow, and then repeat, a lot of utter nonsense from a few Conspiracy Theorists, they’d picked up on the internet…
And for allowing herself to be so easily manipulated by conniving collaborators, and involving herself in the destruction of genuine art by Morrisseau, and by association, that of other Canadian Aboriginal artists.
After all, all by herself, she got things off to a rousing start, when she testified, in one of the most idiotic statements – and that is saying something – to come out of the Plaintiff’s side:
“… I knew I was looking at something that I could not ignore because here was an artist saying, “I did not paint these paintings” and he is calling out, you know… he’s calling out as saying, “These are not by my hand” and I knew…
“Now why would an artist deny what he had produced? Why would an artist turn against the work of his hand, and… the quote from Isaiah came to my mind at the time, ‘And does a mother forget her baby or a woman the child within her womb? Yes, even if these forget I will not forget. I have carved you in the palm of my hand’ and that is the quotation from that hymn that went through my mind. I thought the artistic process is certainly the equivalent of giving birth. Why would Norval Morrisseau turn against his own work and say, “I did not paint this”? (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: May 31, 2011 p 13)
In fact, the very well known historical truth is that Norval was probably – my call – the worst Deadbeat Dad in Canadian History. And I am restrained, considering what else I know. (Much more on this to come.)
But, in short, what is incontrovertible is that two months before he died Norval completely disowned every association with every one of his children in a formal document. When he died his family went on the record in the media to state that their Dad had left them not a painting, not a property, not a bank account, not a cent…
Nothing… zip… nada… In a note supposedly signed with his own dying hand on Oct. 3, 2007.
So there, Ms. Hatfield! And your Biblical quote… And knowledge of Norval…
So to invert Ms. Hatfield’s metaphorical malaprop, if a Father could so completely disregard the most fundamental moral and ethical standards of our society – that, according to Ms Hatfield, no parent would do; or Judas deny Christ – and in fact, like Norval for decades, repeatedly abuse, ignore, abandon, and finally formally disown his own flesh and blood, how can anyone possibly believe his sudden truthful signature on a simple forgery allegation document?
A document that could, with his simple signature, help make him, or his “manager” Gabe Vadas, a ton of money, at a time he was utterly vulnerable as a poverty-stricken invalid, and feared being tossed on to the street as an indigent…
The Don and Ritchie Show Performance #2 - Ms. Hatfield recruited the same two Conspiracy Theorists, Donald Robinson and Ritchie Sinclair – or they recruited her? – who had performed as the unsuccessful tag-team against Joseph Otavnik in his Otavnik v Sinclair case in 2010.
They joined forces again – hopefully better prepared with a more successful act – for the second time, to try to supply the elderly lady with proof of her alleged forgery. They were her only witnesses, getting the retired old teacher to fight their fight for their Conspiracy Theory, but by spending her own paltry pension money to do it.
Nice… And not small potatoes either; at the end of the trial her legal bill would total some $30-40,000 and counting…
Naïve Proxies are great for the Conspiracy Theorists, because, in gullibly becoming puppets they can be inveigled into believing, and repeating on cue, on trust alone, absolutely outrageous invented stuff of which they have absolutely no knowledge.
Prepping “Conspiracy Theory Proxy” #3 – Ms Margaret Hatfield – Sinclair and Robinson had clearly done a job, beforehand, on prepping the naïve elderly lady, which became clear when an overly polite Defence Counsel, Robert Dowhan, asked if she had done due diligence with the people who had authenticated “Wheel of Life 1979.”
He was referring to the most experienced Morrisseau expert of all, Joe McLeod, of Toronto’s esteemed Maslak McLeod Gallery. McLeod had been involved personally with Norval Morrisseau and his art since 1960, remains close to Norval’s children over 50 years later, and had signed one of the two Certificates of Appraisal for “Wheel of Life 1979.”
Ms. Hatfield, visibly and vocally, bristled instantly, under questioning by Dowhan.
“Q. And do you know that Mr. McLeod is an expert on Morrisseau art?
A. Yes, I understand that he has been recognized as an expert on Morrisseau art.
Q. So you have a certificate from a… recognized expert…
A. Yes, I do.
Q. …and you don’t even call him to inquire as to what the…
A. No, I don’t. (She barked this out – my call from 15 feet away.)
Q. …issues are? Okay.
A. I definitely don’t.” (Court Transcripts: May 31, 2011 p 32)
Ms Hatfield testily snapped before Deputy Judge Paul J Martial, that she had good reason to not do due diligence with the people who had originally authenticated her art.
“I had found out from Mr. Sinclair that Mr. McLeod was involved in the forgery as well as in their distribution. I certainly did not contact him.” (Court Transcripts: May 31, 2011 p 32)
It’s called “massaging a gullible proxy.”
Informed observers would say that Sinclair openly lied to the elderly lady, to clearly try to mislead her, into his way of thinking and promote his well-known malicious agenda against over 1,000 Morrisseau paintings, 99% of which he has never seen or examined.
Many saw this is a clear case of elder abuse, to manipulate a gullible and vulnerable older person who trusted him totally, and was willing to go to court with her money to advance his own long-standing personal vendetta against McLeod in particular, and his fellow Morrisseau dealers generally.
TRIAL HIGHLIGHT #1: The Expert Witness Fiasco
Introduction to the Debate
An expert witness in a court is supposed to be a cut above the other witnesses, an above-the-fray expert, whom the judge can rely on to give untainted, uncompromised, and reliable, usually technical kinds of information. He is supposed to be an arm’s length expert, independent of both Plaintiffs and Defendants.
The Hatfield Plaintiffs, knowing they had a whole slew of top witnesses testifying against them, intended to elevate one of their own two, Donald Robinson, to expert witness status, and so hope to give them a leg up on the competition.
For transparently obvious reasons, knowledgeable observers in the public gallery, as well as the Defence, were opposed to Robinson being given “expert witness” status, because he clearly did not qualify on any level for that special status.
Demonstrably, he had a well-known reputation in the media, and demonstrated in other trials, that:
- he was a passionate partisan in the matters before the court,
- he had spent six months preparing an “expert report,” for free, to supposedly prove that the painting, “Wheel of Life 1979,” which he was defaming, was a forgery,
- he was an aggressive business competitor of the Defendant,
- he had personal, family, and business financial interests in promoting his family-owned and operated Kinsman Robinson Galleries, and the Morrisseau paintings they wanted to sell,
- he had millions of dollars at stake in the outcome of the trial,
- he was involved in initiating in 2001 the first declaration of forgery, and expanding, from 2003 to 2005, a Canada-wide attack with his business associates, who were sending out numerous Declarations and Affidavits of Forgery to his business competitors, the other leading sellers of Morrisseau paintings, accusing them of knowingly selling fakes,
- he was long involved in making and spreading in the media and to academics, wildly unsubstantiated charges about thousands of forgeries by umpteen forgers, not a single one of which he had ever produced a single piece of independently verifiable proof for,
- he scoffed and sneered at the Canadian forensic science community, saying they were only doing it for money. That he alone acted from pure motives…
Others might say Robinson was acting according to MBA 101: manipulate supply and demand in the market place, by trying to convince the public that all your competitor’s paintings are fakes, and only yours are reliable and genuine; and knock out the competition by destroying the competitor’s reputation.
Quite obviously the only alternative, for getting market share, would have been to improve the quality and amount of their own product line. But with an artist in huge physical and mental decline after c 1994, that was not an option they could pursue, unless they could get some sub-contract painters to straighten out his wobbly and shaky lines, and extend his wheelchair restricted sketch sized panels to wall-sized behemoths…
The Expert Witness Fiasco – A Blast from the Past 1996
Justice Morgan’s Warning Haunts the Martial Court
Judge Paul Martial granted “expert witness” status to Donald Robinson, solely because he had appeared in a tax court case – Whent v Canada 1996 – many years before. Robinson became involved in a tax case where the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) had protested the unwarranted and extremely high valuations on donated Morrisseau art claimed and deducted by the Whent group of lawyers. (Details from Whent v Canada 1996)
The Whent group of lawyers from Thunder Bay, ON, had paid $130,000 for 216 Morrisseau paintings. The CRA said that should be the value of the donation. The lawyers protested and brought in Donald Robinson to make a “fair market evaluation” of their art.
Clearly, as the prime – he kept claiming the exclusive – seller for genuine Morrisseau paintings, he saw a wonderful opportunity to jack up the overall market value for Morrisseaus, in this public venue, and did so. He cited “market research,” valuations from the early 1980s, and a 1990 price list, as the base for his high valuations of their collection.
The Principal Morrisseau Dealer, assessed the lawyers’ collection as worth $1,104,795 (1.1 million dollars). Up from $130,000 that they had paid.
The Canada Revenue Agency howled, with Robinson multiplying the original purchased values by a whopping 900%.
Justice Morgan heard the case and sought out the middle ground.
In doing so he roundly criticized Donald Robinson for betraying “a hopeless conflict of interest.”
Justice Morgan, on the basis of his own investigation, objected strongly to the validity of Robinson’s claim to be a fair evaluator of Morrisseaus, finding that “the cornerstone of his appraisal is seriously damaged.”
Judge Morgan scathingly criticized Robinson’s methodology, by saying his valuations for a supposed “market price list,” ostensibly based on dealer prices in 1984, 1985, and 1986 was “not proven” at all.
In fact, Justice Morgan complained he could not even find the existence of even one dealer in those years, which Robinson claimed was his basis for his price list. Far from it, Justice Morgan said, that the evidence he actually did find, was totally against Robinson. “In other words, the assumption underlying Mr. Robinson’s use of the 1990 price list has not been proven.”
It’s a judge’s way of saying Robinson just made it up; he cooked the books. He was self-serving.
In fact under a rather testy cross-examination by Defence Counsel Dowhan in the Hatfield case, in 2011, Robinson essentially agreed he had cooked the books that way, snapping defensively, that the price list he used was solely based on 1990s KRG invoices. He had used only his own documents; he had used only his own price structure.
So, exactly as Justice Morgan had complained, in 1996, far from producing a supposed arms-length price list for Judge Morgan’s Tax Court hearing, of what all the dealers in the market said Morrisseaus were worth, Robinson had in fact, fabricated a price list of what he and his gallery wanted the Morrisseaus to be worth.
Justice Morgan clearly objected to that kind of idea of Robinson’s “fair market evaluation.”
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 at $660,000.
Defence counsel Robert Dowhan said Justice Morgan’s strong finding that Donald Robinson had “a hopeless conflict of interest in trying to be objective about the quality or value of Morrisseau’s work,” alone, should disqualify him, utterly, from being an “expert witness” in the Hatfield case.
Furthermore, in the Whent v Canada case Robinson – testifying for the Plaintiff – was not even a business competitor of the Government of Canada.
Unlike in Hatfield where he was now, a known and a clear and passionate opponent and business competitor of the Defendant, and where Robinson clearly had a huge personal, family, and business financial stake in the outcome of the trial.
Obviously huge conflicts of interest, that gave every indication that he would benefit hugely by trying to skew the outcome of this trial.
Appearing as an expert witness in Hatfield would be a huge advantage to Robinson who was clearly worried his business competitors were undermining the prices and values of the paintings he had for sale in his gallery. And for which he claimed to have once been the exclusive distributor.
TRIAL HIGHLIGHT #2: The Expert Witness Fiasco: Deputy Judge Martial’s Gamble
In a move that stunned observers in the public galleries, and despite loud protests from two Defence Lawyers at different times, who objected, tellingly, “with respect,” Judge Martial granted Donald Robinson status as an “expert witness.”
He fully accepted Judge Morgan’s finding that Robinson “had a hopeless conflict of interest” but said he would be mindful of that and would watch out for evidence of Robinson’s clear bias and weigh his testimony with that in mind.
In effect Deputy Judge Martial as much as said he would take, at face value, Robinson’s claim that altruism was his motivation for being a participant in the trial.
Judge Martial was, without doubt, the only person in the entire courtroom who believed that. Plaintiffs and Defendants both, as well as the Public Gallery.
I am absolutely certain that not even Donald Robinson, himself, who is nothing if not an aggressive and astute businessman, believed that he was some kind of Mother Teresa in a suit…
Expert witnesses in Canadian courts are supposed to be neutral in the disputes in which they are brought in to help the judge make a fair and honest determination of Right and Wrong. They are not supposed to be ferocious and passionate partisans, in the matters before the court, which Robinson clearly has repeatedly demonstrated himself to be.
Furthermore expert witnesses are not supposed to be financially involved, or able to wring financial advantages for themselves with their testimony.
If he could manage to defame the painting Artworld of Sherway had sold, and Donna Child’s reputation – which he admitted, in testimony, was his aim – he could remove a major business competitor and her paintings from the market place. Robinson’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries would benefit by hundreds of thousands of dollars by knocking her off.
With his testimony he shocked people in the courtroom when he suddenly dropped his pretence of being a supposedly neutral, “above-it-all” witness and aimed several vitriolic broadsides at Defendant Donna Child of Artworld, one of his main business competitors.
