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i u a pi pu pa ti tu ta ki ku ka gi gu ga mi mu ma ni nu na si su sa li lu la ji ju ja vi vu va ri ru ra qi qu qa ngi ngu nga lhi lhu lha

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Norval H. Morrisseau, R.C.A., ᐅᓵᐚᐱᐦᑯᐱᓀᐦᓯ

Anishinaabe

(1931-2007)

First Name: Norval 

Last Name: Morrisseau

Full Name: Jean-Baptiste Norman Henry Morrisseau

Name in syllabics: (Cree syllabics) ᐅᓵᐚᐱᐦᑯᐱᓀᐦᓯ (Ozaawaabiko-binesi, unpointed: ᐅᓴᐘᐱᑯᐱᓀᓯ, "Copper/Brass [Thunder]Bird"), as his pen-name for his Anishnaabe name ᒥᐢᒁᐱᐦᐠ ᐊᓂᒥᐦᑮ (Miskwaabik Animikii, unpointed: ᒥᐢᑿᐱᐠ ᐊᓂᒥᑭ, "Copper Thunderbird").

Date of birth: March 14, 1931/32

Place of birth: Sand Point Ojibwe reserve near Beardmore, Ontario, Canada

Date of death: December 4, 2007

Community: Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek First Nation

Sex: Male

Alternative Names: Copper Thunderbird, Miskwaabik Animiiki

Website: http://www.morrisseau.com

Bio:

Norval Morrisseau is known for originating the Woodland School of Painting, also referred to as Legend or Medicine Painting. Characterized by bright colours, bold outlines and abstract forms, it is rich with spiritual imagery and symbolism, and blends together traditional legends, myths and culture with contemporary mediums. Morrisseau’s work was influenced by traditional Anishnaabe decorative arts, Midewiwin birchbark scrolls and petroglyphs.

Morrisseau was born on the Sand Pond Ojibwe Reserve near Beardmore, Ontario. Following tradition, he was raised by his maternal grandparents. His grandfather, a shaman, taught Morrisseau the Ojibwe language, legends, and culture while his grandmother, a devout Catholic, instructed him on the tenets of Christianity. 

At the age of 19, Morrisseau became severely ill. In the Anishnaabe tradition, a sick or dying person may regain strength and energy by being given a new, more powerful name. Accordingly, a healing ceremony was held to rename Morrisseau “Copper Thunderbird.” After his subsequent recovery, Morrisseau would go on to sign his work with this new moniker.

Morrisseau was largely self-taught. He left school after the fourth grade and would ultimately find work in construction and mining while continuing to pursue his art during off-hours. Word of Morrisseau’s art spread; his first professional show was held in 1962 in Toronto at the Pollock Gallery and was hailed as a new development in Canadian art. 

Morrisseau’s success helped bring Indigenous art and culture to the attention of many Canadians. Along with Daphne Odjig, Alex Janvier, Carl Ray, Eddy Cobiness, Jackson Beardy and Joseph Sanchez, Morrisseau co-founded the Professional Indian Artists Incorporation, alternately known as "The Indian Group of Seven" in 1973, which would influence generations of artists to follow. 

Morrisseau was awarded the Order of Canada in 1978 for his contributions to Canadian art and in 2006 was the first Indigenous artist to have a solo exhibition in the National Gallery of Canada.

