Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

The National Gallery of Canada deeply saddened by the passing of Canadian Anishnaabe artist Norval Morrisseau

Ottawa, Ontario - December 7, 2007

The passing of Canadian Anishnaabe artist Norval Morrisseau earlier this week, caused great sorrow to the National Gallery of Canada (NGC). In 1962, Norval Morrisseau – who was also named Copper Thunderbird – brought an art form drawn from the visual traditions of his ancestors out to the viewing public. He was proclaimed a genius and his colourful paintings and enigmatic drawings are now among the most recognized and celebrated of Indigenous art in the world. In 2006, the NGC was greatly privileged to present a solo exhibition of his work, honouring the immense contributions he made to the art of his people – the Anishinabek, to art in Canada and abroad.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of the great artist Norval Morrisseau. This is a tremendous loss to his family, friends, and the many admirers of his extraordinary painting,” said the Director of the NGC, Pierre Théberge. “This sad news causes us to reflect on the immense scope and depth of his contributions to art here and around the world. His love for his people, the great Anishnaabe, and their culture inspired him to create a unique and vast body of work. While we have lost a national treasure in his person, his work remains immortal and will always be revered,“ he added.

The Director of the National Gallery of Canada, on behalf of all its employees, offers his most sincere condolences to Norval Morrisseau’s family and friends.

The exhibition Norval Morrisseau - Shaman Artist, on display at the NGC in the winter of 2006, included 59 of his greatest works and is currently being shown at the National Museum of the American Indian, in New York, until January 6, 2008. For more information on this exhibition, read the exhibition press release issued by the NGC at the following address: http://www.gallery.ca/english/546_735.htm


For more information, please contact:

Josée-Britanie Mallet
Senior Officer, Media Relations and Public Relations
National Gallery of Canada

Claire Schofield
Manager, Communications and Public Relations
National Gallery of Canada