“Q. And do you believe that the actions of Artworld of Sherway along with Jim White, who was the consignor of the painting, amount to some form of fraudulent scheme?
A. I certainly do.
Q. And you believe that Donna Child is involved in that fraudulent scheme?
A. Yes.” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: Feb 23, 2012 – p 4)
“Q. You’ll therefore of course agree that if the Court finds that Artworld of Sherway has sold a fake or imitation Morrisseau to Ms. Hatfield it will impact on their reputation, won’t it?
A. On whose reputation?
Q. On Artworld of Sherway, Donna Child.
A. I would think it should.” (He snapped it out – my characterization from 15 feet away.)
(Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: Feb 23, 2012 – p 13)
These totally uncalled for partisan outbursts, from an “expert witness,” clearly intended as a malicious and snappish retort, betraying his personal anger at a business competitor, took everyone in court – including I assume Judge Martial – aback. Not exactly the behaviour or the expressions one would expect from a dispassionate “expert witness.”
It would be only one of many egregious Robinson testimonial gaffes and aggressive outbursts that told Deputy Judge Martial that his trust in Robinson’s “altruism” as the reasons for his testimony was very badly betrayed.
How many times did Judge Martial hugely regret setting aside Justice Morgan’s clear warning, in his 1996 finding, in the Whent v Canada case, of Robinson having a “hopeless conflict of interest?”
I looked up to see Judge Martial’s eyes, at this moment of high court drama…
His eyes were down; he was writing something. Perhaps something like, “Lord help get me out of this mess I’ve put myself into…”
Whatever else Robinson’s outburst demonstrated, it was clearly a part of the Conspiracy Theorists orchestrated campaign that the Morrisseau cartel decided to unleash on Artworld of Sherway.
TRIAL HIGHLIGHT #3: The Conspiracy Theorists Mount their Attack Part 1
The trial exposed for the very first time to the Canadian public, exactly how the Conspiracy Theorists created, and initiated their ingenious business plan alleging “thousands of forgeries by umpteen forgers.”
The man who formulated, implemented, and publicized it: Donald Robinson.
The place it originated: the backroom of Toronto’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
The time: May 2001.
The first victim: Jim White
The first defamed painting: “Wheel of Life 1979” owned by Jim White, and bought four years later, by Margaret Hatfield.
In fact Hatfield’s “Wheel of Life 1979” was involved in the very first Declaration of Forgery ever issued by the Conspiracy Theorists during the years 2001-2006, when they sent accusations of forgery and Affidavits of Forgery to many of Canada’s top business competitors of Toronto’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries. (We have documentary proof of at least 11 such business offensives.)
The court testimony unveiled, for all Canadians, exactly how the white business managers surrounding Norval’s wheelchair during the years of his physical and mental decline, launched co-ordinated and multi-level attacks against their business competitors with allegations of forgery.
Donald Robinson Initiates the Accusations of Forgery - The groundwork for these corporate aggressions had been laid in 2001, when Donald Robinson announced in the National Post, on May 18, 2001 – with the help of a compliant journalist, who ignored his own research – that there were many hundreds of forgeries made by umpteen forgers “out there.”
News Flash – Remember at this time, April 2001, there was no talk of any kind, of Morrisseau fakes in any newspaper anywhere. Morrisseau fakes were not the subject of any public debate anywhere; Morrisseau fakes did not exist in the media. The matter had never been raised by Donald Robinson or anyone else. In short: Morrisseau forgeries were a non-issue; they did not exist.
It was in this totally uncontentious atmosphere, that Jim White, a reputable fine art dealer, practicing due diligence, testified that as a normal business procedure, he approached Donald Robinson, as Principal Morrisseau Dealer, to appraise 23 paintings for him. Robinson agreed.
White had obtained most of them at Randy Potter auctions. (See Great Canadian Cultural Heroes: Randy Potter & Donna Shea)
A New Business Tactic - In May 2001, Donald Robinson initiated an entirely new business tactic when, instead of an Appraisal form, for which he had been asked, he issued, instead, a Declaration of Forgery to Jim White. (who would, some years later, be the consignee of “Wheel of Life 1979” to Artworld of Sherway, where Margaret Hatfield bought it.)
White testified in court, with a firm voice, and in a convincingly powerful and direct manner, that was in stark contrast to the often uncertain, halting, and repeatedly forgetful “don’t recall” plaintively bleated out excuses offered up by Donald Robinson under cross-examination by Defendant Counsel Brian Schiller.
White testified that in late March 2001:
- he delivered 23 Morrisseau original paintings to Robinson for “evaluation,”
- that Robinson initially lavishly praised them as wonderful Morrisseaus and recommended that White better have them well insured,
- that Robinson later claimed he had then sent photos of them to Morrisseau,
- that a letter accompanied them, curiously providing only a single box option to the artist, to call them all fakes, and another box to call them all genuine,
- that there was a delay of a couple of weeks,
- that Robinson then claimed Morrisseau called them ALL fakes,
- that without permission, Robinson had published pictures of White’s private paintings, as his illustrations of forgeries, in a National Post article of May 18, 2001,
- that Robinson had defamed his paintings in a national newspaper and undermined his reputation.
And so the whole thing about forgeries, and affidavits of forgeries began, in the back room of the Kinsman Robinson Galleries of Toronto, ON, at the end of March 2001.
Donald Robinson Initiates the Forgery Declarations - And in this way the Robinson Declaration of Forgery – the very first ever, Morrisseau declaration of forgery ever issued – was born.
This White semi-official Declaration of Forgery of 2001 would soon be upgraded to become formal Affidavits of Forgery during 2003-2005, and sent mostly to Donald Robinson’s major Toronto business competitors.
White’s testimony established, conclusively, for all time, that Donald Robinson himself – as an adjunct to his business operations – initiated the era of sending out warning documents listing and alleging dozens of Morrisseau forgeries, to his business competitors.
White’s testimony also established, conclusively, for all time, that Donald Robinson had brought Norval and Vadas into the loop of his Declaration of Forgery, and that Robinson was in on the ground floor of orchestrating the whole business initiative, which over the years 2003-2005 would expand to become seven Affidavits of Forgery attacking seven of Robinson’s main business competitors with selling some two hundred forgeries.
A line in a warning letter sent, in 2005, to Artworld of Sherway, by Aaron Milrad on behalf of Norval Morrisseau, shows in spades why Donald Robinson AKA the Principal Morrisseau Dealer, would insist on being involved at every level, of any and all cartel business planning initiatives that dealt with allegations of forgeries leveled against his business competitors.
“The sale of these fakes are damaging to our client, his (Morrisseau’s) reputation, his market and his copyright and intellectual property rights.” (Aaron Milrad, Feb 25, 2005.)
When pressed by Robert Dowhan, who had seen incriminating documents, proving Robinson’s complicity in orchestrating it all, Robinson swore in testimony, he was not involved in any way, in the Affidavits of Forgery from 2003-2005.
Not involved, he swore, in spite of the seminal role he was proven to have played in saying Morrisseau called Jim White’s 23 paintings forgeries and sending pictures to the National Post.
Not involved, he swore, in spite of the fact that the Affidavit of Forgery drawn up by Aaron Milrad on Feb 25, 2005, and sent to Artworld of Sherway, was c.c.’d to only three people in the entire world: Morrisseau – who was, let’s admit it, a vegetable in a terminal care facility, Gabe Vadas, Norval’s business manager and Power of Attorney, and Donald Robinson.
Let’s make that to the only two mentally functioning people in the entire world, and one was Robinson…
Donald Robinson and the Cartel Launch a Full Scale Assault on the Business Competitors of the Kinsman Robinson Galleries
In 2003, two years after Robinson initiated the Declaration of Forgery against White, the cartel began issuing formal Affidavits of Forgery to Donald Robinson’s main business competitor, Joe McLeod of the Maslak McLeod Gallery.
In 2005, the cartel launched a full assault, with all guns blazing, specifically aimed at Artworld of Sherway, and Jim White, two more of Kinsman Robinson Galleries Toronto area “neighbours.”
The Hatfield Trial of 2011-2012 provided a wonderful insight into how all the partners in the business attack against Artworld of Sherway coordinated their campaign against the gallery seen as the biggest threat to Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
In February 2005, Artworld had placed ads for their Morrisseaus on the CBC television program, “Life and Times of Norval Morrisseau.”
The ads got Ms. Hatfield to come calling and buy “Wheel of Life 1974.”
But the ads also attracted a tidal wave of multi-level assaults from the business associates of the Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
The Many Conspiracy Theorist Offensives Against Artworld of Sherway
- Corporate Espionage & Surveillance of the Artworld premises was taken up by “Mr. Smith,” AKA “Principal Morrisseau Dealer,” AKA “Hatfield Expert Witness,” AKA “Principal Conspiracy Theorist,” and sometimes, AKA Donald Robinson.
Unmasking Mr. Smith the Imposter - In a surreal moment, in court, Ms. Child unveiled evidence which confirmed to onlookers that she had obviously been the victim of a clear case of corporate espionage, sometime in late 2004, or early 2005, when Donald Robinson appeared at her gallery, he thought in total anonymity, posing as a prospective buyer, to look over the Morrisseaus she had for sale.
She recognized Donald Robinson instantly – he has put himself in the public eye so much everyone in the Morrisseau community does, and she had also seen him in his gallery – so she chatted him up, and then, out of curiosity, just “to see what he would say,” she asked him his name.
“Mr. Smith,” was his reply, showing an inventive genius every bit as original and true as his flaunted Conspiracy Theory.
Mr. Smith clearly considered that corporate espionage and courtroom attacks were important steps towards removing some 2,000 other BDP paintings similar to “Wheel” which he also claimed were forgeries, from competing with his Kinsman Robinson Galleries.
As Mr. Smith he had “cased her joint;” now as Donald Robinson, he sat as a hostile “expert witness” in court to administer the “coup de grace,” to her business, and to her reputation in the Canadian fine art community.
Because he knew, in doing so, he stood to gain, not thousands, but millions…
Not at all a bad return, for “Mr. Smith,” for indulging in a little corporate espionage, for testifying as an “expert witness,” and spending six months preparing his so-called “expert report.”
It is something Justice Morgan had foretold and forewarned about, way back in 1996, during the Canada v Whent tax court case, about Donald Robinson and his “hopeless conflict of interest in being objective.”
Then, Robinson had fabricated a self-serving market price list. Now, a decade later, this had morphed into spending six months to fabricate a huge report that sought to prove to the court – not now, as Mr. Smith, but in his guise as an expert witness – that his major business competitor was a crook and knowingly selling forgeries.
And which now came back to haunt Deputy Judge Paul Martial who – in spite of common sense, the objections of Defence counsel, and the astonishment of the public gallery – had chosen to gamble and trust on Robinson’s integrity as an arm’s length witness.
- Threatening Affidavits of Forgery (copies only) were sent (allegedly sent Sept 17, 2004 – Donna Child said she only received them in April 2005) faxed by Gabe Vadas, the business manager.
An analysis of these Affidavits of Forgery exposed them as being so totally shot through with so many inaccuracies, falsehoods, contradictions, absolutely wrong data, and containing numerous paintings that were later ruled as genuine, with DNA certainty, by three of the top Canadian independent forensic document examiners and handwriting analysis experts, that they easily win my prize as the most fraudulent historical documents I have seen in 46 years as a professional historian.” (SEE McLeod, et al. v Sinclair)
This is merely a personal finding; it DOES NOT, of course, disqualify them as normal business promotional and propaganda fliers.
- Website Defamation by publishing scores of Artworld paintings as fakes, was assigned to the control of Robinson acolyte, business associate, and repeat court witness partner, Ritchie Sinclair, who was forced to admit, on the stand, that he was only a community college drop-out, testifying that he had quit after several months of a yearlong, dead end course which would have, ”Qualified me to do typeset; set-up; advertising; letter-set; very basic things that nobody uses anymore.” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: Feb 24, 2012 p 124)
It explains Robinson’s curt retort when Defence Counsel Brian Schiller asked Robinson a question about Sinclair. Was he a member of the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society, as he went around claiming on some court documents?
“MR. SCHILLER: Q. Is Ritchie Sinclair a member of that society?
A. No. The Society has respected academic people in the, in their, in their grouping; people from galleries, national institutions, for the most part.” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: Feb 23, 2012 p 46)
- Expert Art Analysis Report was assigned to Donald Robinson, he being the only one in the group with electrical engineering credentials.
- Defamatory Media Advisories of personal documents (sent Sep 17, 2004) by Clark R Purves, lawyer, to Peter Goddard, Toronto Star.
- Threatening Cease & Desist Letter sent (letter Feb 25, 2005) by Aaron Milrad, the lawyer.
Milrad carelessly addressed this threatening letter, twice to a “Donna Kay,” and “Dear Ms. Kay,” when no such person exists. Worry, attention, or care as to accuracy, in any of their documents has never been a strong suit among the Conspiracy Theorists.