Exhibitions

  • 1961: Hughes Gallery, London, Ontario
  • 1962: Pollock Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1963: Pollock Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1964: Pollock Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1965: Hart House Gallery at University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1965: Galerie Godard Lefort, Montreal, Quebec
  • 1966: Musée du Québec (now renamed Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec), Quebec City, Quebec
  • 1966: Galerie Cartier (Co-sponsored by Pollock Gallery), Montreal, Quebec
  • 1968: Art Gallery of Newport (Sponsored by Galerie Cartier), Newport, Rhode Island, USA
  • 1969: Galerie St-Paul, St-Paul de Vence, France
  • 1972: Pollock Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1974: Canadian Guild of Crafts, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1974: The Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1974: Pollock Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1975: Pollock Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1975: Shayne Gallery, Montreal, Quebec
  • 1976: Pollock Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1976: Gallery 115, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • 1977: Pollock Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1977: Graphic Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1978: Wells Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
  • 1978: First Canadian Place (sponsored by the Pollock Gallery), Toronto, Ontario
  • 1979: Pollock Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1979: The Gallery Stratford, Stratford, Ontario
  • 1979: Shayne Gallery, Montreal, Quebec
  • 1979: The McMichael Canadian Collection (Artist in residence), Kleinburg, Ontario
  • 1979: Cardigan/Milne Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • 1980: Canadian Galleries, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1980: Lynnwood Arts Centre, Simcoe, Ontario
  • 1980: Bayard Gallery, New York, New York, USA
  • 1981: Pollock Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1981: Anthony's Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1981: Anthony's Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1981: Thunder Bay National Exhibition Centre, Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • 1981: Nexus Art Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1982: Moore Gallery, Hamilton, Ontario
  • 1982: Masters Gallery, Calgary, Alberta
  • 1982: Robertson Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
  • 1982: The New Man Gallery, London, Ontario
  • 1982: Nexus Art Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1982: Legacy Art Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1982: Scarborough Public Gallery, Scarborough, Ontario
  • 1984: Ontario Place, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1984: Ontario North Now, Kenora, Ontario
  • 1985: Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan
  • 1986: First Canadian Place (joint exhibition with Brian Marion), Toronto, Ontario
  • 1986: Manulife Centre, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1987: Gulf Canada Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1988: Sinclair Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1989: The Art Emporium, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1990: Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1991: Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1991: Wallack Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
  • 1992: Jenkins Showler Galleries, White Rock, British Columbia
  • 1994: Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1997: Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1999: Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1999: The Drawing Centre, New York, New York, USA
  • 2001: Art Gallery of South Western Manitoba, Brandon, Manitoba
  • 2001: Canada House Gallery, Banff, Alberta
  • 2001: Drawing Center, New York, New York
  • 2002: Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • 2006: Steffich Fine Art, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
  • 2006: National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
  • 2006: Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • 2006: McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario
  • 2006: Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto, Ontario
  • 2007: Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • 2007: The George Gustav Heye Center of the National Museum of the American Indian, New York, New York
  • 2011: Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto, Ontario

Retrospectives

  • 2008: Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto, Ontario
  • 2010: Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto, Ontario
  • 2012: Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto, Ontario
  • 2014: Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto, Ontario
  • 2016: Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto, Ontario

