Norval Morrisseau's Sworn Declarations

Norval Morrisseau made his views clear on the subject of fakes, imitations and copyright infringement in the following sworn declarations:

  • Artworld of Sherway
    • 17 September 2004 "I enclose a copy of an sworn by Mr. Morrisseau...describing numerous fakes and imitations as listed in a catalogue put out by the Maslak-McLeod Gallery. If any of those pieces are for sale by your gallery this weekend, please realize that you are selling fakes. Please also realize that Mr. Morrisseau does not have any Representation Agreement with Maslak-McLeod...and does not recognize Maslak-McLeod as being able to authenticate any of Mr. Morrisseau's works".
    • 25 February 2005 "various artworks that you are offering for sale attributed to our client are in fact fakes. We and our client are prepared to meet with you and review and advise you of which works...are misattributed to our client", "our client advises us the works in your possession advertised on your website as by Morrisseau are not by his hand".
  • Gallery Sunami
  • Maslak-McLeod Gallery
    • 3 June 1993 "your gallery has reproduced my paintings in its advertisements and/or other promotional material. Please be advised that this is a direct infringement of my rights as the author of said works".
    •  24 July 2001 "cease and desist immediately in the reproduction via advertisement, brochures or other promotional material and of Mr. Morrisseau's work".
    • 14 March 2003 "none of the above listed works were produced by me and they are "fakes" and imitations".
    • 24 April 2003 "all of the following works...found in the above noted catalogue...are fakes and imitations".
    • 3 December 2003 "you stated you had proper provenance for the fake paintings, but you have not provided copies to us or any proof at all", "continuing to violate Norval's copyright by distributing the catalogue containing fakes and using his images in your latest advertising", "you offered to pay Norval a commission on the resale of his after market paintings (including paintings he has identified as fakes) at your gallery", "Norval Morrisseau has confirmed by sworn affidavit provided to you, that 37 out of 61 "Morrisseau" paintings reproduced in your catalogue...are outright fakes", "The artist has also confirmed, by sworn affidavit, that four additional "Morrisseau" paintings reproduced on your gallery's website address are fakes", "you knew or ought to have known, as widely reported in the National Post newspaper of May 19, 2001 , that 23 "Morrisseau" paintings sold at Khan Country Auctions in Toronto were suspicious as a result of Norval Morrisseau stating in writing that he did not paint them. Before reproducing these paintings you could have consulted the artist as to authenticity, but failed to do so", "You have been repeatedly advised (starting as early as June 3, 1993 by Norval's request to you by registered letter), that you have been violating the artist's copyright by reproducing his images in advertisements and catalogues, and asked not to do so. Yet you are continuing to do so", "As there is no evidence or statement by you to the contrary in your correspondence to date, and based on your current advertising, we must assume that in spite of our previous warnings you are continuing to sell the 37 fake paintings. For the same reason, we assume you have not informed your previous purchasers about the problems with these paintings, nor offered to exchange or refund them - if true, all of these actions would constitute acts of fraud and deception", "To remedy this situation you must agree to immediately stop the sale of the remaining fake paintings and recover all of the sold fakes. All of the fakes must then be destroyed or permanently removed from circulation. You must also agree to cease distribution of the catalogue and destroy all remaining copies".
  • Randy Potter Estate Auctions:
    • 20 October 2004 "paintings are not by me and are fakes. I will deny paternity to them".
    • 5 April 2005 "all of the following works...are fakes and imitations".
  • Bearclaw Gallery
    • 8 April 2005 "all of the following works...are fakes and imitations".
  • Woodland Gary Bruce Thacky Gallery (a.k.a. Gary Lamont)
  • Qualicum Frameworks Gallery ( now d.b.a. Art Worx Gallery)
    • On Nov 14 2014 Jim White testified in White v Sinclair  that Marlowe J. Goring of Qualicum Frameworks who sold, appraised and authenticated paintings for White Distribution Ltd. also received sworn declarations from Morrisseau's lawyers.

Q. Are you aware that Morrisseau sent sworn affidavits about – to Randy Potter about fake paintings that he was selling?
A. I'm aware of him sending it to Randy Potter, Artworld of Sherway, Bearclaw Gallery, Marlowe Goring at Qualicum Frameworks. I am aware that in every one of those things, legal action was threatened.
Q. And Maslak McLeod too?
A. And Maslak McLeod. And in every single case, nobody stopped selling the pieces and nobody sued anybody.
Q. They just ignored Norval?
A. No, no. The lawyers who sent the letters failed to sue on any of the letters which they threatened lawsuit...

Sinclair cross-examination of Jim White in White v Sinclair, Nov 14 2014