In a parallel moment, of rare humour, the Plaintiff’s lawyer John Sommer spent half an hour – it must have cost Ms Hatfield some $500 – just to cross-examine Donna Child sternly for each and every typo in the Artworld Statement of Defence. She observed the illiteracies Sommer pointed out, had not been prepared by her, but her lawyer…
- Intimidating Emails sent by Aaron Milrad, the lawyer.
- Intimidating Phone Call Feb 25, 2005, was made by Michele Vadas, then wife (now estranged wife) of Norval’s business manager.
TRIAL HIGHLIGHT #4: The Conspiracy Theorists Mount an Attack Part 2: The BDPs (1970s style, black drybrush signed, titled & dated on the back)
Before Deputy Judge Paul Martial, Donald Robinson claimed: “In twenty-eight years of dealing in Morrisseau’s art, I observed that Norval had rarely written anything on the back of any canvas, but when he did, it was always in pencil or ballpoint pen – never in black paint.” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: May 31, 2011 p 32)
“And never ever have I ever seen one, nor have I ever known anybody to know one that has – was painted in – in black paint in the back.” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child Sep 1, 2011 p33) (Glossary: BDP)
Robinson’s claims were strongly opposed in court by testimony and affidavits of numerous independent witnesses – Norval’s family & intimates, friends, gallery owners, collectors – who strongly questioned why Robinson would possibly say something so utterly preposterous and false.
At different times and places they swore they saw Norval sign, title, and date the backs of many of his canvases, with black paint, in exactly the way Robinson claims the artist “never ever” did.
Of course Robinson was not on the scene, and had never seen Norval paint in the 1960s, 1970s, or 1980s.
Those who had, including some five members of Norval’s own family who independently wrote on an Affidavit that what Robinson now claimed before Judge Martial was a categorical “lie.”
Wolf Morrisseau, Norval’s younger brother, who ran Norval’s business affairs in the 1970s, in his most prolific period, when all the BDPs like “Wheel,” which Robinson said were forgeries, were painted, told Judge Martial, that he, in fact, had told Norval to sign and title his canvases, in English, exactly like “Wheel,” to help boost international sales for his syllabic signed art.
As well, three other longtime dealers and collectors of Morrisseau art, Robert Scott of Vancouver, Deiter Voss of Thunder Bay, and Marlowe Goring of Qualicum Beach, BC, submitted sworn affidavits saying they each had seen Norval sign and title the back of his paintings with black drybrush technique, multiple times, in Vancouver, Ottawa, and Thunder Bay.
“They are all lying, absolutely” - When Defence Counsel Robert Dowhan reminded Robinson about the sworn testimony of so many people saying they have seen Norval signing BDPs:
“Q. … “there are one, two, three, four, five, six individuals that say they witnessed Norval Morrisseau sign paintings on the back in black acrylic paint with a brush.
Q. They’re all lying?
A. They are all lying, absolutely. They’re complicit in this whole scheme.
Q. All right.” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child Sep 1, 2011 p24)
It is worth noting that the BDP signing, all on 1970s style paintings, which Robinson so stridently denounced as forged, took place some 15 to 20 years before he even became one of Norval’s dealers, so his possible ignorance on this file, long before he came on the scene, is understandable.
In fact in 2012, he testified before Judge Martial that he was a relative dunce in authenticating Morrisseaus as late as in 2000, in spite of having, by then, been at it for 18 years, admitting:
“…if you rate the knowledge I have now at 100 and what I would’ve had back then it’d be probably 10-20 or something like that…” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: Feb 23, 2012 p 18)
Ouchhh…! Frankly, not very good credentials for the Principal Morrisseau Dealer as an art authenticater. Comparable actually, to a pilot with 18 years experience who can only promise a safe landing 10% of the time. Or a surgeon doing a vasectomy who can only snip accurately 10% of the time; the other 90% of the time he cuts off the patient’s testicles by mistake.
It can happen when your art expert brandishes a P.Eng. as his best academic credential for art authentication. Canadians are truly grateful that Robinson never became a surgeon… but chose to confine his many mistakes in art, and to the patrons of his gallery.
“Q. So is it your evidence that, basically, in 1999 you weren’t an expert on Morrisseau at all?
A. I wouldn’t say – yes, I think that’s pretty fair statement as to this point in time.”
(Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: Feb 23, 2012 p 32)
His clearly admitted ignorance of Norval’s signing practices in the 1970s, may be a defence of sorts in 1999-2000.
The Preposterous Mr. Robinson AKA Mr. Smith - Maintaining the fiction of BDPs as forgeries, in 2012, against numerous witnesses from all walks of life, and a growing mountain of scientific forensic proof, without a single dissenting finding, is an unforgivable breach of trust, of common sense, and is indefensible on any ground by anyone. Except, perhaps, by close family members.
And raises the question: why would someone claim something so preposterous?
Does that mean his motives have fraudulent intentions?
And more tellingly: faced with such a mountain of contrary evidence from a wide variety of sworn testimony, and independent scientific experts, why would he, not only continue with his Conspiracy Theory, but expand it by fabricating his own huge so-called “expert report?”
With his personal preconceptions, as Principal Conspiracy Theorist, so rock solidly held, it was totally predictable what his six month investigation and his “expert report” of “Wheel” would show, long before he began his so-called evaluation to see if “Wheel of Life 1979” was genuine.
Is this another echo of Justice Morgan’s finding that Donald Robinson had a “hopeless conflict of interest in trying to be objective” as the Principal Morrisseau Dealer?
Trial Highlight #5: Conspiracy Theorists Mount an Attack Part 3: The Expert Report
Once again, in the back rooms of his Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Donald Robinson fabricated an elaborate, and huge, 89 page “expert report,” calling “Wheel of Life 1979” a forgery. (Like he had so unsuccessfully done for “Jesuit Preist Brings Word 1974” the year before in Otavnik v Sinclair.)
Again, he worked for six months for free, preparing his “expert report” as a “public service”…
Those Academic Credentials - When published, the report gave his “proof” that “Wheel” was a forgery.
His report did not explain how his three year degree in electrical engineering qualified him to engage in advanced forensic document examination and handwriting analysis, when the Canadian Government and the RCMP use only people with advanced and highly specialized degrees, like M.A.s and Ph.D.s in forensics – not electricians – to do that kind of work for them.
In fact, Donald Robinson has no relevant credentials of any kind: no degree, no certificate, no diploma, not in art, or fine art, not in forensics, not in handwriting analysis, not even in any related fields; his most relevant certification: a B.Sc., a three year degree in electrical engineering.
And a P.Eng, which is simply “a license to practice engineering,” which is on a parallel with a bicycle license allowing you the right to ride a bike on the streets, or a dog license, which allows a pet to poop in a park.
Though Robinson’s other degree, an MBA, would clearly have advised him that relying on third party experts to write scientific reports is not, ever, a good idea, if you want documents that will help promote your business objectives. That the results are far more reliable, and usable, if instead, you write the “expert reports” yourself. Advice Robinson clearly decided to take.
Small wonder then, and absolutely no surprise to anyone that, in the end, Robinson’s findings on “Wheel” were completely, and categorically discounted in their entirety, by Dr. Atul K Singla, who has an M.A. and a Ph.D., both in Forensic Science, whose forensic and handwriting analysis credentials are second to none in Canada, and who has testified in over 500 court cases.
Singla testifed as a genuine “expert witness” who has no financial interest in the Morrisseaus, and has no personal, family, or business involvement in buying or selling paintings like those involved in the case in which he was testifying. And has no interest in either promoting or destroying the reputation of Donna Child or her Artworld of Sherway business, or the reputation or livelihood of Ms. Hatfield.
He couldn’t be more free of every level of taint Justice Morgan had, long ago, leveled at Robinson, and his “hopeless conflict of interest in trying to be objective.”
On Aug 24, 2010, one of Canada’s top forensic document examiners and handwriting analysis experts, Dr. Atul K Singla, found that the painting “Wheel of Life 1979” which had been publicly defamed by the Conspiracy Theorists, including Donald Robinson and Ritchie Sinclair, as a forgery, in fact, had been signed with DNA certainty, by Norval Morrisseau, and that no one else could have.
So much for the “Don and Ritchie Show.”
And so much for so-called 89 page “expert report” produced by an electrician…or, is it by an astute businessman?
TRIAL HIGHLIGHT #5: The Bombshell in the Courtroom that – almost – everyone missed…
Part 1 – Those KR-384 Blank Backed Paintings
While going into overdrive, to convince Judge Martial that Norval “never ever” signed the back of any paintings, as appeared on “Wheel” and all the other BDPs Robinson claimed were forgeries, he inadvertently dropped a bombshell he no doubt wishes he had not – and has probably regretted doing ever since.
He blurted out to Judge Martial that he had personally taken possession of a huge hoard of Norval’s paintings in 2002, and claimed aggressively (my call in watching him from fifteen feet away) that not a single one of them had been signed in 1970s BDP style. Not one…
He testified he had personally logged them into his gallery as KR-0 to KR-384, (for Kinsman Robinson) reiterating, “again, not a single one of these paintings had any writing on the back in black paint or in brush and black paint.” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child Sep 1, 2011 p33)
And to point out this fact – clearly hoping to impugn “Wheel,” which did have writing on the back, in the judge’s eyes – he said he confirmed this again, when he personally checked the back of each painting, seven years later, when he sent them back to Gabe Vadas, in 2009, two years after Norval died.
Perhaps this testimonial foray might impress Judge Martial whose background in art was practically non-existent – one of the very few questions he ever asked was “What is a stretcher?”
But it would only offer comic relief to anyone else knowledgeable in the Canadian fine art community.
Firstly, Robinson was falsely positing an argument no one else was contesting, at all. No one had ever disagreed in the slightest, that during the time Robinson represented Norval, that he had never had Norval sign his paintings in the customary style that Norval had used in the past.
Critics said, hey, obviously, if you have an artist who is declining rapidly, physically and mentally, as a painter, as Norval was, by the early 1990s, why would you possibly have him – let alone a proxy, you know to help out! – sign the back of any painting?
Any MBA will tell you it’s nothing short of suicide…
Making Mincemeat of Morrisseaus - Canada’s top independent forensic document examiners and handwriting analysis experts would have taken one look at the signature DNA and found that the handwriting is clearly forged.
If forensics proved Norval did not write the signature, then the devastating conclusion would be disastrous for the Principal Morrisseau Dealer – Norval did not paint the other side either.
The valuations of hundreds of paintings could be destroyed this way. Just by having a proxy help out Norval by writing a less shaky signature on new art.
Furthermore, what good would it possibly be to have a genuine, but wobbly, signature from the artist’s “Wheelchair Invalid Period” on the back, and a nice, controlled stable image on the front?
Now what kind of questions would that raise?
It made total sense, then, that having a failing artist on his hands, Robinson would discontinue a practice which could only undermine the paintings he was selling, and question them as possibly being from the hand of Norval Morrisseau.
And so explains completely why KR-0 – KR-384 are blank, on the back.
Any course in MBA 101 will tell you it’s a good protective business practice.
But it’s a totally bogus argument that the signing protocol Robinson enforced during his term as Principal Morrisseau Dealer from the 1990s on – namely no signing – had any bearing whatsoever, on what Norval’s practice was, years before Robinson even came on the scene.
And more precisely during the very years Robinson admitted before Judge Martial that he was a bid of a dunce as a Morrisseau expert; in fact “not an expert at all,” as he admitted to Defence Counsel Robert Dowhan.
Reading backwards in history, and imposing modern standards, practices, or mores, on past eras, is not a legitimate academic pursuit, though it can produce effective comedy, and Robinson clearly hoped, might make an effective business argument.
And reminds us again of Justice Morgan pointing out, in 1996, Robinson’s “hopeless conflict of interest in trying to be objective” in everything he does as Principal Morrisseau Dealer.
TRIAL HIGHLIGHT #6: The Bombshell in the Courtroom that everyone missed…
Part 2 – “The Missing Transcripts”
The real story of KR-0 to KR-384, which slipped out inadvertently, as Robinson had all eyes in court focus on the blank backs of paintings, was that the artist’s Principal Morrisseau Dealer, had made a deal with Gabe Vadas and had secretly stashed away 384 of the artist’s best paintings in his Toronto storage facility, and kept them there, from 2002, for seven long years, until 2009, long after the artist had died.
As Robinson, said in passing, for “safekeeping.”
I knew instantly, that this was utterly huge; but everyone else missed it…
Partly because the public gallery was virtually empty, and neither journalists nor lawyers are all that familiar or interested in the details of the story, and the intricacies of all the conniving that has surrounded the Morrisseau Conspiracy Theory.
And there were others who wanted to hide it.
When, in practicing “due diligence,” as a professional historian, and an investigative journalist, I went through the supposedly “complete transcripts” provided by the court clerk, I found crucial testimony I had noted in my detailed notes, missing.
Like the story of the KR-384s.
It became clear that the Plaintiffs, when ordering transcripts, chose to hide embarrassing or compromising testimony by not having damaging parts transcribed. Hoping they would just go away and be lost.
Having sat in court during all the testimony, I knew it existed, and so launched the hunt to save the missing transcripts from the trash heap of history.