Articles

Artwork

Title Last Sold At Auction
NATURE OF THINGS 2007-06 (June 2007)
ASTRAL CHILDREN 2016-05 (May 2016)
BEAR 2011-11 (November 2011)
BEAR AND FISH 2012-12 (December 2012)
BEAR AND LOONS
BEAR DOCTOR HEALING 2015-08 (August 2015)
BEAR SPIRIT 2016-11 (November 2016)
BIRD 2011-11 (November 2011)
BIRDS & FISH 2011-01 (January 2011)
FAMILY OF BEARS 2016-04 (April 2016)
FISH; BIRDS; MEDICINE TURTLE; SPIRITUAL SUNBIRDS 2016-06 (June 2016)
IMAGES AND RAVENS 2010-11 (November 2010)
LEGEND OF SURVIVAL 2012-12 (December 2012)
LOOK WITHIN OURSELFS 2016-03 (March 2016)
LOON FAMILY
MY GRANDAUGHTER 2017-10 (October 2017)
MY SON PETER 2017-06 (June 2017)
OWL 2010-08 (August 2010)
SHAMAN’S APPRENTICE VISIONARY 2017-03 (March 2017)
TURTLE SHAMAN WITH BIRDS
TWO LOONS 2014-12 (December 2014)
UNTITLED (BIRD & FISH) 2016-04 (April 2016)
UNTITLED (NESTING BIRD) 2016-04 (April 2016)
UNTITLED (SQUAWKING BIRD) 2015-08 (August 2015)
UNTITLED (TWO BIRDS) 2016-03 (March 2016)
ALL IS WELL 2015-08 (August 2015)
ARITST’S SPIRITUAL WIFE AND CHILDREN 2017-10 (October 2017)
ARTIST GRANDSON A.S.K. 2015-12 (December 2015)
ARTIST’S SPIRITUAL WIFE AND CHILDREN 2016-09 (September 2016)
ASTRAL CHILDREN 2019-03 (March 2019)
ASTRAL COMMUNICATION 2014-10 (October 2014)
BEAR 2015-12 (December 2015)
BEAR AND FISH
BEAR, FISH & BIRDS - INTERDEPENDENCE 2015-03 (March 2015)
BEAVER 2016-01 (January 2016)
BLACK BEAR DAY DREAMING OF FISH 2012-12 (December 2012)
BROTHERS
CARIBOU 2014-03 (March 2014)
CHILDREN OF LIGHT AND SOUND 2019-09 (September 2019)
CHILDREN OF MOTHER EARTH (WINTER, SPRING, SUMMER AND FALL) 2014-10 (October 2014)
CHRISTIAN NATIVE 2017-08 (August 2017)
COMMUNACTION [SIC] 2015-11 (November 2015)
COSMIC CHILDREN 2 2020-05 (May 2020)
CYCLE OF FISH 2007-02 (February 2007)
DIMENSIONS TRAVELLER IN MOTION 2018-07 (July 2018)
DUALITY IN BALANCE 2018-01 (January 2018)
FAMILY 2019-07 (July 2019)
FATHER AND SON
FISH 2011-02 (February 2011)
FISH & BIRDS 2011-07 (July 2011)
FISH AND LOONS OF LAKE NIPIGON 2016-03 (March 2016)
FISH BIRD & INDIAN 2014-08 (August 2014)
FISH DREAM 2012-03 (March 2012)
FISH TOTEM 2016-08 (August 2016)
FLOCK OF LOONS 2011-07 (July 2011)
FOUR BIRDS 2016-01 (January 2016)
GABE 2013-07 (July 2013)
IMAGE OF DAVID ON THE ASTRAL PLANE 2014-01 (January 2014)
IMAGES & MYTHS
IMAGES OF MYTH 2010-08 (August 2010)
LILY OF THE MOHAWK - 1997 2012-12 (December 2012)
LOOK WITHIN OURSELFS 2019-03 (March 2019)
LOOKING NORTH 2016-08 (August 2016)
LOON AND FISH 2010-10 (October 2010)
LOON TOTEMIC SPIRIT AND GREBES WITH HUMAN 2015-01 (January 2015)
LOON WITH EGGS 2015-01 (January 2015)
MANIFESTATION 2011-12 (December 2011)
MEDICINE BEAR 2007-06 (June 2007)
MEN TALK ABOUT THE POWER OF THE THUNDERBIRD 2017-08 (August 2017)
MERMAN 2014-10 (October 2014)
MERMAN AND A CYCLE OF FISH 2015-08 (August 2015)
METAMORPHOSIS - MAN INTO FISH 2015-10 (October 2015)
METAMORPHOSIS - MAN INTO THUNDERBIRD; MAN INTO BEAR; MAN INTO TURTLE; MAN INTO FISH (1977) 2014-12 (December 2014)
MOOSE 2015-12 (December 2015)
MOOSE & WOLVES 2018-05 (May 2018)
MORRISSEAU 2019-09 (September 2019)
MOTHER AND CHILD 2018-03 (March 2018)
MY FUTURE OFFSPRING 2011-12 (December 2011)
MY GRANDSON AND THE BIRDS 2016-11 (November 2016)
MY SON PETER 2014-04 (April 2014)
NATIVE TOTEM 2015-10 (October 2015)
NATURE UNITY 2011-03 (March 2011)
NEW DIRECTION 2017-12 (December 2017)
NORVAL AS SHAMAN TAKING SOUL THROUGH PROTEL (SIC) 2015-11 (November 2015)
OJIBWAY MEDICINE MAN 2012-05 (May 2012)
OJIBWAY MEDICINE SOCIETY 2017-10 (October 2017)
OJIBWAY THUNDERBIRD 2016-11 (November 2016)
ON THE HUNT 2019-11 (November 2019)
PERSONAL IMAGES 2018-07 (July 2018)
PETER AND HIS FRIENDS 2011-12 (December 2011)
POWER WITH UNITY 2019-09 (September 2019)