The court clerk, who prides herself on the accuracy of her work, said she was “intrigued,” to be told that her transcripts in Hatfield v Child were incomplete, that things were “missed.” She eagerly went hunting and reported triumphantly that she found the missing parts and ordered them transcribed.
The bombshell KR-0 – KR-384 was among them.
It was clearly one story the Conspiracy Theorists didn’t want to get out. Alas, Robinson, in his passion to destroy the BDPs in Judge Martial’s eyes, inadvertently let the cat out of the bag. And sent us hunting for the transcripts.
After all, it dealt with tens of millions of dollars of “once was lost but now am found,” Morrisseau paintings.
TRIAL HIGHLIGHT #7:
Part 3: “Safekeeping” – The Sordid Saga Behind the KR-384s
Morrisseau, as every Canadian knows, died destitute, leaving not a nickel to his own children, not a painting, not a bank account, not a property, not a cent, to any of them…
Nothing… nix… nada…, as family members repeatedly reported to the media after his death.
And as his caretaker and Power of Attorney Gabe Vadas, also brashly told the media…
Not quite… thanks to Donald Robinson blurting out an utterly astonishing fact, in a moment of absent-mindedness, while forgetting himself and trying to make a strong point in an unrelated matter.
Robinson let it out that he had agreed to store the hundreds of paintings for Norval’s business manager, Gabor Vadas, and protect them from theft, in 2002, or for “safekeeping” as he repeatedly reminded the judge.
By repeatedly emphasizing “safekeeping” Robinson seemed to intimate, to Deputy Judge Paul Martial that he was, once again, being a Good Samaritan – or Mother Teresa in a suit if you prefer - and protecting Norval’s artistic heritage from predation by, apparently, a lot of lowlife thieves that seemed to be running amok, at the time, in Nanaimo, BC.
In fact what did not come out in court because everyone missed the story, was what exactly was the background that led to the deal between Vadas and Robinson over the KR-384 in 2002.
In fact at the time Vadas was involved in a vitriolic wrangle with the Morrisseau family over who should control Norval – and of course his paintings. Vadas had successfully evaded a Morrisseau family kidnap squad in 1999, by successfully hiding Morrisseau where no one could find him.
In fact the family kidnap squad arrived at one place Norval had been hidden, to find the scene littered with evidence that showed they had missed Norval by mere moments in time. With Norval successfully spirited away, by the Conspiracy Theorists, the family kidnappers gave up and went home to northern Ontario.
But by 2001 Vadas had finally concluded that, physically and mentally, Norval was no longer manageable, and so placed him in a terminal care facility, in Nanaimo, BC.
Panic struck Vadas and the Conspiracy Theorists, when, suddenly Norval’s family showed up in Nanaimo, and grabbed Norval from the terminal care facility, removing him from Vadas’ control, and taking him to Thunder Bay. (Norval would be under their care for many months, from late December 2001, into the late summer or fall of 2002.)
This was a salutary lesson to Vadas that by December 2001, the Morrisseau family and their lawyers were on the march to take possession of their father and brother, and to try to secure his assets through the courts.
Vadas was panicking; the family had successfully grabbed Norval in his wheelchair; would a pre-emptive strike on his hundreds of paintings be next?
In panic he was clearly looking for a partner to hide the paintings from Norval’s family and its lawyers – not, at all, from lowlife thieves in Nanaimo…
He found that partner in Donald Robinson who – like everyone else at the time – suspected that Norval could die any moment, and that Vadas, who had Power of Attorney and was the sole beneficiary in Norval’s will, would become the owner of his hundreds of valuable original paintings.
All of which, we assume, the Principal Morrisseau Dealer would have loved to have for sale at his gallery.
384 paintings with a value of from a minimum of $20 million to $40 million or more…
With the standard 50% gallery commission for retailing the paintings, say $10 to $20 million, is nothing to sneeze at.
This seems to be exactly the period when Robinson agreed – who knows, he may even have suggested the option to Vadas? – to ship the paintings to him in Toronto, for “safekeeping,” and where he ended up keeping them – for some seven years – till after Norval died.
TRIAL HIGHLIGHT #8: The Poverty-Stricken Millionaire
Did Norval know he owned $20 million to $40 million in paintings? That he was a multi-millionaire?
Did he know hundreds of his paintings were, suddenly, in far away Toronto, stashed in the basement of the Kinsman Robinson Galleries? Where only two people knew that they were there: Gabe Vadas and Donald Robinson.
In 2003, after the millions of dollars in paintings were stashed at KRG in Toronto, John Geddes of Maclean’s Magazine, “interviewed” Norval and Gabe (you know, just like with Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy you never knew who was doing the talking) in Nanaimo. He reported that Norval had only one complaint, that he wishes he had a few dollars so he could afford to buy paint and canvas and do a little painting now and then…
Geddes saw it as a plaintiff cry from an artist who at the time clearly regarded himself as a penniless street kid back on poverty row. At least Norval’s caretakers seemed to have gotten Norval to believe that. Perhaps to make him more compliant to their wishes in guiding his business career, and to promote the sale of his 1990s “Wheelchair Invalid Period” style paintings…
Norval’s sad cri de coeur, about being the “proverbial starving artist,” and being totally cash poor, clearly showed that he had no idea he had a minimum of $20 million he could draw on, in the KRG dungeon in Toronto. (Geddes was, of course, like everyone else, also not aware of the secret stash either.)
But Vadas and Robinson both knew, there was $20 million plus, in the kitty.
At the end Norval had no friends who were not entirely self-serving, and only interested in the money they could make from his paintings.
In fact, at a previous trial Donald Robinson, the Principal Morrisseau Dealer, admitted he had not even attended the crowning national event in Norval Morrisseau’s life, the 2006 National Gallery of Canada Morrisseau Retrospective, it’s first ever on an Aboriginal artist, in Canadian history.
Was this his tacit admission that Norval’s mind was so far gone by then that the artist wouldn’t have known if Robinson – or anyone else – was there or not?
Cooking the Books – Part 2 – Additions
In 2005, Donald Robinson re-issued his “Travels to the House of Invention,” as “Return to the House of Invention,” with 99% of the text unchanged. In his basement, at the time, as we learned from his testimony in Hatfield v Child, he had some $20 million to $40 million of Norval’s paintings. So the .05% of the text he chose to change is fascinating.
A couple of the ultra-rare lines he added to “Return,” were his praise extolling the important role that Gabe Vadas played in Norval’s life. Something he had not added in the 1997 original edition of exactly the same book, when Gabe had been Norval’s companion and caregiver for over 10 years already.
“Together, they enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship. ‘He saved my life. I needed a father; he accepted me as a son,’ Gabe said. ‘Norval has done a lot for me.’ Now married Gabe and Michelle (sic) have enriched Norval’s life with two new grandchildren. Norval dotes on the grandchildren, and many of his recent paintings portray them.” (Robinson “Return”)
The Grade 6 graduate from Powell River BC, would no doubt, now be grateful to see his name, his wife’s – even though it was misspelled – and his family praised in lights in a book for the first time in his life. But why the unique and rare textual addition now?
The answer: any MBA will teach you – the sudden appearance, in 2002, of KR-384s that were in the basement as Robinson wrote the encomium to Gabe. Would he not clearly love to become the Principal Morrisseau Dealer for them?
Let’s see now: what’s a standard 50% Canadian fine art gallery commission on $50 million?
Cooking the Books – Part 3 – Omissions
A couple of lines that Robinson did not add, are just as interesting.
There was not a single line, not even a word, about Ritchie Sinclair, the man who would become his acolyte, business associate, and his tag-team partner, in various court cases from 2008 on. Not a sentence; not a phrase; not a word on his importance on any level as a Morrisseau anything… Nothing… zip… nada…
On the man who claimed he was the designated heir to Norval’s school of painting, who claimed to be the designated “Protégé” of Norval Morrisseau, who wrote it a thousand times on his website, and never wrote his own name without coupling it with that of Morrisseau.
Clearly, and tellingly, in 2005, Robinson, the Principal Morrisseau Dealer, didn’t believe a word of it… And so, like every other pundit in the Morrisseau world ignored the white Indian imposter/impersonator and his pretend place in history.
Alas, history evolves, and necessity is the mother of… making strange bedfellows. In 2012 Robinson and Sinclair had evolved into becoming tag team partners as witnesses in the Hatfield case. So Robinson was extremely loathe to admit the embarrassing omission in two of his Morrisseau books in court. He had seen a need to add Vadas, but not Sinclair.
Unlike his wheelchair bound, invalid painter, whom nobody ever heard testify or be interviewed on audio tape or video tape during the last decade of his life, but who – according to Robinson’s insistence – had total recall, and an infallible memory that could unfailingly remember every one of the 10,000 paintings he had ever painted over 50 years, Robinson’s memory was, throughout the trial, notoriously noteworthy of missing tons of data he just could not recall.
A very typical response betraying Robinson’s flawed and failing memory was when Defence Lawyer Schiller asked him if Ritchie Sinclair (Robinson’s acolyte, business associate, and now, for the second time his court witness partner) was mentioned in his Travels (1997) and Return (2005) books.
“Q. Okay. Now, you wrote two books on Mr. Morrisseau; correct?
Q. Is Ritchie Sinclair mentioned in either of those books?
A. I’m sorry; did he….
Q. Is Ritchie Sinclair mentioned in either of those books?
A. I don’t remember. I don’t; I mean, certainly not in a major way; perhaps not at all; I, I don’t remember; perhaps in the acknowledgements; probably not at all.
Q. Probably not at all?
A. I don’t remember it. They were written several years ago.
Q. One is in ’89; one is in ’05; correct?
A. Probably, yes.”
(Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: Feb 23, 2012 p 6)
The Real Story of Behind “Safekeeping” the KR-384
By investigating the history around the secret stash of paintings, it becomes clear that this so-called innocent Robinson act of “safekeeping,” holding the paintings for seven years at his gallery, was not what he made out to Judge Martial, some kind of philanthropic act.
Far from shielding them from lowlife thieves in Nanaimo, it was a hard-core business move, a covert act to keep $20 to 40 million dollars out of the hands of Morrisseau family members and their lawyers.
And to win brownie points with the man who would control them. And a possible sales commission worth millions. Robinson clearly intended to be transformed from Principal Morrisseau Dealer to the Principal Vadas Dealer.
Then sometime in 2009, having successfully, totally stone-walled the Morrisseau children and their lawyers, for seven years, and with Norval safely dead, Robinson returned the paintings to a probably most grateful Gabe Vadas.
Donald Robinson did not disclose how many hundreds of thousands of dollars in storage fees KRG charged for the “safekeeping” of 384 paintings for seven years, if any.
Or whether – his MBA would have told him to hold out for this – he did it in exchange for a future guaranteed “distribution deal” for the “$40 million” worth of paintings.
Or was it just out of the kindness of his heart – more Mother Teresa in a suit…?
Robinson’s testimony as an expert witness was, obviously, hopelessly compromised by the fact that he, as the Principal Morrisseau Dealer – and he alone – would get to sell those paintings, making tens of millions in the process. Thanks to having helped Vadas successfully hide 384 of his Morrisseau paintings from the Morrisseau family and their lawyers.
So it also made perfect sense, for Robinson, as a smart business operator, to show up, voluntarily, and write a free expert report, to present in court for Hatfield v Child, and to attack one of his main business competitors and try to ruin her reputation.
And remind us again of Justice Morgan, warning us in 1996, by pointing out Robinson’s “hopeless conflict of interest in trying to be objective” in everything he does as Principal Morrisseau Dealer.
The Sinclair Kiss of Death – Donald Robinson’s tag-team partner, Ritchie Sinclair, made an equally unimpressive presentation on the stand.
Sinclair proceeded to amaze everyone in court by his wildly erratic behavior on the stand. His opening line to the court, “I am a fine artist.”
During breaks he repeatedly went up to offer documents and animated instructions, to help John Sommer the lawyer for the Plaintiff, to improve his ineffective arguments – probably he too saw how the case was tanking and thought the floundering lawyer could use some pointers on how to save the Hatfield ship from sinking.
On one occasion, (Feb 23, 2012 – 3:58 pm) just after his testimony, in a clear attempt to try to shore up the sagging confidence of a growingly despondent Ms Hatfield, I watched him seven feet in front of me, coming up behind her, as she sat beside her lawyer, grabbing her by the shoulders, and planting a big kiss on top of her head. It didn’t calm her down, or stop her shaking.
Clearly she felt his “over-the-top” behaviour showed things were worse than she had even feared.
Ms. Hatfield looked at the abysmal performance of her tag-team, and could see she was staring defeat in the face.
The Sinclair Kiss of Death was all the proof she needed.
The Despondent Sad Confession - It is telling that the Plaintiff, the little old school teacher, who was dragged – or did she inject herself? – into this mess, and who will lose some $30,000-40,000 of her paltry and depleted pension, as much as confessed to James Adams of the Globe that she had probably lost the case, even before the judge was set to rule.
An assessment I agreed with completely.
(James Adams inherited the Globe Arts beat that had gotten Val Ross and her employer into so much trouble in 2007. See Moniz v Globe in 2008 above)
Ms. Hatfield volunteered to Adams that even if she has to pay legal costs for the people she wrongfully accused of selling her a forgery, after initiating a lawsuit which her Conspiracy Theory friends had encouraged her to launch – it was all for a good cause…
Whoaa! This one, totally escapes me. What good cause?
She will lose some $40,000 to $50,000 of her pension for legal fees, and likely lose the case.
For falsely calling a painting she now realizes is genuine, a forgery.
She faces paying another $5,000 for her wrongfully defamed Defendant’s assigned court costs…
Her wrongful defamation has caused the Defendants to lose some $40,000 of their own money to defend themselves from a false forgery charge. Money they can never recoup.
She has publicly caused damage to the reputations of numerous decent people and businessmen and women with malicious accusations for which she had only hearsay proof at best, from Conspiracy Theorists.
She continues to defame a genuine work of Morrisseau’s art even though forensics ruled it signed by Norval with DNA certainty.
What good, exactly did this CT Proxy #4, a little old retired school teacher, accomplish…
The mind boggles…
Hatfield allowed, in a surreal expansion – if you can possibly believe this? – that if she loses, she will still appeal, and spend even more of what little remains of her pension, to keep on trying to prove that her painting – already certified to be authentic by a whole line of independent Morrisseau collectors and retailers as well as top Canadian forensic experts – is a cheap fake as maintained by her two friends, Principal Conspiracy Theorists AKA the “Don and Ritchie Show.”
It is surreal beyond belief that after seeing how ineffective and incredible their performance and evidence was, when stacked up against the Defendant’s team, she ends up burdened with the knowledge that she has probably lost the case, wasted scores of thousands on her lawyer, faces thousands more in paying court costs for the people she defamed, and is going home with self-declared “experts” as friends who assure her, after “two years of all that” that her painting is still a cheap fake, and worthless…
Though Conspiracy Theorists are ineffective against the Truth, Reality, or Judges, with their only success being with entrapping gullible, uniformed, and malleable Proxies of neophyte art collectors.
For other Canadians, it is nothing, if not a further devastating slap at the credibility of her expert team of Conspiracy Theorists, when a totally inexperienced person, and a naïve art collector, has enough savvy to recognize, after five days of testimony, that “her side,” the “Don and Ritchie Show” made such a lousy presentation, that it seems clear even she didn’t buy it.
The judge who said he would rule on Sep 25, 2012, is still deliberating as of April 2013.
I believe firmly that if Deputy Judge Paul J Martial had believed the two Conspiracy Theorists’ passionate testimony, and the Robinson “expert report,” all loudly denouncing “Wheel of Life 1979” as a cheap and worthless forgery, he would have done so on September 25, as I sat in court awaiting his finding. He had all summer to construct what would then have been a straight forward ruling.
That he is still considering, six months later, means he has something else in mind.
Foiled by Forensics Part 6 – This I project, will be the sixth stunning court case rebuff in a row, to the reliability of the Conspiracy Theorists, as credible authenticators of what are authentic Morrisseaus and forgeries, and will, I believe, become the second time, in a row, that a painting they called a cheap, worthless forgery, will be confirmed, de facto, as authentic by a judge – as well as having been authenticated, with DNA certainty, by an independent scientist as an authentic Morrisseau.
No one likes to slam a little old lady, who, however naïve has already suffered so much.
The Awful Personal Cost - I sat seven feet behind Margaret Hatfield for five full days over two years, and saw her progressively decline in health, from an assured self-confident woman on Day One, to a quivering mass of jellied panic by the end.
By Day Five, she could no longer keep her hands from shaking or her body from displaying non-stop panic attacks that vibrated in sync with the bad news coming from the Defendant’s expert Morrisseau witnesses.
Her body tremours betrayed that she could clearly see the case slip away from her, as she watched tens of thousands of dollars of her paltry pension drain away, for good… Into the pockets of her lawyer who dawdled on and on…
So the judge appears to be taking five months and counting, to sort out what further damage against her that he can live with…
Because I am firmly convinced, from my close observation of the elderly lady’s declining state, that the meat grinder*** her friends have put her through, has shortened her life…
***Here’s that meat grinder again. One of the Conspiracy Theorists sent an email to one of the investigative journalists covering this story for the Canadian public, threatening him with ending up in a “meat grinder,” you know, like in Fargo, ND.
Seriously? Seriously enough the threatened email recipient reported it to the local police.
Who Stole the $20,000,000 or $40,000,000?
Wonder whatever happened to the KR-384, those laboriously logged 384 paintings that Donald Robinson carefully marked and numbered KR-0 to KR-384 on the stretcher, and shipped to Gabe Vadas in 2009?
Since Norval died utterly broke, who stole them?
Where did those 384 carefully numbered paintings go?
The Morrisseau children, reportedly got none of them…
Did some lawyers end up with them, you know, to cover legal expenses to settle the estate of an indigent Indian who died penniless…?
A riveting mystery – a whodunit – that would never have surfaced were it not for the Hatfield trial, and the absent-minded blurting out by the expert witness…
And an investigative journalist who kept his ears wide open.
- Kinsman Robinson Galleries “weren’t interested in increasing prices,” and that he was only interested in “a small profit” and “small price increases” of “five and ten percent,” for Morrisseau paintings sold by his gallery…
Robinson was playing the retiring, bashful, and reluctant marketeer, while trying to win top points for altruism – as Mother Teresa in a suit – and to downplay business greed as a motivating factor, in order to survive a hostile cross examination by Defence Counsel Robert Dowhan, so that Judge Paul Martial would grant him “expert witness” status, in the Hatfield v Child case.
(Expert Witness: an expert witness is an independent, “arm’s length” witness who has no financial or personal interest in skewing the testimony he will give.)
Testimony #1 – “Q. So if I understand that statement, you wanted to increase the price of the paintings that were currently being supplied to the Kinsman Robinson Gallery, by him, and you implemented that marketing plan to do that, correct?
A. No, I don’t think that’s quite correct. We weren’t interested in increasing the prices. Well, we obviously wanted to have a small – I always wanted a small gradual increase in prices over a long period of time. I thought that was the right way to go to market his paintings, very small increases, perhaps five to ten percent a year but, in fact, at the time we were doing this, the problem was that in, in B.C. and Vancouver, prices were phenomenally lower than they were in Ontario and that did not seem right so our objective was to get the prices up perhaps in places where they were too low, not necessarily to, essentially to raise Toronto prices.” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: May 31, 2011 p 8)
(Note: Then Dowhan asked about what Robinson did with the Wanker 31 – the so-called fakes he bought at Randy Potter auctions. Again Robinson tries to impress Judge Martial that they were of marginal interest to him and his business, and that he’d have no financial conflict of interest to influence him into skewing his testimony for personal gain. He was telling the judge he’d make a very credible expert witness. Please…)
Testimony #2 – “As I – I really didn’t want them very much; my aim in purchasing them was to put them aside…” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: May 31, 2011 p 17)
Testimony #3 - “A. What I did do, as I purchased these, I, I immediately consigned them out to an out of town auction, a lot of them, about half of them in total and sold them again (7), making a small profit and so that perhaps half of them went for sale that way.” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: May 31, 2011 p 17)
Background: In 1989 Donald Robinson was a Toronto suit, working hard to wring an “exclusive worldwide” distribution deal from far west British Columbia resident Norval Morrisseau, and trying to entice him with a marketing plan that promised to aggressively boost prices for his art, which were very poor at the time. Norval had over the last few years often been selling paintings on the street for $25 to $50, just to buy booze.
Now on the stand, in 2012, Robert Dowhan was trying to point out to Judge Martial, that Robinson was a just another self-serving greedy businessman and had clear money motives for pursuing a Morrisseau price boosting strategy starting in 1991.
And that was why he was here testifying about fakes and forgers and taking the stand against one of his main Toronto business competitors. And that was also why he should not get preferential “expert witness” status in court.
Robinson, now playing it low-key, as the altruist and philanthropist in front of Judge Martial, was pulling out all the stops to distance himself from the image of the aggressive salesman and marketeer for which he is renowned in the business.
Until we heard his testimony everyone had always believed that Robinson had gotten a distribution deal at the time with Norval because he promised he could deliver an aggressive marketing strategy to get Norval’s awfully lousy prices up – big time.
I mean, isn’t that what every artist wants: an aggressive marketer, second to no other?
In court now, he is back pedaling – big time – trying to pretend that “small,” and “five to ten percent” prices increases were all he and Kinsman Robinson Galleries were ever after. Oh, and not really any price increases at all, in Toronto…
Clearly a tale of two people…
Was Robinson really such a tepid, lukewarm, and low-key marketing promoter, in front of Norval in 1989, whom he was hustling, big time, for an exclusive, worldwide marketing deal, as he was now pretending to be in front of the judge?
Would he have gotten the gig?
Robinson clearly told Norval something enticing, because in 1991, at last, Norval gave him a pared down distribution deal.
My Take: Perjury, Delusion, or Dementia?
“We weren’t interested in increasing the prices…”
“Small price increase…”
“Perhaps five to ten percent a year…”
“Gradual increase in price over a long period of time…”
We’ll let you be the judge because numerous public documents exist that can throw light on what Donald Robinson and Kinsman Robinson Galleries really consider “small” and “five” percent.
#1 KRG Price Increases in 1996: the Whent Collection
The tax court case, Canada v Whent, gives us a wonderful insight into what kind of price increases Donald Robinson believes are appropriate.
The Canada Revenue Agency was outraged at a tax credit claim that a group of Thunder Bay, ON, lawyers were making for paintings they had bought for $130,000. They had donated them to various museums and public galleries in return for a big tax credit.
The lawyers upped the ante and went for an evaluation from Donald Robinson.
He said the paintings, bought for $130,000 were really worth $1,104,795.
That’s 1.1 million dollars.
The CRA was apoplectic…
That amounts to an across the board price increase of 850% (repeat 850%) for each painting.
The judge, who adjudicated the dispute between Canada v Whent - who was brandishing Robinson’s prices – snorted at the figures the Principal Morrisseau Dealer claimed.
Justice Morgan, on the basis of his own investigation, objected strongly to the validity of Robinson’s claim to be a fair evaluator of Morrisseaus, finding that “the cornerstone of his appraisal is seriously damaged.”
Judge Morgan scathingly criticized Robinson’s methodology, by saying his valuations for a supposed “market price list,” ostensibly based on dealer prices in 1984, 1985, and 1986 was “not proven” at all.
In fact, Justice Morgan complained he could not even find the existence of even one dealer in those years, which Robinson claimed was his basis for his price list. Far from it, Justice Morgan said, that the evidence he actually did find, was totally against Robinson. “In other words, the assumption underlying Mr. Robinson’s use of the 1990 price list has not been proven.”
It’s a judge’s way of saying Robinson just made it up; he cooked the books. He was self-serving.
And of course, not in a small way. An 850% price increase is neither “small” or “from five to ten percent.”
So, exactly as Justice Morgan had complained, in 1996, far from producing a supposed arms-length price list for Judge Morgan’s Tax Court hearing, of what all the dealers in the market said Morrisseaus were worth, Robinson had in fact, fabricated a price list of what he and his gallery wanted the Morrisseaus to be worth.
Justice Morgan clearly objected to that kind of idea of Robinson’s “fair market evaluation.”
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 a tax exemption at $660,000.
Down hugely from the 850% price increase, which, at that time, was Robinson’s idea of a “fair” increase.
#2 KRG Price Increase in 2007: “Untitled” Thunderbird
Kinsman Robinson Galleries listed it as sold on Nov 21, 2008.
The person who bought it might now be able to find out what percentage increase he or she paid.
But we are only speculating…
By the way, this owner might be doubly disappointed:
Kinsman Robinson Galleries had also listed the auction-bought “Thunderbird” and described it erroneously as “Acquired directly from the artist.”
In fact all Canadian fine art auction paintings are sold without – ever – disclosing the identity of the seller to the buyer. Every fine art auction, automatically, and resolutely, snips, and cuts off the provenance to the work, with the sale.
There is NO “chain of title” – as provenance – possible in 99.9% of the paintings sold by fine art auctions and galleries in Canada, the US, and Europe.
Notice how much is “made up:” note how what the Waddington’s fine art curator labelled as “Spirit Creature,” has been reborn as “Thunderbird,” the title it will carry from now on, made up not by Norval, at all, but by one of the gals at the KRG.
In Canada alone, every year, some five to six thousand fine art paintings are sold at auction, going from one anonymous seller to an anonymous buyer. And when, as winning bidder, you ask who the previous owner was, all the auctioneers refuse to tell you. So much for trying to trace the ownership of any thirty, or fifty, let alone a hundred year old painting.
So the new owner of “Thunderbird” might be equally unhappy to find out that, far from getting the painting directly from Norval, KRG had just gotten it at a yard sale, of odds and ends paintings, that Waddinton’s auctioned every month. And absolutely no one had a clue where that painting had been, or through how many hands it had passed during the last fifty years.