QUEEN’S PARK AND HART HOUSE 2007-09 (September 2007)
RAT AND BUTTERFLY 2011-01 (January 2011)
REALITY 2019-03 (March 2019)
SACRED BEAR 2020-03 (March 2020)
SACRED BEAVER 2020-03 (March 2020)
SACRED BEAVER WITH MEDICINE BAG 2015-11 (November 2015)
SACRED FISH 2015-03 (March 2015)
SEA OTTER CATCHING SALMON 2020-03 (March 2020)
SEATED BIRD TOTEM; STANDING BIRD TOTEM 2012-03 (March 2012)
SELF PORTRAIT 2020-07 (July 2020)
SHAMAN AND BIRDS 2007-07 (July 2007)
SHAMAN AND HIS FRIENDS 2012-05 (May 2012)
SHAMAN AND SON 2016-05 (May 2016)
SHAMAN ASTRAL GUIDE I 2019-09 (September 2019)
SHAMAN ASTRAL GUIDE I AND SHAMAN ASTRAL GUIDE II 2017-05 (May 2017)
SHAMAN ASTRAL GUIDE II 2019-09 (September 2019)
SHAMAN PEOPLE 2013-11 (November 2013)
SHAMAN SPIRIT 2019-04 (April 2019)
SHAMAN THUNDERBIRD 2016-06 (June 2016)
SHAMAN WITH BIRDS AND BEAR
SHAMAN’S APPRENTICE VISIONARY 2018-07 (July 2018)
SHAMAN’S DREAM 2014-10 (October 2014)
SOUL VISION 2015-12 (December 2015)
SPIRIT CREATURE
SPIRITUAL FEAST 2014-04 (April 2014)
SPIRITUAL MERMAN 2014-01 (January 2014)
SPIRITUAL VISION 2018-11 (November 2018)
SURVIVAL STRENGTH 2013-11 (November 2013)
THE ART OF NORVAL MORRISSEAU, 1979 2020-03 (March 2020)
THE FAMILY 2014-06 (June 2014)
THE GATHERERS 2014-12 (December 2014)
THE LEGEND OF THE TROUT 2012-09 (September 2012)
THE OTHER SIDE OF SHAMAN 2017-11 (November 2017)
THE SHAMAN SPEAKING FOR ARTIST TO THE MERMAN 2016-11 (November 2016)
THE TROUT DREAM LEGEND 2007-03 (March 2007)
THE VISIONARY 2011-12 (December 2011)
THINKING OF FISHES 2012-05 (May 2012)
THUNDER SPIRIT 2011-11 (November 2011)
THUNDERBIRD AND BEAR 2007-09 (September 2007)
THUNDERBIRD MAN 2018-01 (January 2018)
THUNDERBIRD MEDICINE SOCIETY 2017-10 (October 2017)
THUNDERBIRD SHAMAN SPEAKS TO BEAR CLAW
THUNDERBIRD'S SPIRIT 2019-07 (July 2019)
THUNDERBIRD’S SPIRITS 2014-08 (August 2014)
TWO BIRDS 2011-07 (July 2011)
TWO BIRDS & FLOCK OF LOONS 2016-04 (April 2016)
TWO BIRDS AND A BUTTERFLY 2015-08 (August 2015)
UNITITLED (MYTHICAL CREATURE) 2010-08 (August 2010)
Untitled 2016-02 (February 2016)
UNTITLED 2018-11 (November 2018)
UNTITLED (ANGRY BIRD) 2015-03 (March 2015)
UNTITLED (ANIMALS) 2012-07 (July 2012)
UNTITLED (BIRDS) 2007-02 (February 2007)
UNTITLED (FAMILY OF FIVE) 2017-12 (December 2017)
UNTITLED (FIGURE)
UNTITLED (HORNED ANIMAL) 2016-08 (August 2016)
UNTITLED (MOTHER & CHILD WITH BIRD) 2016-09 (September 2016)
UNTITLED (MOTHER AND YOUNG) 2019-01 (January 2019)
UNTITLED (NESTING BIRD) 2013-11 (November 2013)
UNTITLED (SHAMAN) 2018-01 (January 2018)
UNTITLED (SHAMANS) 2018-07 (July 2018)
UNTITLED (SQUAWKING BIRD) 2013-11 (November 2013)
UNTITLED (SWIMMING BIRDS) 2016-01 (January 2016)
UNTITLED (THREE BIRDS ATTACKING SMALL ANIMAL) 2018-11 (November 2018)
UNTITLED (THREE FROGS) 2014-04 (April 2014)
UNTITLED (THUNDERBIRD) 2016-02 (February 2016)
UNTITLED (TWO BIRDS) 2019-03 (March 2019)
UNTITLED (UNITY) 2014-01 (January 2014)
UNTITLED DIPTYCH 2015-11 (November 2015)
VARIOUS IMAGES 2019-01 (January 2019)
VISION TO IT’S SOUL 2011-02 (February 2011)
WE ARE GODS WITHIN OURSELVES; FISH AND LOONS OF LAKE NIPIGON; BIRD SPEAKS TO THESE CHILDREN; CHILDREN OF LIGHT AND SOUND; WOODLAND CREATURES; SERMON TO THE BIRDS 2014-06 (June 2014)

Recent Auction Results

SELF PORTRAIT
Estimate: 2,500 — 3,000
Sold: Jul 2020 — Sold For: $10,800
COSMIC CHILDREN 2
Estimate: 250 — 350
Sold: May 2020 — Sold For: $570
THE ART OF NORVAL MORRISSEAU, 1979
Estimate: 2,500 — 3,000
Sold: Mar 2020 — Sold For: $2,400
SACRED BEAR
Estimate: 600 — 800
Sold: Mar 2020 — Sold For: $720
SACRED BEAVER
Estimate: 1,200 — 1,500
Sold: Mar 2020 — Sold For: $1,200
SEA OTTER CATCHING SALMON
Estimate: 2,500 — 3,000
Sold: Mar 2020 — Sold For: $5,700

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