And that the buyer could have bought it there just as easily, without that 800% (or whatever) price markup…
There are other price markup comparisons.
#3 KRG Price Increase in 2010: Animal Unity
Kinsman Robinson Galleries was offering it for sale, again in Toronto, in their 2012 catalogue. Paul Robinson personally told us the price was “at least $350,000.”
And another thing; remember the part about not really being interested in raising Toronto prices. The painting was bought in a Toronto auction and offered by KRG in their Toronto store.
Marked up, almost overnight with a whopping price increase of 593% (repeat 593%) in Toronto…
#4 KRG Price Increase in 2010: Nature’s Balance
Kinsman Robinson Galleries was offering the exact same painting, for sale, again in Toronto, in their 2012 catalogue. Paul Robinson said Nature’s Balance was for sale for $250,000.
That’s a price increase of 555% (repeat 556%)
So what are we to make of Robinson’s purported shyness, in front of Judge Martial, claiming he was anything but a predatory pricer, and had no interest in raising Toronto prices?
Marked up, overnight with whopping price increase of 556% (repeat 556%) in Toronto…
#5 KRG Price Increase in 2011:
Some months later, in 2012, KRG was offering, the exact same painting, “Fish: Giver of Life” for sale for $22,000.
That’s a whopping price increase of 550% (repeat 550%) and again in Toronto…
And for a very small – by far the smallest of all the art discussed here – painting on paper, not acrylic on canvas.
Right are the prices realised from the auction.
Below is the painting inside Kinsman Robinson Galleries in March 2013, and the price sticker saying, the painting they bought for $4,020 is yours for $22,000.
A price increase of 550%.
#6 KRG Prices on the Wanker 31 (GLOSSARY: Wanker)
Now, based on four known KRG price increases we know what Donald Robinson considers a “small profit,” varying from between 550% to 850%. During the recession his gallery has apparently scaled down its percentage price increase, to an average of 550%,
Knowing that, we can figure out what Donald Robinson probably sold the Randy Potter paintings (the Wanker 31) for.
In 2000 he bought 31 Morrisseaus – all large acrylics on canvas – at Randy Potter for $54,000 and told Judge Martial he sold half of them off for a “small profit.”
Thanks to public records we have been able to figure out what he means by “a small profit,” information he did not share with the judge.
According to the logic demonstrated here, that would be a whopping profit of $243,000… on what he alleged were fakes, even, for goodness sakes…
Not a bad return, you will agree, even if they were genuine. But especially so, when one considers Robinson later claimed they were all fakes, and told Joan Goldi, on November 16, 2010, that he had sold them at what he called a “Buyer’s Beware” auction.
So you have to decide, in a phrase borrowed from KRG’s own blog page, “Will the Real Donald Robinson Please Stand Up?”
Is he the meek, altruist low-key seller performing in front of Judge Martial with his “small increases” of “perhaps five or ten percent,” or is he the aggressive, no-holds-barred businessman his critics say he is?
Ah, but perhaps there is a clue.
Norval Morrisseau is renowned for playing the “Dumb Indian” in the last decade of his life, never saying a peep to anyone on video or audio tape on anything in all that time. Nothing on forgeries; nothing on forgers. Nothing… zip… nada.
That maybe doesn’t matter because there were lots of white guys in suits around his wheelchair ready to speak for him.
Not entirely correct though…
For what few know is that Norval kept a diary… of paintings, of people he ran into and had dealings with.
During the very same year – 1989 – that Donald Robinson, the Toronto suit who had come out to British Columbia to try to convince Norval to give him a worldwide exclusive distribution deal, with his “tepid” or “aggressive” marketing scheme – you be the judge – Norval painted a picture of Donald Robinson, and signed and titled it on the back.
Donald Robinson, in his corporate publicity of the event, said that he and Norval had a cosmic intermingling, both having “dreamed” about each other before they met. A match made in heaven, I suppose, is how Robinson wants to portray his relationship with Norval to the Yorkville matrons who buy his art.
You know, if your dealer has a “mystical” relationship with the artist it raises selling art, a notch above, you know, selling other used stuff: cars or furniture.
But just how true was the mystical connection anyway?
So there could be no mistake in interpretation, Norval hugely titled his Diary painting “Don Robinson, Wasakajak 1989.” Though it doesn’t appear that Robinson’s mind attracted all of Norval’s artistic attention.
In Ojibway culture a Wasakajak is a folk figure loosely translated as “The Trickster.”
Did the Toronto suit, oozing sincerity, fool Norval…?
A year later Robinson was still putting on the pressure to get his “exclusive” worldwide distribution deal… Norval seemingly was in no hurry, playing hard to get.
Norval had never given an “exclusive” deal to anyone in his life before. What could Robinson possibly have promised: a tepid approach in marketing or an aggressive approach?
Clearly Robinson upped the ante.
Feeling the pressure Norval confessed to his diary again…
No glib-tongued Toronto suit was fooling Norval, not for a minute.
Some have claimed these paintings are forged… Try telling that to Canada’s top forensic experts and handwriting analysis experts.
In fact “Don Robinson, The Shark in Still Waters 1990” has been certified, by one of Canada’s top handwriting analysis experts, as authentically signed by Norval Morrisseau, with DNA certainty, and no one else could have signed it.
Once again, thank Norval for leaving his DNA behind, on all those 1970s type BDPs.
As a historian I believe Norval’s Diary paintings are his most important work. That they are also beautiful paintings is irrelevant to me.
For me, it’s all about that DNA on the back, that makes these Diary paintings priceless.
And make the 1970 BDPs priceless, hundreds, even thousands of them, for Norval signed them all, as some 70 and counting forensic findings, by three of Canada’s top handwriting experts, have proven,
The authentic voice of Norval Morrisseau’s diary writings speak from the grave, where he no longer need fear being rejected, abused, or abandoned, and gives us his true opinions of the inner circle of white guys who surrounded his wheelchair in the last dozen years of his life.
Cultural Genocide - And that’s why we consider it a high priority art heritage salvage operation, to save the Wanker 16, before the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society burns them all to please Donald Robinson, and get rid of that compromising DNA on the backs of all these paintings, before a top forensics expert can see them…
Just like the Whack-a-Mole, we refuse to stay down… On March 15 our educational blog, which we publish in the public interest, was subjected to two cyber attacks by art terrorists trying to impose a Chill & Kill freeze on our free speech rights, on an issue that is of concern to countless Canadians interested in protecting the integrity of Canada’s fine art and Aboriginal cultural heritage.
The Principal Art Terrorist was The Principal Conspiracy Theorist, AKA Mr. Smith, AKA the Principal Morrisseau Dealer, Donald Robinson.
He was supported in his attack by the Junior Conspiracy Theorist, Paul Robinson.
Within five (5) hours, their cyber attack was joined by the Principal Conspiracy Theorist Lawyer, Aaron Milrad.
The attack was two-pronged:
1 – CHILL & KILL the Voice – The trio – all decades long business associates – obviously acting in concert, less than five hours apart, made spurious charges to our server, about “privacy violations,” to try the get our service cut off and our site closed down.
“The Terms of Service have a clause titled: 10.05 Private Information and Images. Subscribers may not post or disclose any personal or private information about or images of children or any third party without the consent of said party (or a parent’s consent in the case of a minor).”
The Demands of the Art Terrorists -Claiming “privacy rights” these three leading Conspiracy Theorists demanded that their names be removed from all our public postings about their public business activities.
After 13 long years of associating themselves, and their names, prominently in the media with supposed Morrisseau fakes and forgeries, why would they now try to impose a CHILL & KILL attack on our public interest media site?
While investigating compliance with the Terms of Service of our server, we put our site “under construction” while we revamped the site to accommodate the privacy regulations as defined for us by the legal department of our server.
(These vary from server to server. Some, when challenged, run easily away from protecting free speech rights; others, like Google, are staunch defenders of Free Speech.)
While conferring with our server’s legal department we explained that the complainants seeking to shut down our site, were people who are all very public actors, and have over 13 years, purposely made themselves public personalities, by going to the media, or using their corporate blog, to spread propaganda to promote their cause of a Conspiracy Theory that helps bring a huge financial benefit to their business, their art collections and their relatives.
All the while devaluing the art collections of others by millions of dollars. We pointed out that our blog contained no private or personal information, nor do we even know, or have any interest in, anything private or personal about any of the complainants.
The legal department sent us their official definition of “private or personal” as it applies to their company’s Terms of Service.
“We define personal Identifying Information as providing a person’s First and Last name in conjunction with each other, a phone number, email address, physical address, Social Security Number, images of a person.” Therefore we modified our site to be in compliance with the Terms of Service and its official definition. The Conspiracy Theorists then shifted into Phase II of their cyber attack.
2 – CHILL & KILL BY MOUNTING KRG ADVERTISING ON OUR LINK – Having quickly gotten the server to shut us down, before we had a chance to respond, Kinsman Robinson Galleries then decided to petulantly “give us the finger,” and in a particularly mean-spirited assault, quickly bought a “sponsored link” for corporate advertising for their gallery on our temporarily disabled site.
While our site was down, to bring it into compliance, anyone from around the world who clicked our MorrisseauHoaxExposedBlog.com would see, instead, a prominent Kinsman Robinson Galleries advertisement re-directing visitors who came to our site – which was now temporarily disabled – instead to the Kinsman Robinson Galleries, the very people who had attacked our blog, and were in high gear to CHILL & KILL our public interest educational site.
When we reported our outrage at this diabolical KRG initiative, to the server, the customer relations people expressed that they too were utterly aghast at what their advertising department had, unknowingly, been a party to.
In a word: diabolical. Two words: unconscionable, and devious…
The server quickly dismounted the Kinsman Robinson Galleries advertising attack ad on our blog link. Actually, rather than clarifying anything, clicking the link for a KRG explanation of the Hoax, could lead anyone into a whole lot of trouble. Here’s why:
Left is the link you would end up with, on the KRG blog page, sporting – you won’t believe this! – a totally unreliable document posing as some kind of proof of anything! It demonstrates exactly what I’ve been saying, that there is no one at KRG who has academic credentials as a historian, as a document examiner, as a handwriting analysis expert, or as an investigative journalist. Or they would never post such a ludicrous document with its accompanying text. And which is also why they don’t seem to mind at all ordering people to change or falsify documents and photos. Even using basic common sense tells you this document could be doctored and manipulated in many different ways.
Even an amateur eye can tell that Norval Morrisseau – allowing he wrote that wobbly signature – DID NOT write the declaration at the top. Someone kindly did it for him – or should we say, for themselves…? And the bottom too. There is no proof of any kind that any of the writing was done simultaneously. It could have been done, literally years apart…
Unlike the writings on the back of hundreds of Morrisseau BDPs, which have been scientifically proven to have been signed, titled, and dated by the same hand, and that hand was Norval Morrisseau’s, with DNA certainty, and that no one else was involved with any of it. (See Glossary: BDP) We also know Bob Bateman sat down with a pile of his calendar art reproduction “prints” and signed hundreds at a time, one after the other. He didn’t know where his signed repros were going; he didn’t care. He just mindlessly signed away till he got a cramp, just because his distributor told him he wanted 500 signatures…
Bateman’s Cramped Hand - How many dozens, or scores, of these blank Delta hotel chits did someone plop in front of Norval and have him scrawl his signature, so they could later have the tops and bottoms added to suit the occasion, or the case they were trying to make…?
To me, as a professional historian, the document DOES NOT prove “Norval Morrisseau Declarations Are No Hoax,” but is an interesting historical curiosity, at best… And raises all kinds of questions, rather than, as KRG would have you believe, offering proof of anything. But we are flattered: it is the first time that KRG appropriates the word “Hoax” from our blog to try to address the serious Hoax problem for Canadian and international audiences. If this is the quality of document they offer as an explanation then their case is in far worse trouble than they know…
For starters: from whom did the original paper document come from and when? Which hotel did it come from and when? Who wrote the first line and when? Who wrote the signature and when? Who wrote the bottom line and when? How many more of these are spurious autograph chits are out there?
And finally: kindly paste this on whichever painting you want to dismiss at the moment…
In the accompanying text there are, in fact, many more dishonest allusions made by the writer, trying to bundle forgeries, with moral rights, and copyright violations, in another attempt to try to backdate the “forgery” allegations to 1993, when in fact there was absolutely no… none… zip… nada… talk of forgeries by anyone, anywhere. And there would be none for years afterwards…
Their Shame; Their Shame; Their Utter Shame - We very well understand why the trio of Principal Conspiracy Theorists would not want to have their names published alongside the documentary disclosures we have made, involving their published comments as noted on hundreds of pages of court transcripts, hundreds of paintings, hundreds of documents and affidavits, and hundreds of emails, letters, and media interviews. Frankly, I wouldn’t want my name associated or published, either, alongside the hugely compromising and incriminating evidence that is directly and indirectly connected to their names on sworn Affidavits, historical records, court documents, official court transcripts, media articles, radio and television interviews, and findings in scientific reports. I would be ashamed too. And want to hide from any and all publicity associated with past misdeeds as noted, in the media, on blogs, and in public documents and court transcripts, over many years by outraged leading Canadians in the fine art community. Also, being incontrovertibly tied to multiple acts of cultural genocide against Canadian First Nations art and artists cannot be a happy legacy for anyone to be remembered for by posterity. Hiding as much of the infamy, by engaging in CHILL & KILL against investigative journalists, would seem to be one way they have chosen to go. It was what Lance Armstrong tried to do, also, for a while, with the same kind of CHILL and KILL tactics in the media, and with SLAPP suits in the courts against decent other athletes who tried to come clean with their past misdeeds. Trying to destroy a lot of innocent people along the way is just part of the collateral damage that ruthless business operatives like Armstrong, Conrad Black, and the Conspiracy Theorists are willing to pile up while raking in the millions. Consider These Truths:
The McClintock SET UP - Richard McClintock, a Canadian art forger was arrested in 2010, after trying to sell only two (2) high-end forgeries by famous Quebec artists. The forgeries were instantly caught by an art dealer; the forger was instantly caught by police; the forger was instantly sentenced by the court.
THE KRG CLAIM – In 2001, Kinsman Robinson Galleries of Toronto, announced that there were “thousands of forgeries by umpteen forgers” out there.
CHILL and KILL Shame #1: In 13 years neither KRG nor the Principal Conspiracy Theorist Lawyer or any other Conspiracy Theorist has ever been able to take a single “forger” or “forgery” to court. Not even once. Though they claimed to have thousands – over four thousand said Donald Robinson – to pick from… They very well knew that any judge would have seen through their charges of forgery as merely a cheap, and shabby – and quite diabolical – business initiative, to attack their business competitors, purely for personal financial gain. And to control the market by convincing people that most of the paintings, sold by their competitors were fakes, and that the only way to be sure of getting authentic original Morrisseaus, was to buy them from Kinsman Robinson Galleries of Toronto.
CHILL and KILL Shame #2: After an RCMP investigation over two years that cost millions, not a single charge was laid against anyone, nor a forgery identified, or a forger found. The RCMP closed down the investigation. So much for the substance of what the Robinsons and Milrad were claiming. It gets worse; they really did start going to court, at last…
CHILL and KILL: Shoot the Messenger #3: The very first person the Principal Conspiracy Theorist took to court, in 2010, was – can you believe this? – in a despicable SLAPP suit, against a highly informed and extremely well researched blogger, Ugo Matulic, to try to shut him up from exposing their diabolical and unprincipled business activities.
CHILL and KILL: Shoot the Messenger #4: When our blog went up we received an instant Cease and Desist notification demanding that we shut down our blog.
CHILL and KILL: Shoot the Messenger #5: Principal Morrisseau Conspiracy Theorist cyber attack on our server.
CHILL and KILL: Shoot the Messenger #6: Junior Morrisseau Conspiracy Theorist cyber attack on our server.
CHILL and KILL: Shoot the Messenger #7: Principal Morrisseau Conspiracy Theorist Lawyer cyber attack on our server.
CHILL and KILL: Shoot the Messenger SUMMARY: For 13 long years, neither the Principal Morrisseau Dealer, nor the Principal Morrisseau Lawyer, took a single forger, or forgery, or retailer of supposed forgeries, to court. Not once. Everyone knows why; the whole thing was a Hoax from the beginning that could never hope to pass the smell test, certainly not in court. The Conspiracy Theorists knew what would work better than the courts – private threats and “enforcement.” Plus spreading propaganda through negligent, gullible, and compliant journalists and media outlets.
The Conspiracy Theorists already had launched behind the scenes private attacks on their art dealer competitors: – with their “enforcers” making visits to dealers and enforcing compliance, – engaging in private surveillance by “Mr. Smith,” – attacking art shows and demanding paintings be removed, – threatening phone calls, – malicious and defamatory website and blog postings against collectors and paintings, – forcing the cancellation of book launches, – enforcing the delisting of auction paintings, – launching physical attacks in the street and at the place of residence of a dealer who refused to comply with the Diktats of the Conspiracy Theorists. Now, when highly informed and well researched independent journalists investigate just what the hell is going on in Canada’s fine art Morrisseau market, the Conspiracy Theorists, now begin to viciously target these journalists, by ramping up their cyber stalking, and art terrorism to shut them up by trying to close down their servers, and launching SLAPP suits in court. What does this say about the claim that started all this, supposedly of “thousands of forgeries and umpteen forgers?” Jack Pollock, Norval’s most successful and longest art dealer wouldn’t have been surprised. Of long experience he wrote all about, “… 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 There is a further problem related to people who engage in Art Terrorism like this.
CHILL & KILL: DISTORT DOCUMENTS Shame #7
The trio is demanding that we alter historical documents to hide their names and obliterate their connection to past events as noted on many legal and sworn documents. This means they want us to join in an immoral and unethical cover-up of their past behaviour in past events as noted in published and unpublished historical documents. And they want us to obliterate their faces on photos that are already posted by themselves and others on other internet sites and in Google caches.
Comparing the make-over demanded by Donald Robinson, do you think he looks better in the first or the second picture? Or should he demand his money back? We ask, why try to hide the fact that he’s chummy with the Conspiracy Theorist “enforcer” who ran the second most vile blog in Canadian history, hurling every abuse at journalists investigating the so-called Morrisseau “forgeries?” Including indulging in racist rants against a new Canadian investigating the so-called Morrisseau “forgeries.” But then, those also appeared, briefly – but screen grabs confirm it happened – on the Principal Morrisseau Dealer blog site, before outraged viewers caused them to be deleted.
As a professional historian, I am totally aghast at anyone altering any historical documents, and photos, or at people demanding others do it for them, just to try to hide their participation in historic and public events.
There is no telling, where a diabolical practice like that, once begun, can lead… It is unconscionable to me that a trio of self-serving businessmen – including a lawyer no less – is completely at ease with demanding that we alter documents to suit their private agendas. I fully understand that they want to hide from being incriminated in countless affidavits and allegations made by many people under oath. This is tantamount to falsifying documents. Removing text, or removing a face, falsifies the original integrity of a document or picture. Whether done rightly or wrongly, the altered document is no longer a reflection of the original truth it once represented. A historical document is therefore transformed into a propaganda document and now no longer reflects an original truth, but a new altered reality. At a minimum it is a furtive attempt to hide something… Usually something unseemly. A new reality that the document and picture manipulators are more happy to promote, as their version of the truth… Government officials and politicians do this all the time, to hide crooked, behind the scenes dealings with party bagmen, and corporate con men, to whom they are financially beholden.
The Implication It is why politicians – and lawyers, who direct them in this unethical direction – fight each other for the bottom spot of every trust or respect index ever published in every single public opinion poll ever taken.
Being at ease with trying to enforce the falsifying of documents has grave implications also, in the case of art sold by the Conspiracy Theorist businessmen, where it raises equally disturbing questions, not only about the morality and ethics of the people selling the art, but of the very integrity of their art itself. With this cyber attack they are compelling people to alter documents, alter names, and change photos, and are sending clear signals that they are completely all right with doing that. And anything similar if that’s what it takes to achieve their bottom line.
Which raises numerous disturbing questions. How can anyone in future: – possibly trust that when they say paintings in their gallery are indeed by Norval Morrisseau, that they are not by some other contract painter: say Karl Burrows, or Gabe Vadas, Bryant Ross, or… who knows? – possibly trust any appraisal that their gallery issues? – possibly trust any Certificate of Authenticity their gallery issues? – possibly trust any call their gallery makes certifying a painting as authentic? – possibly trust any call their gallery makes certifying a painting as a “forgery?” – possibly trust their credibility on any level as a trustworthy Morrisseau authenticator? – possibly believe their gallery label has any value, other than noting the name of a gallery whose principals are perfectly willing to falsify documents, pictures, and records when it suits their purpose, or order others to do it?
It’s easy to see with businessmen demonstrating that they are completely comfortable with cyber terrorism, and using this kind of unethical behavior in pursuit of a CHILL and KILL agenda, that they have irreparably damaged the public’s belief that they are an honest broker in the Canadian fine art market. That they have totally debased the coinage of their KRG brand.
It can only upset outside observers so much they may very well consider launching a class action suit to recover damage done to the value of their paintings. It can also upset former clients of the gallery to form their own class action suit as they no longer trust that the paintings they bought on good faith, from Morrisseau’s “Wheelchair Invalid Painting Period,” are indeed genuine…
If the principals of the company are so passionate in CHILL & KILL initiatives against journalists, just what the hell are they hiding?
Terrorizing Norval that “Dumb” Indian
If they are quite at ease with forcing people to falsify documents and photos, how much did they force the “wheelchair invalid” to sign those “Affidavits of Forgery” for them? For some twelve years, Norval was a total wheelchair invalid and dreaded hugely being abandoned and just thrown onto the street. Norval knew he was penniless – as he told John Geddes, of Macleans Magazine, in 2003 – and was as helpless, and vulnerable as any virtual quadriplegic is, to outside pressures to comply with the Diktats of his so-called “care-givers.” He told Geddes he wished he had a few dollars so he could buy some paint and canvas… Morrisseau apparently died with no assets, no bank account, no house, no paintings. Obviously he must have been a man ripe for manipulation, just to survive…
One certainly wonders what kind of “protection” and “care” Norval Morrisseau got from the three white people who were supposed to protect his personal and business interests – Gabe Vadas who held Norval’s Power of Attorney, Aaron Milrad, Norval’s longtime lawyer, and Donald Robinson, the Principal Morrisseau Dealer, who was in charge of all sales of Norval’s paintings? When Norval died penniless… Or so he was led to believe…
DID YOU KNOW? – NORVAL OBVIOUSLY DID NOT! – that at the time Norval was complaining about living on the edge of poverty to Geddes, that his white business partners – Vadas and Robinson – had a secret stash of 384 of his paintings, worth some $20,000,000 to $40,000,000 (twenty to forty million dollars) hidden away – from Norval, from his family and their lawyers – in the basement of Toronto’s Kinsman Robinson Galleries?
And they would be there, for seven years, waiting for the “Inconvenient Indian” to die, until long after his death, according to terms of a secret deal between Vadas and Robinson.
How much of this secret movement of Norval’s millions was his lawyer, Milrad, aware of, and a party to?
Whose fiduciary duty was he watching out for, during all this furtive movement of the Indian’s wealth from one white businessman to another?
While Norval died without a nickel to his name and nothing… zip… nada… to leave to his children… This shocker slipped out inadvertently when a distracted Robinson was giving passionate court testimony on an unrelated matter. (Coming Soon: in the Hatfield v Child Case.)
To what degree, was Norval, fearing dire poverty and possible abandonment, forced to sign affidavits of forgery, against his better judgment, on paintings he very well knew were genuine works he had painted? What is incontrovertible is that Norval was suffering from Parkinson’s since the early 1990s.
A common accompanying condition, in from 30% to 68% of all Parkinson’s patients, is Dementia.
Ritchie Says - There is, in fact, lots of testimonial evidence that Norval was a victim of gross mental lapses going back to the mid-90s.
According to Ritchie Sinclair, Norval published at least five forgeries in his book “Travels to the House of Invention” in 1997. It seems Norval just didn’t have good recall of what he’d done even then. And the book’s editor you may ask? Well this was three years before the Principal Morrisseau Dealer would bid ninety (90) different times, all on paintings he later said were all fakes, so he obviously couldn’t tell a fake from a real painting either.
Wolf Says – And certainly Norval told Wolf, his brother and one-time business manager, in 2001, that he couldn’t remember which of his past works he had painted. At that time, Wolf testified, Norval was only lucid for a few minutes at a time, before he drifted off…
Everybody Says - All clear signs of Dementia. And hardly surprising, because by 2000, Norval Morrisseau had the most wasted body (and mind) of any leading Canadian personality. Bar none…
Photo-Ops - He was little more than meat on a wheelbarrow that his “care givers” trundled from photo-op to photo-op to help promote sales of his paintings.
Elder Abuse - This is elder abuse of the highest order. What defences could Norval possibly have put up to prevent the exploitation of his name, his signature, his reputation, his very body…?
Helpless - His utter mental and physical incapacity and helplessness, is why, in this entire ten-year period, there are no television or radio interviews of any kind, with Norval, anywhere. And that includes in the entire CBC one-hour show “Life and Times of Norval Morrisseau,” shot in 2004, when the producer couldn’t get him to utter even one word for the program. His white business managers did all the talking for him…
Because Norval had clearly “left the building,” a long, long time before…
(We’ll set aside Donald Robinson’s self-promotional bluster to the National Post’s Murray Whyte in 2001, that it was “preposterous” for the journalist to even suggest that Norval might not remember every one of his 10,000 paintings he had painted over a 50 year career.)
This would certainly go a long way to explain the countless mistakes, and contradictions, and utterly false calls that are legion in the Affidavits of Forgery – all sent to Kinsman Robinson Galleries’ major business competitors – on which Norval’s signature appears, and which I consider the most unreliable documents I’ve ever encountered in 46 years as a practicing professional historian.
Ask yourself. Would Conspiracy Theorists really be comfortable with making Norval do something so unethical, just to make money? You know, get Norval to sign documents, they all knew, or should have known, were completely inaccurate, and in fact, often false… Which brings us back to the current threats from the same people, forcing us to falsify documents to accommodate their bottom line… What goes around, seems to come around…
- two Goldi claims were “struck” down by a judge in court, for allegedly failing to show cause…
“A. Mr. and Mrs. Goldie recently sued me in Small Claims Court, Newmarket, though they now live in Toronto.
THE COURT: Sorry, what’s the last name?
A. Mr. and Mrs. Goldie, they sold me – sued me, representing their company, Goldie Productions Limited, and they sued me personally themselves. Their two claims were struck because disclosing no cause of action, and….” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: Feb 24, 2012)
My Take: Perjury, Delusion, or Dementia?
Just how many false statements is it possible to make under oath, in a couple of sentences?
We are suing Ritchie Sinclair for malicious defamation of our Morrisseau paintings.
He falsely claims the action was launched in Newmarket, when it was initiated in Brampton, which is nowhere near Newmarket, nor even in the same jurisdiction.
He falsely claims we live in Toronto, which we have not, for over 50 years, but have resided for decades in Mississauga.
He falsely claims “two claims were struck,” creating two falsehoods: that the claims were “struck,” or ordered removed which is a total falsehood, and that a judge knocked down our claims, which is another complete falsehood.
He falsely claims “because disclosing no cause of action” trying to intimate there was no merit to our case.
We sued him in August 2011, for maliciously defamation and for devaluing our paintings on his website.
We had protested to him, in February 2012, when he willfully published private information about our mutual Settlement Conference, in total violation of Ontario Court Rules, as he very well knew. Not only that, but he falsified the information that he chose to publish.
Seeking to score points on behalf of the Conspiracy Theorists he published that our two claims “were struck down by the Judge” and “showing no cause of action” which was a total and absolute lie.
We warned him that he was breaching the privacy of our Settlement Conference, and reminded him that he was also breaking Ontario Court rules, as well as making false statements. When we asked him to remove these illegal and false statements from his malicious and defamatory website, he refused, in fact choosing to accelerate the defamation by publishing more stuff.
We protested to the court, in a Motion heard before Deputy Judge KF McCrae, on Dec. 5, 2012 in Brampton, ON.
Judge McCrae sternly upbraided Sinclair, saying what he did was a clear violation of court rules.
He also told him that the information he published was also incorrect. He told him sternly, that “What you said was not true,” and told him, firmly, to remove his misinformation from his website, instantly.
Sinclair argued back, that what he published was true, saying he wanted some time to respond to the Judge’s order.
Judge McCrae grew visibly angry, leaning forward and sternly glared at Sinclair, “I repeat what you said was not true. And I want it gone now!”
The Judge’s manner alarmed even Sinclair, who muttered he would comply.
Judge McCrae awarded us court costs of $150, against Sinclair. Other judges pointedly denied Sinclair’s request for court costs, telling him that they rightfully belonged to us, if we had asked – we didn’t – or awarded them to us without us asking. We weren’t intersted in penalizing anyone or winning cheap shots. We were interested only in courts ruling fairly on material points.
It would be one of 8 rulings out of 8, in which four different judges in public hearings in our case, found in our favour and against Sinclair – Holub (1), McCrae (1), Bobesich (1), and Filkin (5).
Plaintiff’s Motion 1 – GRANTED by Dep. Judge Holub – Nov 16, 2012 - The Goldi Productions Ltd. Motion, requesting to postpone the trial, was granted by Judge Holub, because (1) we had not been provided with any printed documents at all by the Defendant, though we had provided all our 11 books of documents in support of the Plaintiff’s Claim, on May 1, seven months before.
The stay was also granted (2) because of the delay in publication of Judge Paul Martial’s finding from the Hatfield v Child case. We had requested the adjournment in our case so we could benefit from and acquire (a) the Hatfield v Child court transcripts and (b) Judge Paul Martial’s finding in that case.
Plaintiff’s Motion 2 – GRANTED by Dep. Judge McCrae – Dec 5, 2012 – The Goldi Productions Ltd. Motion requesting to have the Defendant Sinclair remove (1) illegal – a gross violation of Court Rules – (2) deliberately distorted, and (3) fallacious information about the Feb 8, 2012 Settlement Conference from his web site was granted
Judge McCrae declared the published information was a (1) violation of Court Rules, furthermore that (2) “what you (Defendant Sinclair) said and published was not true,” and that he (3) he wanted it all removed “immediately.”
At Judge McCrae’s discretion – we did not ask – we were awarded Court Costs of $150.
Plaintiff’s Motion 3 – GRANTED by Dep. Judge Bobesich – Jan 24, 2013 - The Goldi Productions Ltd. Motion requesting to adjourn the hearing of the Defendant’s five part Motion was granted because the Defendant Sinclair had not given us the requisite amount of time to prepare a defence.
On Nov 16, Judge Holub ordered Sinclair to file his change of venue Motion by Dec 31, 2012. Sinclair filed it on Dec 28, the year’s last business day, and was given a court date of Jan 24, for a hearing.
Clearly intending to use ambush tactics, the Defendant Sinclair waited almost another three weeks before mailing us notification of our court appearance, so that we would not have adequate time to prepare and file a defence.
The Defendant’s late and delayed posting was a clear and intended violation of court rules, as it did not meet the minimum mailing time necessary for adequate service, leaving us only five days to prepare. We asked for adequate time to respond and the Court agreed, granting us (1) an adjournment and (2) a full month to prepare.
Sinclair’s request asking for us to be docked court costs was denied by Judge Bobesich, saying that court costs were ours, not Sinclair’s, by right, as we were the winning litigant. However, we did not ask for Sinclair to be docked costs.
Defendant’s Motions 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 – DENIED by Dep. Judge Filkin – Feb 26, 2013 – All five Motions requested by the Defendant Ritchie Sinclair were quashed.
- DENIED - request to change the venue to the Toronto Small Claims Court
- DENIED – request to stay or dismiss the action
- DENIED - request a declaration that the Plaintiff is a vexatious litigant
- DENIED - request to seal prohibited information and strike out inflammatory statements
- DENIED - request an undertaking for the plaintiff to provide further particulars
Without our asking JudgeFilkin chose to award us Court Costs of $100.
So far from any judge or court, striking down any of our motions, they have – unanimously – found in our favour in every case.
- that all the Morrisseaus sold at Randy Potters – some 2,000, out of which he bought 31 himself – were cheap and lousy fakes that even an amateur could pick out
“Q. Schiller: And do you believe that the actions of Artworld of Sherway along with Jim White, who was the consignor of the painting, amount to some form of fraudulent scheme?
A. Robinson: I certainly do.
Q. And you believe that Donna Child is involved in that fraudulent scheme?
A. Yes.” (Court Trans/Hatfield v Child: Feb 23, 2012 p 4)
Background: With that claim, expressed as an absolute totality, without a single reservation, telling Judge Martial in the Hatfield v Child case, that it involved “the greatest fraud in Canadian art history,“ Donald Robinson first went public, on May 18, 2001, in the National Post. He then claimed that the world was suddenly inundated with hundreds (later thousands) of Morrisseau forgeries, created by a single (later umpteen) forgers, and they were all being auctioned by Randy Potter and then resold by Robinson’s major business competitors, like Jim White and Artworld of Sherway.
My Take: Perjury, Delusion or Dementia?
I don’t believe for a second, that there is, in this world or the next, a single person who believes Donald Robinson - whether he claims this, in front of a judge, or anywhere else – and that includes himself…
Refunds for Fake Morrisseaus - Out of some 2,000 sales, over 10 years, not a single Morrisseau painting was ever returned to Randy Potter for a refund.
Not a single customer ever asked for his money back, or complained they were sold a fake. A truly awesome encomium for honesty for a retail business, of an astonishing 100%.
Now go ahead and name me the Toronto businessman who can claim that?
And even Robinson, who bought 31 Morrisseaus for $53,228.73 never brought a single one back, never asked for a refund, nor complained to Randy he was sold a fake.
And another thing: Robinson, whose chutzpah is nothing if not legendary, did bring back one painting he claimed was a fake, demanding a refund for $267.50. But – you won’t believe this – not for a Morrisseau, but for a Robert Davidson…
Without saying a word – I’m absolutely certain – Randy, with no questions asked, paid Robinson the entire amount he demanded, down to the last 50 cents.
And, in the process, going far, far beyond the bounds of what any other retailer, let alone any auctioneer, on the planet, would ever do to satisfy a disgruntled customer.
Because Robinson, in another display of his legendary chutzpah, came back to demand a refund on the Davidson, a full 14 months after buying the painting.
No auction anywhere in Canada would ever have given him a refund, even had he brought it back a day after buying it. And no Canadian fine art auction will give refunds beyond a month after purchase and then only if you have incontrovertible proof from an accepted independent authority that your painting is a fake.
They would have all, unanimously, laughed Robinson out of the building.
Robinson very well knew all that. It was all standard in the professional world he lived in.
But he knew something else too, of which he was equally sure.
That Randy Potter was a decent guy, far above the norm in the auction – let alone the fine art business.
That Robinson could demand something so absolutely inappropriate for a long-ago completed sales transaction because he knew Randy would come through, with the $267.50, no matter how outrageous was Robinson’s demand.
But Robinson knew something else: he had to move fast – in a manner of speaking – if he ever expected to get his 200 bucks back.
He very well knew, the day he went to get his refund, that he had already slammed Randy in private to a journalist who would publish the next month, in the national media, his accusation that Randy was a lowlife scammer. He probably knew after his accusations came out, in the National Post, even Randy’s good will might have been stretched past the point of no return, and he might not give him back his two hundred bucks.
This is all stunning proof that actions speak louder than words, all around.
About the honesty of some people.
Which brings us back to the alleged Morrisseau fakes… With all the evidence in, where, on the planet, is there a single person left, anywhere, who believes that Robinson personally, truly believed the 31 Morrisseau paintings he bought at Potters really were fakes?
Would a guy who played hardball over $200 just throw away $54,000 on fake paintings?
In the end, for all their malicious defamation in the national media and the courts, neither Donald Robinson nor his Conspiracy Theorists ever took Randy Potter to court.
Or anyone else for allegedly selling the thousands of fakes they got at Randy Potters.
Even though they had 13 years and counting to do it, and supposedly thousands of “forgeries” to pick from, and even though they slammed numerous decent Canadian business people in the art world as lowlife scammers.
Which has to be the ultimate proof for sincerity.
Why not? Obviously none of them had proof of anything, but that their claims would only get them laughed out of a police station or a court. And they very well knew it. Why?
Because all along the Conspiracy Theory was nothing more than just shabby MBA 101: control supply and demand by saying only your own paintings are guaranteed to be authentic; that thousands of paintings sold by your business competitors are fakes; and right the balance in your favour by ruining the reputation of your business competitors.
The Absent-minded Donald Robinson:
There are two more extremely important facts that Donald Robinson wants the world to forget about Randy Potter paintings:
I own, “FISH & SOMA 1976,” the only Morrisseaus in the world which are “Holy Trinity” authenticated, by Donald Robinson himself – he was the under bidder and authenticated them verbally to my face; Norval Morrisseau, the artist; and Kenneth J Davies, one of Canada’s top handwriting analysis experts who certified them both as signed with DNA certainty, by Norval Morrisseau, and by no one else.
These two paintings “FISH & SOMA 1976″ offer a truly stunning view behind the curtain of secrecy which Donald Robinson and the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society have sought to cover up “the biggest fraud in Canadian art history.” (More to come.)
Secondly, 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 alleging defamation, won in 2008 by Joe Otavnik v Vadas and Morrisseau (for $11,000) and Michael Moniz v CTVglobemedia (for some $25,000.)
Neither Defendants (including Morrisseau and Vadas, his business manager & 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 - big time – because they both agreed they had defamed genuine Morrisseau paintings.
It gets worse. Neither defendant – and that includes Donald Robinson’s own artist Norval Morrisseau and his business manager Gabe Vadas - even dared to go to court to face a judge with their supposed proof of forgery.
They both figured that any deal they could make outside court would be far preferable to that imposed by an angry judge who scoffed at their proof of forgeries, and an artist expert who couldn’t even mumble a word…
Both Morrisseau and CTVglobemedia begged for an out-of-court settlement, which Otavnik and Moniz both agreed to, knowing that the authenticity of their paintings, which Morrisseau, Vadas, Robinson, and the Globe called fakes, had been vindicated, and were safe from further malicious and defamatory statements.
In fact, every single painting from Randy Potter that has ever been analyzed by three top Canadian independent forensic experts, has come back as certified, with DNA certainty, as authentically signed by Norval Morrisseau without a single dissenting finding of any kind.
Which has to be a stunning affirmation for the honesty of Randy Potter, for the absolute authenticity of every Morrisseau painting he ever sold.
And leaves us to question: exactly what is the value of his court testimony on what he calls “the greatest fraud in Canadian art history?”